21st annual Antique Tractor and Engine Show this Saturday at WSCC

Vintage John Deere tractors on display at last year’s show (Cullman Tribune file photo)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness;” and at the heart of American agriculture for over a century now has been the tractor, a combination tool and conveyance that, in various configurations, pushes, pulls, drags, mows, tills, plants, fertilizes, waters and harvests, not to mention occasionally rescuing other vehicles whose owners decided to try something they should have used a tractor for in the first place.

This Saturday, the City of Hanceville and Wallace State Community College will celebrate the history and heritage of big wheels, horsepower and torque at the 21st annual Hanceville Antique Tractor & Engine Show.  

Charles Allen, who with Bonnie Hamrick Brannan took charge of the event from founders Jimmy Hamrick and Hershel Needham, told The Tribune, “(In the beginning) most of it was farmers wanting to display their equipment, like a car show.  Folks want to display their cars; well, farmers want to display their tractors.”

Featured attractions will include:

  • 50 to 60 vintage tractors dating back to the 1930s, from John Deere, Farmall, Cub, International and others.  Many are restored antiques, but some are still working “fresh from the field” vehicles.
  • Vintage engines that were used to power farm equipment in the early 20th century, some of which will be operating for demonstrations
  • Peddle Tractor Races for the kids
  • “Parade of Power” tractor parade, where visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of operational vintage equipment
  • Skillet throwing contest for the ladies, using official tournament rules and skillets.  Don’t believe us?  Come see!
  • Homemade ice cream, made in motorized churns powered by vintage engines

Allen talked about one event that will be fascinating for gearheads: the Slow Race, which Allen described as “drag racing in reverse.”  The object, in this case is to be the last to cross the finish line, tuning the carburetor to make one’s tractor move as slowly as possible without stalling the engine.

Said Allen, “When we were young, we used to spend our money trying to make our cars go fast; now we spend our money trying to make our tractors go slow!”

Awards will be given for the Slow Race, Best Looking Tractor/Best in Show (separate categories for older and newer tractors) and Most Original Tractor.

In a previous interview, Brannan said of her father, event co-founder Jimmy Hamrick, “He always loved tractors and had been around them, worked on them, liked restoring them.  He had a passion for them.  He farmed and worked, too.  He loved his community, and he loved giving back.  If he could do anything for you, he would; so this was just one way to give back to the community.”

At a glance

Hanceville Antique Tractor and Engine Show

Saturday, June 8, 2019, starting at 9 a.m.

At Wallace State Community College in Hanceville

For more information, call 256-590-2478 or 205-616-4173, or visit www.facebook.com/HancevilleTractorShow/.

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W.C. Mann