The Florida Flywheelers is an antique tractor club located in central Florida. Twice a year, in January and February, the Flywheelers have huge five day tractor shows coupled with flea markets and swap meets on the over 200 acre facility.
Yes, this is a motorized bath tub.
The grounds are so large that most people drive around the site. While golf carts are the most prevalent transportation, other “custom” means of travel are also seen. There is a nearly constant parade of vehicles driving down the aisles where vendors and tractor exhibitors are set up. You never know what you’ll see driving around!
Going to see a lot of John Deere vintage tractors this week
Today we went out to dump the black and grey water and get our propane tank filled at a Pilot Travel Center up the road. The cold weather around here means more RV’s using their furnaces. The tech at Pilot told me he has had their bulk propane tank filled three times in the past 48 hours.
This Forida weather is really strange. This morning it was very chilly: we had to fire up the space heater. This afternoon it felt hot, even though the temperature was only a bit above 70: we got the fans out.
Saw this cute little bird near our RV today
We will now stay here until the show is over next Saturday. We are at the Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine and Tractor show at Ft. Meade in central Florida. We were here for the show in January and decided to return for the February show. This show is featuring John Deere tractors. We have already seen John Deere green and yellow on everything, including the old John Deere tractors, of course.
Over 1700 vendors and exhibitors are expected by the start of the show Wednesday. This place has over 240 acres and is turning into a little city. Vendors and tractor exhibitors have been coming in all day.
Beautiful sunset to end the day
Tractor ready to start the pull
Today was cool and cloudy at the January Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine Club show. The lack of sunshine did not damper the activities. The crowds were moderate, at least those crowds that made it back to the aisle where we have our vendor spot. (We are set up in Row 70, spot 34, near to the tractor pull track.)
The digital reading in real time of the distance the tractor has pulled. Notice the sign on the sled: Antique, 5500 pound max. tractor weight
Speaking of tractor pulls, I went over to the track this afternoon for the heavy weight antique tractor pull. Wow, was I impressed with the track and the way they operate the pulls. The track has digital readouts in realtime showing how far each tractor is pulling the sled. (The sled is a piece of machinery that the competition tractor pulls: the sled increases the weight as it is pulled along.)
The crowd watching the tractor pulls. There is another digital sign in the distance at the end of the track.
The track offers plenty of seating for spectators, and of course lots of folks simply park their golf carts next to the track to watch. The track itself was in excellent shape. The rainfall a couple of days ago seemed to have helped by keeping the dust down. It was pretty cool to see a line of the old antique tractors waiting their turn to compete in the pulling contest.
Vintage John Deere tractors
Today the site of next week’s antique tractor show was picking up in activity. Named Florida Flywheelers, this show is really large: there are 240 acres with 1700 exhibitor and vendor spaces. The show grounds are located outside of Ft.Meade, Florida. This is the first time we have been to this event. Some fellow vendors told us about this show last fall, and we decided to give it a try.
There are already several exhibitors here with their completely restored antique tractors. I saw a couple of fellows out touching up the shine on the perfect paint jobs on these fine old machines.
We have already figured out that you will see just about any set up here at the Flywheelers show. There are trucks, campers, RV’s, tents and cargo trailers of every size, age and description. I even saw a truck camper mounted on a one ton flatbed! There are vendors already set up selling as wide a variety of goods as there are vehicle and tent set ups. Everything from tractor manuals to typical flea market goods to new merchandise is offered, with hundreds more vendors due for the start of the show Wednesday.
Tractor seats, all antique, all different!
Display tents at the show offer demos of the old machines.
Greensburg, Indiana hosts an antique tractor and steam engine festival once a year at the fairgrounds. Named appropriately Power of the Past, this show runs for four days in late August each year. It is remarkable how many tractors and engines arrive at the show, and from all over the country as well.
The show has different classes of displays ranging from full sized steam engines that used to power threshing machines, down to small engines that operated everything from wood saws to ice cream makers. In addition every brand of antique tractor is also represented. Brand loyalty is strong with these collectors. Some will have only John Deere models, others collect now defunct brands like Minneapolis -Moline.
This 1907 steam engine operated an oil well pump.
The four days are packed with various activities. One day a parade of the antique machinery heads out into the town and the countryside. There is of course judging of the individual tractors and engines, with awards given. Probably the most popular events are the tractor pulls, where the old timers hitch up to a weighted sled and see how far they can pull the load. there was also a draft horse pulling competition one day as well. They covered all forms of power from the past!
The Greensburg Power of the Past website offers details about the 2015 event.