Submitted by Donald Sell Rt. 2, Box 15 Perryton, Texas 79070.
The 14th annual Golden Spread Antique Machinery Association Show drew a record number of exhibitors in September, as over 51 different individuals traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana to be a part of the event.
The show is held each year at the Donald Sell home and Country Time Antiques, located ten miles east and five miles south of Perryton, Texas, in the top of the Texas Panhandle.
Rapidly becoming known as one of the southwest's most prominent antique machinery exhibits, the 1991 show featured Hart Parr/Oliver tractors to the tune of over 30 models on display. Three of the world's rarest Hart Parrs also were on display and intrigued showgoers during the afternoon parade as each made its way around the arena in front of the viewing stands in perfect running order.
'A lot of people came just to see the Hart Parr and Olivers all together,' said Donald Sell, association member. 'As far as we know, this is the first show with such a complete Hart Parr line on display.' The September event was also the first time in history that a Hart Parr 40, a Hart Parr Old Reliable, a Hart Parr Little Red Devil, and a Hart Parr Oil King were all at the same show.
According to Sell, the Little Red Devil is the only one known to be in complete running order in the U.S. It was built in 1915 and 1916, was a three-wheel tractor, and was displayed by Harold Ottoway of Wichita, Kansas.
'To be honest with you, I think it was a devil!' Sell said with a grin. 'It had a lot of problems, and they were eventually recalled. That is why there are so few of them around.'
The Oil King is one of three in the country. It is a single-cylinder, upright tractor and was displayed by Russell and Wes Sylvester of Ottawa, Kansas.
The Hart Parr 40 is owned by Sell, and the restoration project was just completed on April 6, 1991, after four years of research and work. It, too, is the only working tractor of its kind in the United States.
The 40 was advertised in its day as the modern farm horse model of simplicity, and its two-cylinder engine was fueled by kerosene. It was built for small acreage farms where the field work called for frequent sharp turns.
The Hart Parr exhibit also included numerous two and four cylinder types with horizontal engines built from 1918 to 1929, all the way up to the later model Olivers built with GM diesel engines. Bob Sager of Hugoton, Kansas displayed two of the diesel models in top running condition.
'We really went out of our way to get the Oil King and Little Devil here for the show,' Sell said. 'Many people traveled great distances to see them. It will be a long time before that many Hart Parr's can be seen all in one place. There was an antique machinery magazine writer here throughout the weekend, and he told us he saw tractors at our show that he had never seen anywhere before. Our tractors, combines, and headers are some of the rarest in the U.S.'
Drawing tremendous interest at the show was a 3/8 scale model of a John Deere D, built by Dennis Franz of Newton, Kansas.
Over 2500 hours of work went into making the model, and the machine workmanship was the hit of the show.
The Golden Spread Show also boasts one of the nation's best exhibits of combines and horse-drawn equipment.
'The harvesting equipment display contains some that you will not find matched anywhere in any show,' Bob Taylor, association member, said. 'The equipment is extremely rare, and most of it is in good working order.'
A 1926 Nichols and Shepard combine, which was originally part of the Hart Parr lines and belongs to Sell, was a big crowd pleaser as well. The pull - type combine was popular in the high plains in the mid to late 20s, featured a 16 foot cut, and was pulled with a 26 Hart Parr tractor.
Threshing demonstrations, a working Kitten sawmill demonstration, countless small gasoline engines, and steam-powered equipment also kept show guests busy.
One of the most popular show events in recent years has been the cow-dog demonstration by Charlie Custer of Logan, Oklahoma. Custer trains border collies to work cattle and demonstrates their herding abilities each year.
The three-day show opens each year on Friday when school children from surrounding counties are hosted by the association. Saturday and Sunday's events are open to the public and feature a full day of special events and viewing. Many guests bring campers and spend the weekend at Country Time Antique Museum where the show is held.
Plans are already underway for the 1992 show. The association met on October 24 to begin plans for next year's event. Between now and then, much of the equipment can be seen year-round at Country Time Antiques, by appointment. Donald Sell can be contacted at 806-435-5872 to arrange a visit to the antique display.