No, I’m not goin’ all agricultural on you, and I’ll refrain from further discussion of Harleys and Chrysler products and other overgrown slow moving “machinery”.  Now I’ve been to plenty of farm shows and old time farm shows in Minnesota and the Dakotas and seen more than my share of machinery whose capability was defined by how many bushels per SECOND they could consume. Heck, at the old iron shows up there they consider an N series Ford an obsoletely small tractor.

The Florida Flywheelers club grounds (all 240 acres of ’em) are located in south central Florida about 140 miles from my wheeled cabin on the edge of the really big swamp. On the ride up I surveyed the inventories of the tractor dealers, noting that the biggest tractors they had were a full two models smaller than the 9xxx series groundpounders common in my normal western Minnesota digs. The county road into the event was another hint- nine foot wide lanes that would never be able to handle the “wide load” tractors we use up north. And those forty and fifty foot wide headers? Heck, you’d take out a road sign or mailbox every hundred yards, even using up both sides of the road.

The place seems even bigger than 240 acres… After awhile I gave up on walking the whole swap meet area and concentrated on what seemed to be the area the gearheads were populating, skipping the purveyors of used tupperware, etc. There’s also a historic village, complete with jail, saloon, and 60s style IH dealer. Also a couple garages, motorcycle shop, etc.. On to the pix-

Military green with military type markings, but which military? Looked to be a diesel, was running but owner absent… But what the heck, it’d probably run all day on a cuppa diesel.

 

Rumley’s new “compact tractor”? I’ve seen plenty of Rumley Oilpull tractors at midwest farm shows, but they’re generally behemoths well deserving of a “wide load” sign and maybe an overweight permit too. Despite the fact that ownership of a lowboy trailer is a prerequisite of Rumley ownership, they’ve been bringing six figure prices at auctions lately.

 

Nope, didnt forget the bikes- This one was priced well under a thousand.

 

How to geteven with the scrappers… Fiberglass!

 

I’m no GM product, my name is Mack! Nice (and rare!) Mack bus, owner was quite knowledgable and I learned a fair bit… And I thought I knew Macks.

 

Attack of the clones, courtesy of White Motors. Other than color and brand, this quartet are identical… That’s what happens when big companies swallow up little ones.

 

They start their gearhead girls young down here! ‘Fore anybody screams “child abuse”, the adult alongside kept a firm grip on the steering wheel the whole run. She had a good pull of over a hundred feet, which was competitive in her class.

 

Gee, I didn’t know BMW made bikes in China 60+ years ago… And only $4800! Caveat Emptor…

 

More three wheeled goodness… Over a century old, and well restored.

 

Yup, that trailers no wide load and there’s two rows of tractors on it. Clearly, somebody has way too much time on their hands… Thought they only had this “problem” up north where they have those long winters. Viewed up close, the detail in these tractors is incredibly faithful to the originals… Makes you wonder if maybe Santa’s elves are building tractors in the off season?

Thanks to Naples airhead rider Roger for tipping me off to this great event. $7 admission, free parking, friendly folks, and more little tractors than I’ve seen assembled in once place ever. They offer camping for $15 a night dry and $25 with water and ‘lectric, so next year I may stay over for the whole event. Good think I rode the motorcycle… Otherwise I woulda brought home a tractor or three!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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