The Red Power Charge: Show Season 2006

The first-ever "Red Power Charge" showcased International Harvester tractors and equipment in upstate New York during show season 2006.

| April 2007

The first-ever Red Power Charge went off with such a bang July 28-29, 2006, that even substantial precipitation on the first day couldn't dampen participants' spirits. The regional show, held at the Hemlock (N.Y.) Union Agricultural Society fairgrounds, was the brainchild of the International Harvester Collectors Club's new upstate New York Chapter 35. The club produced its first show less than two years after receiving its charter. "As one of the newest chapters, we wanted to hit the ground running," explains Chapter 35 Director Gene Preston, Greece, N.Y. "We had a lot of momentum from the beginning and didn't want to let it slip." It wasn't just about momentum, however.

Enthusiasm for International Harvester has grown to a healthy high in New York. Under President Anita DeGlopper's leadership, Chapter 35 had grown to almost 400 members by the time the show was proposed in early 2005. With numbers like that, the club not only had the budget but also the critical mass needed to sustain a project as ambitious as the Red Power Charge. "There was plenty of anxiety in the months leading up to the show, and even during it," says Chapter 35 volunteer Jim Bagley, Hornell, N.Y. "The rain really had us worried, but it all worked out."

It took plenty of commitment to keep the event going during an early first-day downpour. Adopting a "show must go on" attitude, club members and exhibitors donned raingear and paraded their prized pieces on schedule. It's a good thing they did, because the sun shortly arrived and brought on the crowds.

The Red Power Charge attracted exhibitors from several states and Canada, and visitors with an even broader geographical cross section. Machinery on display ranged from the mundane to the truly unique, but the breadth was truly breathtaking.

Making the grade

Among the more usual letter-series Farmall tractors at Hemlock were a number of very unusual industrial-type machines that used IH tractors or specialized power units for motivation. A nice Trojan Utility Speed Patrol road maintainer (grader-type) was displayed by Don Johnstone, Springwater, N.Y. This little grader, consisting of a 1946 Farmall M tractor grafted to the Trojan's front end and blade carriage, is typical of early self-propelled graders from many different manufacturers including Meili-Blumberg, Gallion and others. Later road graders featured more integral construction, and many were powered with IH engines and transmissions - like the Adams no. 201.

Chapter 35 member Andrew Sherwood brought his Adams no. 201 self-propelled leaning-wheel grader to the show from nearby Naples. The J.D. Adams Mfg. Co. (Indianapolis) built the machine in the 1950s and used an IH engine-over-transmission power unit to make it go. "When I saw a picture of it in the Heavy Equipment Trader, I knew it had an IH engine," Andrew explains, pointing out the power unit's telltale Raymond Loewy-styled hood and grille. "I didn't have a grader in my collection yet, so I decided to go for it."