4421 Old Carriage Road Flint, Michigan 48507
I confess to personal reluctance for our club to host, because our show has always been grateful to all tractor exhibitors who turn out and face juggling the harvest and inclement weather conditions. We would not want any exhibitor to feel 'left out,' and possibly stay home because his 'Persian Orange' or 'Prairie Gold' machine wouldn't be appreciated. The 'Genesee Valley Two Cylinder Club' has turned out in ever increasing numbers at our show and I feared this business of hosting the 'Red' might damage our relationship with this fine organization. After all, many in this area, including our president Mac Cheney, belong to both clubs. Many two cylinder members assured me that my concern was unwarranted.
The city of Clio, Michigan, where our club is headquartered, is on the edge of the Saginaw Valley, a large bean, corn and sugar beet producing area which has always been 'Deere' country. So the local shows have a great number of 'Green Ones' on display. So maybe this hosting of the 'Red' might be not such a bad idea after all. As the show got closer, and after a presentation by chapter #11 president Dave Wilder announcing his goal of 200-plus Red Ones, I became much more enthusiastic to this business of hosting.
The fact that I am a city kid and only own one tractor, a rusty IHC 8-16 Kero built in 1920, I made it my goal to get a few others like mine at our show. Diversity seems to be a popular buzz-word nowadays, and I wanted to let it be known that 'gray' or 'green' were the IHC colors long before the decision was made in 1936 to paint them red. This goal was further enhanced after looking at videos, and talking to those who attended the National IHC collectors 'Red Power Round-Ups' because it appeared that these older IHCs were not displayed in appreciable quantities.
In the months before our show, I talked to several owners of older model IHC tractors with the hopes that they would dust them off and display at our show. A few collectors seemed to share my enthusiasm for these older tractors, and in the weeks before the show it began to look like my dream might come true. Just a month before our show while at Portland, where IHC was the feature tractor, I met Roy Hough, the owner of a VB 8-16, we exchanged cards and I explained my goal for the show. Our meeting was only a minute or so, and boy was I happy when he called a week later for more information and indicated he would make our show WOW!
I had already asked my friend John Raney to start working on a model HC 8-16 owned by his father Ray. This tractor had carb problems and had not been displayed for several years. John and Ray seemed to like my idea. So, along with mine I figured we would have at least three.
Boy was I surprised when Loren Peterson, with whom I was not acquainted, pulled into our show with this beautiful HC 8-16. This made my day.
The next challenge came Friday, trying to get these 8-16s and their owners together for group pictures. This was not as easy as it would seem because all four tractors were scattered apart and the owners were nowhere to be found. I located Ray Raney and asked him to put his 8-16 beside mine and started looking for Roy and Loren. I had only met Roy briefly at Portland, forgot what he looked like and had no idea where to find Loren.
Chapter #11 treasurer Judy Cline and others aided my search, but to no avail. Finally a bounty was placed on the missing owners. It was announced on the PA that whoever could turn in Roy to the IHC collectors host tent, live sightings don't count, would get a can of 'Gibbs' donated by a vendor. Similarly, a lifetime guaranteed lead hammer was donated by Dan (Lead Man) Lake for the lost Loren.
Both later turned up, unaware they were considered missing. Rumor was that they were looking at the gas engines on display and failed to hear the PA paging them. We finally got the four owners and their 8-16s together. Many pictures and videos were taken. Such a crowd gathered we had to block the adjoining narrow road so we could get far enough away for a group picture. This was really much more fun than I had imagined. I even kidded that this was probably more 8-16s that had been together since they left the factory in Chicago. How could it get any better?
Unknown to me, an hour or so later Keith Crawford and Paul Straus put two Titans and two Moguls that they brought together with Straus's McCormick-Deering separator for pictures. They are great.
Saturday morning the sun was out, but the forecast was for showers in the afternoon. Many participants were nervous, wondering if our 2:00 o'clock parade would be wet, postponed or canceled. I assured them that I would wear my famous rubber boots all day. This has become a tradition at our show; it has always guaranteed a dry parade in spite of cold winds and threatening clouds.
The parade of equipment, one of the high points of our show, usually lasts an hour or so. Even with the hurrying right along it took an unprecedented two hours and 15 minutes. This was a great strain on the announcer. He lost his voice with only six tractors left in the parade. Al Jones to the rescuegreat ninth inning relief pitching, thanks again, Al.
The Michigan Chapter #11 IHC Collectors will have their annual state show hosted by the Thumb Antique Engine and Tractor Association at Caro, Michigan, in 1997.
The National IHC Collectors is scheduled to meet at the Mid-Michigan Old Gas Tractor Association show grounds at Oakley, Michigan, on the third weekend in August, 1998.
I hope both these shows can turn out even more old IHC's than we did in Clio. By the way, did anyone get a count of IHC tractors, trucks and gas engines? Did we beat the Green ones?