This would have been perfect to run yesterday on Veterans Day but I found this gem a day too late. Either way it certainly warrants being shared because it is BangShifty in every way. The fact that it is unique, the fact that it helped win the war, and the fact that it was the brilliant solution to yet another problem the Allies faced makes it all the better. What you are looking at here is a 1943 Clark CA-1 Airborne crawler tractor and a LaPlant-Choate CAB-361 scraper designed to be used with it. Both of these pieces were designed specifically for military duty so that they could be loaded into airplanes and gliders to be dropped into areas where airfields had to be setup or where tractors were needed to get work done.
Powered by a gasoline burning 133ci Waukesha Model FC flathead four cylinder engine and weighing in at just over 4,000lbs, these tractors were used in the European and Asian theaters of way to do work like runway grading, land preparation, debris clearing, and more. Along with attachments like the scraper, there were compactors, grading blades, and other pieces that could be employed to do the work that needed to be done. It is tough to get the scale of this tandem but when you look at the rifle sitting in the scabbard and then realize the size of the rifle in relation to the rest of the machine, the diminutive nature of this rig starts to show itself. It was designed for the parameters of aircraft like Waco gliders and C-47 transports. More than 2,500 were produced in 1943 and 1944. They were used at Normandy beach and around the world to do the yeoman’s work that would allow more and more Allied soldiers to reach the far off points necessary to battle the enemies of our country and of freedom in general. This CA-1 has been restored and it is really awesome. We’d love to cruise it around the yard and take it to shows.
The LaPlant-Choate CAB-361 scraper was also designed for transport to the front lines by air and while we cannot find an exact spec on it we’re thinking that it had a capacity of about 1.5-2.5 yards of material. That is nothing when compared to modern equipment being pulled by huge crawler tractors but it was the most they could get out of the necessary parameters the thing had to live in. The scraper is in the same immaculate condition as the tractor and we’d literally go gaga to own this stuff.
If these machines could talk, what do you think they would say? Were they working somewhere across the globe? Did they ever leave the USA? We’re glad that they’re here now!
Check out these photos and then hit the link at the bottom for the eBay ad –