Connoisseur of Rusty Junk
This was my first ever trip to the Wheel Horse Collector's Club's annual show in Arentsdale, PA. I had no idea what to expect when we arrived. Knowing that it's the largest & most well attended single brand annual show in the country, I eagerly anticipated the trip all week...We were not to be disappointed!
The first tractor that we saw as we walked into the show grounds was this beautiful 1963 unrestored, original model 753 owned by Alex Sousa from New Jersey. (Who was just having his first cup of Joe for the day...sorry Alex LOL)
Walking a little further, we were pleased to meet Mike and Deb Wall who shared with us the story of how they acquired their first Wheel Horse, rescuing it from a local salvage yard.
We were also introduced to Tammy Rehberg, owner of this 1960 Wheel Horse, beautifully restored and selflessly dedicated to raising awareness for the fight against Breast Cancer! We were also informed that Tammy is having a custom trailer built for the little pink horse upon which any survivor of Breast Cancer can sign their name!
As we continued around the show grounds, feverishly snapping pics, we came across Brian Marion and his awe inspiring creation...this Custom Stainless RJ-58!
There was something at this show for every kind of Wheel Horse collector.
From pedal tractors..
to custom pullers....
From rare pieces new...
to unique and creative personal touches designed to put a smile on your face.
There were also some creative (and tasty) uses for some original Wheel Horse attachments!
In the vendor area, We were pleased to meet Ed Mayhew of Mayhew reproductions. Ed is the only Toro approved reproducer of Wheel Horse decals and over 90% of his materials are made from the original Wheel Horse blueprints!
We met Glen Pettit, a retired printer who has turned his keen eye and considerable skill to reproducing Steering wheel center caps, custom molded Wheel Horse keys and key chains, and OEM style knobs and handles that cover an incredible array of models and years as well as many other products!
We met many other wonderful folks at the show, many without formal introduction. We found the atmosphere to be very friendly and the folks there were glad to talk to us about their collections.
Both My wife, Rachel, and I were wearing our GTTalk T-shirts. A lot of people had seen the site's logo before. As always, we were happy to tell them what a fantastic place it is and even dropped quite a few business cards along the way!
The opening ceremony started at 8:00 A.M. Friday and there was a full schedule of events including tractor games, a parade, and a technical how-to session with William "Wild Bill" Pearson (who also writes a how-to section in LAGC magazine called "riding Horses"). The day finished up with a general membership meeting followed by an ice cream social and a tractor cruise which continued well into the twilight hours.
Saturday's events also began at 8:00 A.M. and included more tractor games, another parade, and culminated with the raffle prize being drawn at 2:00 P.M.
Just a side note here...If you plan to attend next year's show, make room on your shedule to be there Friday morning! The fairgrounds is open for set-up and camping at 9:00 A.M. on Thursday morning, but campers must be gone by 9:00 A.M. Sunday morning. Many of the exhibitors come from far and wide and start to pack up after 2:00 P.M. on Saturday to begin their long journeys home. If you love Wheel Horse tractors, make plans now to attend next year's show June 22nd and 23rd, 2012 where the featured tractor will be the Wheel Horse Commando 8!
If you would like to see more of the pics that we took, check out the 13th Annual Wheel Horse Collectors Show gallery.