23rd Annual Western Missouri Show

The Western Missouri Antique & Tractor Machinery Association Hosts Its Biggest Show Yet

| October/November 2001

Pouring rain is not what you want to wake up to on the first day of a show, but that's what greeted Jim LaRose as he awoke to get ready for the 23rd Annual Steam & Gas Engine Show held on the grounds of Frontier Village in Adrian, Mo., this past July 27-29.

Never mind the normal problems attending a steady downpour - muddy roads and wet equipment, tractors digging up the exhibit area as they move into position -there's the very real concern that people who might otherwise make the trip will opt for drier, indoor activities. And that's just what LaRose, club member and one of the organizers of this year's show, was worried about. For a little while it looked like that might be the case, for as Friday's rain held steady through the morning there were few people other than exhibitors milling around the grounds of Frontier Village.

Club member Kevin Johnson and his 1917 Rumley OilPull 30-60, the largest tractor the La Porte, Ind., manufacturer is known to have made. Rumely used oil cooling on its engines, a design that not only dispensed with worries of water freezing and the resulatant damage, but which also made components last longer due to oil's inherent preservative qualities.

But as noon drew near the rain abated, the clouds lifted from their moorings on the ground, and the sky slowly broke through - and none too soon for LaRose, or for the rest of the exhibitors still trying to setup in what had been looking to be a growing quagmire. As luck would have it the rest of the weekend pulled through with fair weather (Saturday ended up being a record day for the show), affording a fantastic opportunity for attendees and exhibitors alike to view the extraordinary array of tractors and engines on display.

This year's Western Missouri Antique & Tractor Machinery Association (WMA&TMA) show also hosted the Minneapolis-Moline Collectors Club Summer Convention, meaning of course that a wonderful collection of M-M tractors found their way to Frontier Village, assembling together as an anchor for the weekend show.

Attendees were given an opportunity to view an impressive cross-section of M-M tractors, ranging from some of the company's earliest efforts and even including a rare 1944 M-M UTX 'jeep.' Not a tractor in the agricultural sense of the word, this machine was built by M-M during WWII to serve duty for the armed forces in a variety of capacities. The 'jeep' on display this year comes from the collection of Clint Stamm of Washington, Mo., and according to him its last military service was at an air force base where it was used to shuttle aircraft around. It's interesting to note that there are those who claim the origin of the term 'jeep' started with this vehicle during early testing at Camp Ripley in Minnesota. The story goes that the term was coined by testers who said it reminded them of a Popeye cartoon character named Jeep, a character who was neither beast nor fowl but knew the answers to everything. M-M even ran advertisements at the time stressing their role in the origination of the term.


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