Avance Tractor Up-date

Content Tools

65 Farview Street, Glenroy, Victoria 3046 Australia

A story by Ben Boren of the Booker News appeared in September, 1989 GEM on page 22. It was the story of the unveiling of Mr. Dan Sell's rare Avance tractor. The story states that there is one survivor of this model in Australia.

Recently, I attended a Rally at Katamatite, in northern Victoria, where an Avance, owned by Ian McPherson of Yarrawonga was on display. Unhappily, due to a recently cracked head on the engine, Ian was unable to run the tractor. Ian's dad had bought the tractor new and it remained in the family. It has been fully restored.

Last weekend, March 17, while traveling in company with three friends, I attended a Rally at Allansford, in western Victoria, and the matter of the Avance report arose. One of the occupants of the car was Neil McDonald, author of A.H. McDonald, Industrial Pioneer; also Richard Peachey, a former A.H. McDonald apprentice; and Bert Surplice, engineer, engine collector and a man with a vast store of knowledge.

The A.H. McDonald Company was the importer of Avance, from 1926 to 1931. Approximately 200 units were handled, the earlier ones having that trouble with the breaking crankshafts. All of these early units were modified with a kit sent out from Sweden, which was an insert behind the engine which carried an extra crankshaft bearing. Later models came out of the factory with the extra bearing already fitted.

So we began counting the Avance tractors, that we could remember, and in very short order came up with seven known examples in our small corner of the country, that is, 6 in Victoria, and one in Temora in southern New South Wales. Three units are in well established rural museums, and four in private hands. I cannot comment on the state of restoration of the tractors, except the Yarrawonga one viewed at Katamatite, but I have resolved to chase up all the addresses I have and record all relevant information, numbers, owners, state of restoration, etc.