Looking back at one of the opening tractor shows of the summer, the Southern Indiana Antique & Machinery Club (SIAM) had its June 8-10 event at the Vanderburgh 4-H Center just north of Evansville. SIAM formed in 1978.
This year’s Classic Iron Show featured John Deere and was hosted by Lawn and Garden Tractor Collector magazine. The goal of the magazine is “to educate, promote, share stories, videos and great pictures about the best Antique Garden Tractors on the planet.”
G&W lawn and garden tractors offered an amazing lineup at the show. The G stands for Lyle Gray and the W, for the Weidners – Nathan and Jeremy. They hail from Noble, Ill.
Their lineup included rare Deere Patio lawn tractors, with a special yellow-hooded JD 110, a red-hooded JD 112 and blue-hooded JD 120. The only missing piece, Nathan shared, was the 140 orange-hooded JD!
The Weidners also had an original Cub and a 1964 three-speed JD 110, along with a sickle bar. “We began collecting about a year ago,” Nathan said. The number of tractors he collected in a short amount of time is an amazing feat.
The 1969 Wheel Horse Lawn Ranger on which Lisa Weidner posed was featured in an issue of Lawn and Garden Tractor Collector.
One hard-to-find garden tractor on display was a Dale Austin’s 1963 Lennox Kitty Track 600, which had a cool wooden roller attached.
While JD was the chosen brand at this year’s show, there were a few breathtaking IH tractors as well. Joe Melton had his 560 that has a unique history: “It was in a dealership called Major Motor Company in Sebree, Kentucky. It was delivered on September of 1959 and the owner, Ted Majors, who is now deceased, had it in the back of the dealership.”
The story continues that before Ted could place the tractor on display he ended up needing a few parts for another tractor. The new 560 then literally sat there for 30 years, until Joe’s dad purchased the tractor in 1989.
After retiring, Joe found the missing parts and the tractor, which had only one hour on it while at the dealership. It now has a whopping 16 hours.
Besides tractors, toys were also part of the SIAM show. One vendor selling toys was not actually part of the show; however, Don Swing brought a new creation that he exhibited for the first time, his cypress wood wagon beds. “These wagon beds fit on wagon gears,” he explained. “They are made from cypress wood and sealed with a clear sealer.”
The wagon gears consist of a four-wheel chassis that serves as the base of the wagon bed. The wooden wagons fit neatly together. Besides the cypress, the other component Don used was copper wire for support.
“I started making them last winter,” he said. The cypress, which is the base of the wagon beds, came from an old water treatment plant.
Carter Doyel represented the younger generation in the toy modeling hobby. He is a 14-year-old custom toy-maker from Bowling Green, Ky., who just started his freshman year of high school. At the toy show, Carter brought several samples of his work.
One example at the Classic Iron Show was a Dodge 3500 he had on display. Carter said, “I lifted it, added duals, mud flaps, a headache rack, fuel tank and added a custom exhaust.”
With summer shows wrapping up, next on the agenda will be the toy shows and outlining what tractor shows to go to in 2013 – and the SIAM show will be on the top of that list for this columnist!
Readers with questions or comments for Cindy Ladage may write to her in care of this publication.