Classic equipment comes from across Northwest to expo
By JOHN SCHMITZ
For the Capital Press
While old tractors have always been a mainstay at the Willamette Valley Ag Expo's antique farm equipment exhibit, this year organizers are planning a new twist.
"We're inviting for the first time some old farm trucks and pickups," said co-organizer George Kurtz of Albany.
Jake Winn, the other organizer, will have his 1962 Kenworth at the expo. Winn's father, John, is also showing a 1949 GMC one-ton flatbed.
Some of the tractors at the show date back to 1930s.
"The newest will be a 1970," Winn said.
About half of the items in the exhibit are classified as "working class;" they are still used on the farm and have not been restored. The others have been restored.
Winn said the rarest tractor -- and one of the most valuable -- is a mid-1950s one-cylinder, two-stroke diesel Field Marshal, which was made in England.
The tractor features an engine that "started with a blank shotgun cartridge (for ignition)," Winn said.
Another exhibitor this year is George Kurtz of Albany, who will display a 1966 General Motors Cockshutt 1952GM tractor. He also planned to bring an early 1950s Oliver OC-4 crawler.
While most of the farm equipment comes from the Willamette Valley, some pieces will come from as far away as Vancouver, Wash., and Christmas Valley, Ore., Winn said.
The exhibit each year is organized by the Willamette Valley Farm Collectors.
"We're not really even an organization, just a bunch of friends who get together and have a good time," Winn said.
The display of about 60 pieces of farm equipment has become a popular stop for a lot of families, Winn said.
This year, starting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, there will be two seminars in conjunction with the equipment exhibit. The first will cover safety guidelines when transporting farm machinery, and will be presented by Winn and Jack Murihede. Larry Hagemister will then talk on old farm equipment electronics.
A lot of times, those wanting parts for pre-1930s machines will have to have them made from scratch, Winn said.
Those interested in bringing an item to the expo can contact either Frances Garceau at 541-990-0183 or Kurtz at 541-926-7144.