Vintage Garden Tractor Club Off and Running
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"1998 was the year things really started to come together," Jim says. "The newsletters have become as good as any put out by similar organizations. The club is being sought after by many different organizations to participate in their shows. We have gotten favorable comments from every show we have attended as a club. Most show organizers are amazed by the support the club and members' tractors get from spectators."
In 1998, the VGTCOA participated in its first international show. Held in Ilderton, Ontario, Canada, the event drew 135 garden tractors. The club also was featured at Albany, Minn., last year, with 255 garden tractors on display.
The club will close out the century with feature appearances at three shows: Tulare, Calif., in April; Danville, Ind., in May; and Pontiac, Ill., over Labor Day weekend.
Club members also will congregate on May 1-2, at Red Granite, Wis., at the club's third annual stewfest/plowtest. The weekend starts off with breakfast prepared by club member and chef Garlon Peterson.
"The secret to this is to just not ask what it is," Jim says.
Events during the weekend include plowing contests, a "slow" race, and a contest to see whose tractor can run at the lowest rpm.
"We will also have a competition for the ugliest, running tractor," Jim says. "But the main purpose of the event is go get the local members together. It gives us all a chance to swap lies, renew friendships, and see what the other guys have been doing all winter."
Vintage Garden Tractor Club of America offers an invaluable resource to members, Jim says. But for the novice collector, it's also an entry point to the world of farm collectibles.
"Our club is unique in that garden tractors are still affordable," he says. "That brings us a lot of young members who don't have the means to acquire larger tractors, or gas engines." FC For more information: Joe Smith, (920) 566-2147; email@example.com/vtractors/index.html.
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