Farm Collector Blogs > Happy Trails

Portland Show

by Terri Keitel

Tags: farm shows, Indiana,

Billed as the largest gas engine show in the world …

The gas engine area at the Tri-State Gas Engine Show, Portland, Ind.  

… the Tri-State Gas Engine Show in Portland, Ind., was held Aug. 26-30, 2009.

As I make my way past the engines and tractors, parts and pieces, and dodge golf carts and moving iron, I know it must be true. (My feet say so, anyway!)
  Click the two images above for larger versions.

The feature this year was Lesser-Known Tractors (or Orphans). Orphan tractors usually come from companies that went out of business or weren’t merged into another company. There were 100 different models of orphan tractors featured, with names like Rockol, Global, Gray, Happy Farmer, Love, Wards and on and on. The feature engine was Ohio-built engines.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the creative thinking I saw. This Harley-Davidson garden tractor and this souped-up snowmobile were engineered by Scott Werling of Decatur, Ind., and this custom tractor tricycle was invented by Myrl Hawley of Onandaga, Mich.

Myrl Hawley's custom tractor tricycle.  Scott Werling's Harley-Davidson garden tractor.  Scott Werling's racing snowmobile.
Left to right: Myrl Hawley's custom tractor tricycle, and Scott Werling's Harley-Davidson garden tractor and racing snowmobile.
  Lee Anderson's motorized horseless carriage.
  Lee Anderson, Frazee, Minn., stands with his motorized horseless carriage.
  The motor to Lee's horseless carriage.
  A look at the motor of Lee’s horseless carriage.
  Display at the Corn Item Collectors booth.
  The Corn Items Collectors booth was an interesting and
colorful spot to visit.

Lee Anderson of Frazee, Minn., constructed a motorized horseless carriage that drew a lot of attention. This 1908 motor buggy is a reconstructed blacksmith-built auto. The engine is from an unknown make of a 1908-era auto.

It’s built mostly of pre-1911 orphan auto parts and various carriage and buggy parts, and it took Lee 25 years to accumulate the parts and build it. He said it was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the heyday of the high-wheel auto, a forgotten style of transportation designed for rural use before roads were common. The engine is a 12 hp, air-cooled, 2-cylinder opposed engine.

Thursday evening of the show is set aside for the ATIS (Antique Tractor Internet Services) banquet. ATIS is a community of friends who enjoy each other’s company and help each other during the trials and tribulations of restoring and preserving old tractors. This great group of engine and tractor collectors holds a meeting and an auction every year during the Portland show. The proceeds of the auction are pegged for various charities. ATIS has helped many good causes and they have a lot of fun in the process.

Portland also hosts a Fall Swap Meet in October and a Spring Swap Meet in May, which keeps the club members and volunteers hopping.

See you down the road!