International Harvester Centennial Rally

New Zealand Engine Enthusiasts Celebrate IHC's 100th Birthday

| July/August 2002

A nicely restored McCormick Model Z-125 fertilizer spreader being drawn by a Clydesdale. A look in the background highlights the strong showing of IHC tractors and equipment at the IHC centennial celebration held this year in New Zealand.

There have been many '100 Years of International Harvester' celebrations held throughout New Zealand during the first three months of 2002, but this is the only one that had this title. Organized by the New Zealand Vintage Machinery Club Inc., Canterbury, it was held on the property of Alan and Gail Rowlands at Kirwee, a 25-minute drive west of Christchurch. Setup day was Friday, Feb. 22, and the main rally days were Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23-24.

As for any rally of this size that is aimed at the public as well as the enthusiast, much planning has to be done. And when the weekend finally arrives, the exhibits arrive through the gate and the weather stays favorable, all is well worth it.

We realize there are some things to improve on for our next weeklong rally in March 2004, when the New Zealand Vintage Machinery Club will be celebrating 'The 100 Years of the Tractor in New Zealand,' so in that way it was a learning curve for us. However, there were so many things that went well, and remarks were heard about what a tremendous setting and site for a rally, with plenty of space and camping and public parking just through the fence from the main access off a sealed road.

Most agree that the ring program and parades were probably the highlights of the rally, and for this we were fortunate to have the services of David Hight. His knowledge and commentary on the tractors was outstanding.

We were very fortunate in having the military's huge involvement, with 50 items of vehicles and equipment ranging from transporters, anti-aircraft guns, scout cars, weapon carriers, ambulances and jeeps. Their displays and variety of action was much appreciated and added to the variety for the public.