Collectors Trek to the California Antique Farm Equipment Show

Each spring, collectors make the journey to Tulare, Calif. for the California Antique Farm Equipment Show

| June 1999

  • This 30 hp Holt, owned by Mike and John Boyajian, Dinuba, Calif., dates to 1912
    This 30 hp Holt, owned by Mike and John Boyajian, Dinuba, Calif., dates to 1912. It is the 18th of just 300 of that model produced. Holt and the Best company eventually merged to form the Caterpillar company. 
  • A 3 1/2 hp Lazier hit-and-miss engine with hot tube ignition
    A 3 1/2 hp Lazier hit-and-miss engine with hot tube ignition owned by George Gunther, Long Beach, Calif. The engine dates to about 1900.
  • A Doak engine, manufactured in San Francisco in the late 1800s
    A Doak engine, manufactured in San Francisco in the late 1800s. Owned by Delbert Fidler, Redding, Calif.
  • A 1913 Hackney Auto Plow
    A 1913 Hackney Auto Plow, shown at Tulare courtesy of the Tulare County Museum.
  • A 1916 Happy Farmer, (LaCrosse Tractor Co.) the tractor is owned by Robby Soults, Tulare.
    A 1916 Happy Farmer, (LaCrosse Tractor Co.) the tractor is owned by Robby Soults, Tulare.
  • A century-old hay tedder.
    A century-old hay tedder.
  • A Fageol owned by John Boehm, Woodland, Calif. This one has a 4-cyl. Lycoming engine, and tiller bar steering.
    A Fageol owned by John Boehm, Woodland, Calif. This one has a 4-cyl. Lycoming engine, and tiller bar steering.
  • This Minneapolis thresher loomed large at the Tulare show
    This Minneapolis thresher loomed large at the Tulare show. It has a 7-1/4" bore and 9" stroke at 550 rpm. Owned by the Bouris Ranches, it dates to the 1920s.
  • The Happy Farmer Tractor
    The Happy Farmer Tractor
  • Lou Northcote and her rare Toro. The Toro was used by county government in California for many years.
    Lou Northcote and her rare Toro. The Toro was used by county government in California for many years.
  • Vintage promotional materials from the collection of Tony Mitchell DeZaga show this 20-35 Yuba Ball Tread right off the assembly line.
    Vintage promotional materials from the collection of Tony Mitchell DeZaga show this 20-35 Yuba Ball Tread right off the assembly line.
  • A restored 20-35, owned by Don Dougherty, Colfax, Calif., finished just in time for the Tulare show. Less than 40 Yubas are known to exist. Dougherty's Yuba dates to 1917.
    A restored 20-35, owned by Don Dougherty, Colfax, Calif., finished just in time for the Tulare show. Less than 40 Yubas are known to exist. Dougherty's Yuba dates to 1917.

  • This 30 hp Holt, owned by Mike and John Boyajian, Dinuba, Calif., dates to 1912
  • A 3 1/2 hp Lazier hit-and-miss engine with hot tube ignition
  • A Doak engine, manufactured in San Francisco in the late 1800s
  • A 1913 Hackney Auto Plow
  • A 1916 Happy Farmer, (LaCrosse Tractor Co.) the tractor is owned by Robby Soults, Tulare.
  • A century-old hay tedder.
  • A Fageol owned by John Boehm, Woodland, Calif. This one has a 4-cyl. Lycoming engine, and tiller bar steering.
  • This Minneapolis thresher loomed large at the Tulare show
  • The Happy Farmer Tractor
  • Lou Northcote and her rare Toro. The Toro was used by county government in California for many years.
  • Vintage promotional materials from the collection of Tony Mitchell DeZaga show this 20-35 Yuba Ball Tread right off the assembly line.
  • A restored 20-35, owned by Don Dougherty, Colfax, Calif., finished just in time for the Tulare show. Less than 40 Yubas are known to exist. Dougherty's Yuba dates to 1917.

The groves and fields of Tulare, Calif., are lush with produce much of the year. But each April, a parking lot just outside of town is the area's top producer, growing a bumper crop of antique farm equipment. 

Held April 17-18, the California Antique Farm Equipment Show drew more than 600 exhibitors of everything from Aermotor engines to Yuba tractors. Now in its seventh year, the event emphasizes the Central Valley's agricultural heritage. A production of the International Agri-Center, where the event is held, the Tulare show presents a huge variety of tractors, engines and equipment.

Show organizers offer a full schedule: there's a greased pig contest, tractor pulls, entertainment, draft horse demonstrations, oxen and mules; a slow tractor race and daily equipment parades. But the real draw is the equipment, displayed bumper to bumper in a huge parking lot.

An orderly grid of chalk-line squares puts early crawlers next to a fleet of Fordsons with mirror-like surfaces. An International Harvester collector group sets up camp down the road. Stationary gas engines, steam engines, old industrial equipment and garden tractors are scattered throughout. Rust cozies up next to fresh paint; used-and-abused originals are side-by-side with lavishly restored treasures. Cross a not-to-be-missed show with a swap meet, throw in a dash of football game tailgating party, and you begin to get a sense of the Tulare show.



The equipment tells a dozen stories. Some of it – like the Field Marshall tractor made in England – is a collector's prize, brought to the show as a novelty. But much of the equipment relates a story unique to this nation's leading agriculture state. There are orchard tractors, tractors designed for specific crops, and track-type tractors of every conceivable size, shape and design.

Like much in California, H.G. "Herk" Bouris' Minneapolis 35-70 threshing machine is a transplant. Herk, a Menifee Valley rancher, speculates that it came from the Dakotas.



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