Box 156, Cumberland, Iowa 50843
Sunday, May 28, 1978, was the date for the Central Hawkeye Gas Engine and Tractor Association's annual swap meet. Formally held at Coon Rapids, Iowa, the meet was moved to the Hawkeye Antique Acres for the 1978 meet. Hawkeye Antique Acres is where the Club show is held and its location on 1-80, 15 miles west of DesMoines, Iowa made for easy, access for out-of-state swappers. Friday, people began arriving and by Sunday 502 lovers of antique iron had passed through the gate, the largest swap held to date by the club. License plates indicated people from Kansas, California, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois, as well as all parts of Iowa had arrived.
Sunday, by 8:00 A.M., all swapping, selling and general chewing of the rag was in full swing. A large selection of engines and accessories was on hand for swapping, selling or finding information about. Much pacing and packing down of ground was done around a ? HP New Holland until it went to a new home. Several other engines that received much rubbing of the flywheels were a 6 HP John Deere, a very early headless Fuller & Johnson, a nice two cylinder Edwards, and a very scarce model L International. Several very nice Economies and a Gade were seen with sold signs.
Quite a line of engine and tractor parts were available. Several people specialized in magnetos and igniters, while others had everything from flywheels to pistons for sale. Sales of gasket sets for old John Deere tractors were brisk. Several sets of gas engine trucks were on the grounds for sale. They did not seem to be in abundance as in previous years. Many more people are trying to get their engines on trucks it seems. I did see original John Deere, headless Fairbanks, and vertical Famous trucks go to new homes. Also several sets of very old, odd looking trucks changed hands, but nobody seemed to know what engines they originally carried.
Several newcomers to the hobby of collecting and restoring engines showed up and at least one went home with a smile and an engine to work on. He'll be back for another. That old bug bites hard!
Quite a few tractors and steel wheels showed up. One man had a whole low-boy stacked with steel wheels for sale. With rubber tires so high and the collectors striving to make their tractors as original as possible, steel wheels are in big
In Iowa many antique tractor pulls are springing up all around the state. Classes for steel and rubber wheeled tractors are usually available, so all old tractor parts for the pullers have a good market. Several people who pull toy tractors were also at the swap with parts and accessories.
A great variety of discontinued, but later manufactured toys were also available with a great many tables set up displaying them. Along with the toys a large variety of flea market items were available with everything from dishes to old original watch fobs for sale.
Everyone seemed to be having a good time at the swap with only a few dark clouds around. Several clouds carried rain which threatened all day, but never did get wound up to dump any rain. Later in the afternoon one of the swappers got out his billfold to buy a set of trucks and a large bunch of moths flew out. Those mouldy money moths will get you every time.
One thing that makes this swap so successful is that everyone who comes brings something to sell or swap and this makes for a large variety of items to look at. Who knows, maybe next year there'll be just that special engine or part you're looking for.