World’s Expo of Antique Farm Equipment
Officials of the Antique Farm Equipment Expo, Inc., an
organization of antique farm tractor and machinery collectors, have
announced they will again host the World’s Expo of Antique Farm
Equipment at the Ankeny Expo Park in Ankeny, Iowa, June 28 to July
The Expo is planned to be the largest antique farm tractor and
equipment show in the United States. Over 2,000 antique tractors
and implements are expected during the four-day exposition. Also,
the Expo is inviting exhibitors with restored and/or classic trucks
to be their special guests this year.
For the first time, the Expo will host the official 2001
National Plowing Contest sanctioned by the USA Plowing
Organization. ‘We are expecting plowing competitors from all
parts of the United States. This national plowing competition
should add an interesting new activity to the Expo,’ says Expo
manager Lyle Kreps.
The Expo will also host a National Antique Tractors Pullers
Association sanctioned tractor pull on Saturday, June 30. Kreps
said, ‘We expect over 400 hooks of a variety of makes, models
and years of antique tractors.’
‘We are also honored to have been chosen to host the
National Convention of B. F. Avery collectors. We expect a display
of 50 to 100 B. F. Averys at the Expo,’ Kreps said.
Other scheduled displays include gas engines, steam tractors,
field demonstrations, pioneer crafts, antique tractor and implement
auction, antique lawn and garden tractors, tractor parades, scale
models, restoration clinics, ladies’ seminars, and
Proceeds from the Expo will be used for the promotion of the
preservation and restoration of farm tractors and equipment.
The Expo address is P.O. Box 199, 5870 Merle Hay Rd., Johnston,
IA 50131, or call (515) 727-1369 for entry forms and details, or
contact the Expo website, www.tractorexpo.com.
WORLD’s EXPO of Antique Farm Equipment
It was Expo time again in Ankeny, Iowa, on July 1-3, 1999. This
was the third time that we attended since its introduction in 1995.
I thought the 1999 Expo was well organized and definitely moving in
the right direction. Lyle Kreps and his crew did a good job putting
this enormous event together in a short amount of time.
This show definitely has had its growing pains. For those of you
who do not know the history of this event, it was the former
‘Ageless Iron Expo’ operated by Successful Farming
magazine. After two Expos, they pulled out. The fate of the 1999
event was in question and it seemed reorganization had its
problems. The final result was a non profit group that will return
all profits from the show back to ‘the hobby’ in the form
of scholarships, grants and other efforts aimed at preserving the
history of agricultural machinery. John Deere, Pioneer, Pepsi,
NationsBank, Successful Farming, Who News radio, and Tired
Apparel signed up to be sponsors of the ’99 Expo.
Despite hot weather, rain, wind, and the threat of a tornado,
both exhibitors and visitors made the best of the situation. The
Expo is known for its rare antique tractors and this year was no
exception. There were displays of gas engines, model engines,
construction equipment, implements, toys, and even a steam
Each day there was a parade of power, field demonstrations,
children’s activities, and restoration clinics. The antique
tractor pull was delayed because of the weather, but finally was
held on Saturday.
Another popular event on Saturday was a consignment auction held
by Nixon Auctioneers, a loyal GEM advertiser.
One thing I’ve always enjoyed at this event is the ability
to visit the many different clubs represented.
A lot of smiles and talk could be found around Bill
Davidson’s 53 foot trailer complete with 76 perfectly displayed
pedal tractors. Bill, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is selling his
full-size tractors to concentrate on his collection of pedal
tractors. Besides the 76, he has another 30 or 40 more at home.
He’s been quite busy acquiring these ‘toys,’ since he
only started his collection four years ago.
Bill’s first aquisition was a collection of seven. He does
not do the restoration work– instead he sends his work to a
reliable restorer. Among his colorful collection was a Cat dozer, a
Massey Harris 44 made in the 1950s, a Cockshutt, an Oliver, and a
Garton Giant and a Heisler. The latter two are the oldest in his
collection, both made in the 1940s. Only 24 of the Heislers were
manufactured in 1944.
Bill proudly shows off his display in many parades. He even has
a doll riding on one tractor that waves his hand. Bill Davidson
says the thing he enjoys the most is the smiles he sees when people
look at his display.
I visited a display of New Way engines exhibited by Lowell Wood
of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and C. J. Lehnhardt of Coal Valley,
Illinois. I met Lowell and his wife, Dorothy, for the first time on
the GEM European trip. I consider him an expert on New Way
engines, as he has owned fifty of them. He’s now slowly selling
them; his collection is down to about 30 engines. Lowell and his
friend C. J. consider themselves ‘railroad men.’ They were
very talkative about a special invitation from Mt. Pleasant to come
and ‘play’ on the 4th. I did get them to pose with the 1910
7 HP New Way Model B Type C engine that is owned by C. J., but was
restored by Lowell. The serial number is 1727 and the engine has
dual exhaust. This exhaust system looked to me like an alien
creature. Lowell said it was downright ugly! The dual exhaust could
be found in New Ways up to a 12 HP (although a 12 HP is rarely
seen). The other engine owned by Lowell is a 1? HP pictured below.
The New Way engine was manufactured by the New Way Motor Co.,
Lansing, Michigan, from 1901-1918.
