Mississippi Valley Flywheelers Spring Show

By Staff
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Small (and Large) Home Owners Suburbanites and Country Dwellers

65 Wallace Road Coldwater, Mississippi 38618

The Mississippi Valley Flywheelers Spring Show was held April
23-25, 1998 at Joe Brigance Park in Houston, Mississippi. A good
location for a show, with more water/electric camper hook ups for
participants than I expected and large flat paved RV non-hookup
parking for overflow and non-participants. Since the show set-up
starts on Thursday, there is a bit more visiting and sharing time
for us enthusiasts. It was worth a couple of vacation days to me,
but the bulk of participants arrived Friday. The Saturday show end
allows for getting home without guilt of leaving early on
Sunday.

Garden tractors were well represented, and garden tractor pulls
for both kids and older kids (HA!) were much enjoyed. I did not spy
any other Vintage Garden Tractor Club of America (VGTCOA) yellow
caps though.

Victor Ferguson brought a Standard Twin on steel and cleats
he’d just acquired after twenty years of pursuit. Victor got
the machine running during the show and caught lots of eyes as the
steel wheels chewed up the sandy clay dirt road in the display
area. It really sounded sweet.

Gas Engine Magazine May 1998 issue with a nice article on
Minneapolis walking tractor companies histories, including Standard
brand, was fresh in mind.

This was my family’s second show as participants. After
attending our local Sardis, Mississippi, annual October show for
several years with kids going from stroller to now six and seven
years, I was getting less and less time to gawk. Last fall we
participated in the 8th annual show (the second year on dedicated
new showground which is nice and close to I-55), with the Planet
Jr. 1949 model BP-1 that I’d grown up cursing at in the garden
(while making sure Mama didn’t hear). The BP-1 was much easier
to load than my tired but trusty John Deere MT. Taking our newly
acquired camper trailer as well, we all enjoyed the camaraderie and
atmosphere in comfort. The kids were looking forward to the Houston
Show, even though their 1964 model Toro rider wouldn’t start at
the last minute.

At the Houston Show we acquired two more Planet Jr. walking
tractors of Tuffy and HB models.

The Tuffy is a rusty, rusty 1952 model with some cute
cultivators and a mold-board turning plow that were the same as the
low wheel push wheel hoe (manual, yuck!), as well as a set of discs
about six inches in diameter in two gangs of three. My six-year-old
son fell in love with this piece of rusty iron. So what do you say
but ‘yes,’ and let him ‘negotiate.’ So now
we’re looking for Tuffy and/or Super Tuffy goodies. The
original 1952 Tuffy tires look like they were lifted straight from
the Flexible Flyer kids wagon production line. Definitely not
traction tires. The 1953 Super Tuffys have a tractor style bar
tread but still the semi-pneumatic style.

My seven-year-old daughter promptly adopted the 1944 (?) Model
HB, on excellent original rubber. This one had been shed stored,
little used, still in good shape and ran pretty well. We
particularly like the ‘steerable’ handle linkage on this
walker and look forward to a riding dolly to try out for parades.
Plus we got a five gallon bucket full of plow points as well as
discs and a tool bar with guide wheels. Also got a couple of nice
original manuals dated 1944 and catalogs with the HB too. Getting
to drive the HB around the grounds occasionally pleased both my
kids and proud me.

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Duane Tharp of Sardis Antique Engine and Tractor Show had his
Chore-master and riding dolly along. Single wheel tractors get
attention, and after all, Duane is so shy. He’s currently
restoring a Dandy Boy by Midland Walking Tractor.

‘Old Boy’s Toys’ was one very nice gentleman’s
trailer logo. He’d just snapped up a different Chore master
with cultivator after a long search. His 90-year-plus mother still
travels with him and his Mrs. in their motor home. I expect to see
these two ladies riding in style behind his latest toy at future
shows.

Another helpful gentleman had a nice IH garden tractor with a
Crosley engine. It had a smooth sound, but that single exhaust
stack did talk in the pulls. His flatbed trailer also helped move
around stuff for show folks and for fellow participants.

If anyone wants a Crosley engine for a garden tractor, Jack
Rudolph had two at this show. One was even in a stationary engine
frame setup.

My David Bradley has no wheels. Never did, either. It is a David
Bradley Bulldog chainsaw that I also hated, as it weighed about as
much as the shrimp of a kid I started out. TOUGH is the only word
for its construction. During the winter of ’72, when I was home
from USAF on leave, a tree fell wrong and smashed it out of sight
into surface frozen ground. (The previous night it was 15 degrees
or so, here in north Mississippi.) After silently cheering its
demise, I dug it out for Daddy to find only the bar damaged! The
float style carb’s finicky nature and dislike of any position
other than shop floor level was the saw’s weakness and major
frustration.

At this Houston show, one gentleman had an engine whose air
cleaner grabbed my attention as it is the same brown cylindrical,
porous, exposed element as the saw. The heavy duty aluminum
castings were the same ‘look’ and quality as well. His
engine was a Power Products but that was all left readable on its
tag. Anyone have info on Power Products or the saw?

I’ve purchased another BP-1 with sickle mower to use in
restoring our original BP-1 and add the sickle bar mower to the
breaking plow, disc and cultivator tool collection. We have to pick
up this tractor on our family vacation to Ohio this July.

All three of these additions to my Planet Jr. collection are the
result of my GEM classified ad. I’m still looking for Planet
Jr. stuff, sources, and info.

We planned this vacation to allow visiting the Historical Engine
Society’s 28th annual Antique Power and Steam Exhibition at
Burton, Ohio (Cleveland area). The Lawn and Garden Tractor Club of
Ohio will be displaying there as a club. Maybe I’ll see some of
my fellow VGTCOA at this show.

My wife virtually dragged me to my first antique engine and
tractor show and has become quite supportive. She has okayed a
flywheel engine (within reason) for future. You’re right that I
am lucky. She too likes the nice people showing and attending.

At this Houston, Mississippi, Show I had an empty cardboard box
from an engine shipment sitting on the front area of our hauling
trailer. My wife got a kick watching people peek inside. She
observed that show attendees have to be about as curious as us
participants.

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