Box 156, Cumberland, Iowa 50843
Sunday May 29,1977 was the date for the Central Hawkeye Swap meet at the Coon Rapids, Iowa fairgrounds. By Friday evening campers were already pulling into the fairgrounds. These advance people camped and enjoyed swapping engine stories and visiting with people that hadn't been seen during the long cold winter. With most of the crops in the ground the swap meet was an opportunity for many of the farming collectors to get together for the first time after a busy spring in the field.
By Sunday evening over 400 swappers had come through the fairground gate, filling most of the available ground space and using most of the cattle sheds. Almost everything the lovers of old antique iron could want was available to buy, sell or trade. Some of the items available were: tractor steel wheels, cast iron seats, tool boxes, engine trucks, old wrenches and padlocks. A group interested in farm toys and miniature tractor pulling set up several booths to swap toys and demonstrated miniature tractor pulling. Several people brought much-sought-after specialty items including brass oilers, grease cups, magnetos, carburetors and old time literature and ads.
The old engines were what the swap meet was all about and many engines went to new homes or received the much needed piece to get them popping again. A very large Runston Hornsby side shaft found a new home. Other engines going to new owners were Monitor, Lawson, International and Rock Island. Other scarce engines on the grounds were Mogul Jr. and Rockford. A very rare Nelson side shaft, made at Harlan, la., was on display. Sealed bids were being taken on it. Swapping and selling of gas engine trucks was very popular. Several sets of John Deere trucks found new homes, plus Gilson, Galloway and many other nameless ones complete or in pieces.
In the last five years the swap meet has grown tremendously. People from 15 states have made their way to the swap meet and many engines and parts have changed hands. Central Hawkeye Gas Engine and Tractor Assn. is happy to be able to sponsor this event, which we feel is one of the best in the nation. Thanks goes out to every person who has participated.