Another interesting display was that of Lewis and Edith Pearson
of Marion, Iowa. After Lewis retired, his wife encouraged him to
restore some pieces owned by her family. Edith decided she liked
doing research on the projects as was clearly shown in their
exhibit. One of the restorations was a 3 HP Schmidt Chilled
Cylinder, serial number 6265, that was found in pieces after her
uncle died. This type H engine had a 4?’ bore, 4′ stroke,
.465 piston diameter, top compression .096 width, #2 compression
ring .093, #3 compression ring .095, oil ring .187, and ring
grooves depth . 210. It also has two sets of ignition contacts, one
is a battery saver. This engine was manufactured in 1910 by the
Schmidt Brothers Engine Works, Davenport, Iowa. The Chilled
Cylinder was built from designs by H.M. Yager of Davenport, Iowa,
and patented on August 13, 1907. Part of Edith’s research
revealed that an engine would be delivered for $14-75 plus $11.00
per month for five months. The total cost would be $69.75, quite a
few dollars at that time.
The trade name ‘Chilled Cylinder’ attached to an
advertising brochure gave the prospective buyer the idea that the
name referred to the air-cooled design of the engine. It was,
however, the chilling process used while pouring the molten metal
of the cylinder at the foundry that the words described. The
purpose of this process was to improve surface hardness while
maintaining softness in the rest of the casting. This was to reduce
wear on the cylinder wall and transmit heat from it.
Outside the vendor tent each day, I would see Delbert
Heusinkveld of Sioux Center, Iowa, sharing his 1948 V8-8N Ford
tractor with many admirers. Delbert changed his Ford to a V8 in
1950, when it was like new. The V8 was an industrial engine bought
new from Ford for about $250.00, ready to run with flywheel and
clutch. His Ford has the same engine he put in in 1950. The new
cost of his tractor was $900.00.
The above photo of Delbert is one of my favorites because it
shows an exhibitor sharing his display with others. What a wealth
of information can be found at these shows!
Another enthusiastic collector was Dale Fitzsimmons of
Fennimore, Wisconsin. He showed a 1939 Sears Economy tractor built
by the Peru Plow Co., Illinois, and powered by a Model A Ford
engine. Basically, this was considered a ‘poor man’s’
tractor. Dale informed me that there were 339 of these built, 200
of them in 1938. They were styled in 1939. This tractor would have
cost $495.00 less fenders, which would have been $15.95 more.
The Model A Ford electrical system was a bad system because the
flat wire would break. Ford then reconstructed the engine with a
different wire system, making a better one. The variable belt speed
determined on the transmission included reverse. The kit was $27.50
more for the belt pulley, $32.75 for PTO. I always find the costs
for these items fascinating.
There was a wonderful looking display celebrating the 65th
anniversary of the John Deere Model A, 1934-1999, with perfectly
lined-up tractors and a sign above. That is, until the wind and
rain came. Unfortunately, I was not able to snap the photo at the
best time. The John Deere tractors included: 1934 A GP #410477
built 5/22/34 owned by Howard Miller, 1935 A GP #422153 built
9/7/35 owned by John Miller, 1936 A GP #429064 built 2/4/36 owned
by John; 1937 A GP #456723 built 5/15/37 owned by Howard, and a
1938 A GP #471227 built 1/18/38 owned by John. Howard Miller is
from Friend, Nebraska, and John Miller is from Muscatine, Iowa.
Hats off to these two for an impressive exhibit.
I always enjoy seeing GEM advertiser Don Peck of Zearing,
Iowa. Don brought a total of ten tractors to the Expo for display.
One tractor was a 1943 2N Ford with a plow attached. The picture
shows the original radiator cover that came on the tractor when
new. Most of these probably were discarded after purchase.
Don’s 1917 All Work made by Electric Wheel, Quincy,
Illinois, was definitely unusual. This crude tractor was in a barn
in Minnesota for fifty years. It still had its original paint and
the only work done was to the engine, which was frozen.
Definitely a crowd pleaser was Frank Hansen’s John Deere,
which he claims is the first model built by John Deere. It is
actually the 79th John Deere tractor built and the only one of
Deere’s original farm tractors to have survived intact. 200 of
these had been designed, manufactured and marketed by Deere between
1914-1919. Except for ’79,’ most had been sold in the
Dakotas. Hansen, of Rollingstone, Minnesota, has quite a set-up to
display the 1918 John Deere that has all-wheel drive, positive
traction and on-the-go shifting. The original price tag was
$1600.00. Frank will be exhibiting throughout the U. S. and
There are many rumors about the 2001 Expo. At this time it is
uncertain where or when Expo 2001 will be held. The 1995 Expo was a
truly great event. Hopefully the new organization will be able to
recapture the magic of that first show. Stay tuned!
For updates on the Expo, visit their web site at:
www.tractorexpo.com Lyle Kreps, show coordinator, can be contacted
at 7662 Hickman Rd., Des Moines, Iowa 50322 or 515-7217-369.
Old Photograph of McCormick Deering-Binder and Farmall F-12
McCormick-Deering binder and Farmall F-12 fill out the scene in this old photograph.
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Remembering Howard E. Pray, member of the Antique Engine & Tractor Assn. of Geneseo, Ill.
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