International Harvester Centennial Rally

New Zealand Engine Enthusiasts Celebrate IHC's 100th Birthday

McCormick Model Z-125 fertilizer spreader

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A nicely restored McCormick Model Z-125 fertilizer spreader being drawn by a Clydesdale. A look in the background highlights the strong showing of IHC tractors and equipment at the IHC centennial celebration held this year in New Zealand.

There have been many '100 Years of International Harvester' celebrations held throughout New Zealand during the first three months of 2002, but this is the only one that had this title. Organized by the New Zealand Vintage Machinery Club Inc., Canterbury, it was held on the property of Alan and Gail Rowlands at Kirwee, a 25-minute drive west of Christchurch. Setup day was Friday, Feb. 22, and the main rally days were Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23-24.

As for any rally of this size that is aimed at the public as well as the enthusiast, much planning has to be done. And when the weekend finally arrives, the exhibits arrive through the gate and the weather stays favorable, all is well worth it.

We realize there are some things to improve on for our next weeklong rally in March 2004, when the New Zealand Vintage Machinery Club will be celebrating 'The 100 Years of the Tractor in New Zealand,' so in that way it was a learning curve for us. However, there were so many things that went well, and remarks were heard about what a tremendous setting and site for a rally, with plenty of space and camping and public parking just through the fence from the main access off a sealed road.

Most agree that the ring program and parades were probably the highlights of the rally, and for this we were fortunate to have the services of David Hight. His knowledge and commentary on the tractors was outstanding.

We were very fortunate in having the military's huge involvement, with 50 items of vehicles and equipment ranging from transporters, anti-aircraft guns, scout cars, weapon carriers, ambulances and jeeps. Their displays and variety of action was much appreciated and added to the variety for the public.

Because of some rain on Friday night the harvesting never got into gear until late Saturday afternoon, but with the Nor-West conditions on Sunday some of the old header harvesters had a go in the rally wheat paddock, whilst Murray Rowlands, son of Alan and Gail, harvested another of their paddocks of wheat with the property's International Axial-Flow 1420 combine harvester.

Another interesting harvesting - and a far as I know it was a first, at least in Canterbury - was in the potato patch. At the end of each day potatoes were dug by a couple of old diggers, the public filling them for $1 a bag. It was quite a study and an instant success.

There were 14 entries for the plowing match on Saturday, and the standard of plowing was very good, the plowmen all making an excellent team of competitors. Alistair Rutherford of Gore took first prize. Our plowing convener, Russell Ward, also gave some tuition for future plowmen in another paddock the following morning. This was where the modified tractors were doing their thing over the weekend.

The display of International Harvester tractors, trucks, machinery and equipment, which I am sure was the biggest lineup of International Harvester in New Zealand, included approximately 280 tractors, 50 trucks, 25-30 items of McCormick/International machinery, (mowers, rakes and balers in the main), plus plows, a few cultivators and 15 items of harvesting equipment extending from an early 1890s side delivery McCormick 'Daisy' reaper to an International Axial-Flow 1420 combine harvester of around 1980 manufacture.

There were three of these early reapers, two McCormick-Deering reaper and binders, two McCormick-Deering 28 x 46 tin mills, and harvester threshers (or headers as most of us Kiwis call them), including two of the old No. 22s and a 31T of the 1930-1940s era - it was great to see these in operation again. There was also a nicely restored No. 52R, 5-foot combine, a No. 62, 6-foot machine, and then the later No. 93 and then the 1420 combine.

No, it's not an IHC product, but the rally also drew some steamers, including this 8 HP 1911 Fowler road locomotive pulling a grade on its way to the rally.

There were also 24 IHC stationary engines, including Famous and Mogul, of which we had about 10, followed by one or two McCormick-Deering engines and the remainder being International Ms, LAs and LBs. There was also a nicely restored UD-9 generator set which supplied the power to the grounds, plus a No. 62 header motor on a saw bench. There were approximately another 70 engines of other makes set in a long line along one fence, making a tremendous attraction throughout the weekend.

Among the 280 International Harvester tractors present was Roger Mahan's collection of three old timers. These were his 1910 20 HP single-cylinder Titan, 1914 10-20 Titan Twin and the 1914 Mogul Twin 12-25. We were also fortunate in having the Stewart Brothers 1916 Mogul 8-16 tractor there, too.

The early McCormick-Deerings comprised I20s, and an 130, 10-20s, 15-30s, 22-36s. Fairway of 12s, W and O12s, O14, F12s and F14s, F20s and 30s, W30s, WD40s and ID40 and WK40, and now the early crawlers - 10-20, T20s and the TD35s. There were also Farmall Cubs, Farmalls A, B, H and Ms, leading on to the super models of these Farmalls. Then there were the popular models of the W4s, W6, and WD6s, W9 and WD9s and the later British models, Farmall BM and Super BMDs. 450s and the later models - B250s and B275s, B414 and 614s, 434 and 634s, ending with some of the later, bigger American models. Including all the other makes of tractors represented we had a total of around 500 tractors present.

We were thankful to have had eight traction engines, as no rally, in Canterbury anyway, is complete without them. These were made up of three McLarens, two Marshalls, one Burrell, a Fowler and an Aveling and Porter. One of these, belonging to the Strang Brothers, came all the way up from Southland, approximately 400 miles.

Contact engine enthusiast Derek Hubbard at: Masseyville, 49 Boston Ave., Hornby, Christchurch 8004 New Zealand.