Minneapolis-Moline Collectors Winter Convention

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4777 Upper Valley Pike, Dayton, Ohio 45424

We didn't want the good times to end at the Geneseo, Illinois, Minneapolis-Moline Collector's Winter Convention, February 20-23, 1992. About three hundred enthusiastic 'Old Iron Nuts' converged on the Deck Motor Inn to renew relationships and build new ones. It looked like the preacher had been paid since the weather was fine for such an event.

It was a natural move to the Hospitality Suite after checking in. You guessed right, Jerry Erickson was all set up with his vast array of literature; Joe Klovine had many parts. Charlie Schleeve brought many items and Alvin Egbert was quick to buy up the lights. The usual highlight of the Hospitality Room is the wonderful literature display of president Dan Shima and his wife Delores. Roger Mohr was proudly showing off his new beautiful wife, Marie, as he displayed his newest model MM tractor and newer tractor decals.

Dale and Sharon Casteel hosted the convention and everyone could see the professional job they did. Early on, the attendees drove the short distance to the Casteel farm to their fine collection. Sharon provided a fine spread of goodies while Dale tried to explain how he found the time to restore along with grain and livestock farming. It was worth the trip to see Casteel's Minneapolis-Moline Experimental tractor.

William 'Bill' Ellis is an engineer for the Army at the Rock Island Arsenal. Eighteen years ago the bug bit him with his first acquisition. Since then many fine additions have been made to his collection of military, industrial and unusual MM pieces. These we enjoyed seeing at Taylor Ridge, a village you could throw a rock across, halfway between his home in Moline and his farm. Requiring a close look, was his 1210 cubic inch MM power unit, two 605 engines side by side, made for the Navy.

E. F. Freeman from Tennessee chauffeured some of us to Ron and Lora Lea Miller's fine collection of Rumelys west of town. While there we had a good talk with Kirt Stein who has a collection of big old tractors in northwest Iowa.

It was an easy ride into Rock Island to look at Ed Spiess' collection of rare name tractors like Intercontinental, Custom, Cockshutt, Silver King, Brockway, etc. Wherever one goes, each collection is great and unique.

Richard Millis stayed close to the motel and his new purchase. It looked and ran like a new one but it was very different which kept a number of people around it most of the time asking questions. The tractor was made from two MMG tractors which had been built into a four wheel drive articulating tractor before most other companies had even dreamed of a big four wheel drive. According to Richard there were 31 of these tractors that had been built in Arkansas by Stullgart Tractor Co. He said these tractors were used as a prototype which permitted Minneapolis-Moline to construct their A4T in just a few months.

The Saturday auction brought out many parts and pieces of literature which filled the needs of these collectors. Don Cotton kept his hand up to add pieces to his extensive amounts of printed material. Vernon Parizek and Ken Fenseth made sure everyone had a bidders number and Steve Egbert helped as auctioneer. Ray Musselman was first buyer, three MM caps for $10.00. Guy Alspaugh, the famous Uniman and Charlie Doty the used-to-be MM dealer were very visible. The Indianapolis area was well represented as Don Kingen, Rex and Dale Mercer were there with their wives. These devoted collectors hosted the winter meeting previously. Larry Holmes and Harley Stokstad enjoyed talking about their rare and valuable MM tractors. Walter Keller when dickering for Larry's YT thought the transfer price was $45,000 but Larry said that was a misunderstanding. Cliff and Don Nelson were there from Michigan. Don said he called a friend and told him he knew a farmer who wanted to sell a cab for an R MM tractor for $35.00. The friend declined and another man bought it and put it in an auction where it brought $1500.00. The auction ended with the crowd going to the parking lot where a MM G-1000 Vista in new paint and running good was auctioned off. Norman Shanz was the final bidder for $3100.

Norman Shanz will help to host the next winter convention at Homestead, Iowa, March 1993. This group will enjoy going to the Amana Colonies where MM equipment was always preferred.

Another highlight of the convention was a fine lecture by Oran Schmidt and Wilbur Kerschner on the LP induction system used on MM tractors.

The banquet Saturday night was attended by 240 people. After a good dinner, Laural Spring the weather commentator from station WHDF gave a humorous talk. Even Bill and Kay Meeker, Oliver collectors from N. Henderson, Illinois, enjoyed our program. Dan Shima conducted a brief meeting and encouraged all to attend the summer show August 15-16, 1992 at LaGrange, Indiana. The entertainment ended with a fine slide presentation by Bill Ellis on military vehicles.

A Minneapolis-Moline tractor makes a superannuated homo sapien gleeful! Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders Jack a habetudinous fellow!!