Arrived at Florida Flywheeler show grounds today

Today started early! We moved from our parking spot at the cafe and got in line at the Florida Flywheelers at 4:00 am! We did not reserve our spot after the January show, and we wanted to get the same spot which was one with electric and on the end of a row. (This was important so we could drive in and out of the grounds at will. If we had a space in a line of vendors we would be trapped.)

We got in the grounds at 8:00. We did get the spot we needed. Paid the $65 for our vendor spot and what will be 11 days of camping! That is only $5.90 a day for a spot with electric. The show runs Feb. 18 to the 21st but the grounds opened today.

I got our table boards and frames set outside and got the electric hooked up. (Had to use the extension cord this time to reach the shore service pole.) With the TV antennae up we could get several local broadcast channels. We will start to unload our things to sell tomorrow, and may set up the tent then.

The rest of the day was relaxed, with some online work and even a nice nap. The grounds were really wet when we got here, but the sunshine today really began to dry things out. We will be set up here for 11 days, with at least one trip to a nearby town for supplies before the show opens next Wednesday.

 

Cloudy and cool today at Florida Flywheel

Tractor ready to start the pull

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 distanace the tractor has pulled. otice the sign on the sled: Antique, 5500 pound max tractor

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 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.

First day of Flywheelers Show

She has a great seat to see the show.

She has a great seat to see the show.

Today is the official opening day of the January edition of the Florida Flywheelers Tractor show at Ft. Meade, Florida. The weather has been cloudy and breezy and cool this morning, with everyone waiting for the forecast sunshine this afternoon.

The crowds are stirring, with a moderate amount of traffic moving around the many many rows of vendors set up. Once again the variety of vehicular transportation being used is been fun to observe.

Another good way to get around.

Another good way to get around.

Looking for that bargain!

Looking for that bargain!

Three wheeler

Three wheeler

Couple creates ride from scratch

The beauty! The walking sitck is one that Bob is working on.

The beauty! The walking sitck is one that Bob is working on.

I was sitting in our vendor booth at the Florida Flywheelers show in January when I saw what looked like a downsized Model T Ford coming down the aisle. I snapped a picture and asked the couple about their vehicle.

It turns out that this unique “automobile” was the creation of Bob and Carole Ramoski of Lakeland, Florida. Bob told me that he in fact made the vehicle from scratch. Carole is responsible for the finish on the wood, including maintaaining the beautiful finish by means of constant touch ups with sanding and re-varnishing the surfaces.

Notice the "trunk"

Notice the “trunk”

Bob made cardboard templates for each of the wood body parts. Cypress wood was used for everything except the bumpers. Bob explained that cypress is a very soft wood not suitable for bumpers of a vehicle. As you look at this beauty you keep seeing the marvelous details that they added to this machine. The headlights are original 1914 headlamps that Bob wired for electric lights, as the original were oil lamps. There is a Mercury hood ornament, and old buggy steps for the entering and exiting of the vehicle. Tailights were origianlly wood, but one of Bob’s neighbors cast them in iron for him, along with the hinges for the top.

1914 head lights

1914 head lights

Model T Ford foot pedals are used on the finished cypress floorboard protected with a carpet. Bob made an attractive trunk behind the seat for storage. Motorcycle wheels are on the ground, complete with wooden hubcaps. Plant hangers make perfect armrests. A brass door knob finishes out the steering tiller. The powerplant for the vehicle is a Honda engine that drives the golf cart transmission.

Bob and Carole, originally from Pennsylvania, now call Lakeland, Florida home. They have been coming to the Florida Flyhweelers shows for several years. They always drive their beauty of a vehicle in the parade each show. Carole shared that these times at the Flywheelers are a great time for them to relax and just enjoy these fun events.

The power plant "under the hood"

The power plant “under the hood”

Bob and Carole Ramoski

Bob and Carole Ramoski

I enjoyed my conversation with Bob and Carole. We discussed Sher and my adventures on the road and they were gracious and generous with their time telling me the history of their neat home-made creation. Part of the enjoyment of travel is meeting interesting folks like the Ramoski’s.

 

Florida Flywheelers get ready to get around the 200+ acre show

"Sheet metal, rivets and a paint job" turned this golf cart into a "Jeep"

“Sheet metal, rivets and a paint job” turned this golf cart into a “Jeep”

The Florida Flywheelers January show starts tomorrow morning. More exhibitors and vendors have been pulling in all day today. Everyone is getting their wares set out and priced. (So have we!) The show is known for the many different types of vehicles that are used to get around this huge place. While golf carts are the “normal” and most common means of transportation, you will see about anything you can think of and lots of things you would never think of as being a way to get around.

Golf carts will be transformed into many different types of vehicles. See the picture of the “Jeep” as an example. When asked how the Jeep came about, Bob Buck answered “sheet metal, rivets and a paint job”. A simple explanation for a lot of clever workmanship! The lady holding the cute doggie is Sharon Buck, an artist who makes quilts. She shared her website with me.

Later I heard a powerful engine a few rows away. I thought it was a muscle car. Imagine my surprise when a blue garden sized tractor came around the bend in the gravel road. It turns out this was a tractor with a V8. Yes, a V8 engine with dual exhausts. Quite the engineering feat here.

Sher and I are looking forward to the start of the show tomorrow. I for one am hoping that the fellow with the bathtub he drives around will be here this year. I have heard about him.

Yes, that is a V8 in that tractor.

Yes, that is a V8 in that tractor.

The Florida Flywheelers January show

Vintage John Deere tractors

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!

Tractor seats, all antique, all different!