Tractor Show Part of Food Lion AutoFair
Food Lion AutoFair will feature a bumper crop of America's finest vintage tractors during the Sept. 14-17 car show and swap meet at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including a pair of rare International Harvester Farmalls owned by a local father and son.
Like many people who grew up in rural America, Dr. Royce Hagaman associates 1950s-era tractors with his childhood. A few years ago, his interest in farm machinery led him to begin a collection of International Harvester models from 1954-a significant year for IH enthusiasts because it marks the end of the company's innovative "letter" series.
"It's been all about the letter models for me," the retired veterinarian said. "I found a Super H in Baton Rouge and restored it. Next came a Super C from St. Louis, a Super A-1 from Philadelphia and a Super MTA from Wisconsin."
That A-1 is considered rare by tractor production numbers. IH turned out 107,636 standard Super As from its plants in Louisville, Ky., and Chicago from 1947 to 1954, but as the company prepared to phase out its A, C, H and M models, it upgraded the Super A's powerplant to a 123-cubic-inch four-cylinder that produced 24.45 horsepower at the power take-off. Only 1,672 tractors received the new engine and those became known as the A-1 line.
Dr. Hagaman's son Mike enjoyed the nostalgia behind his father's collection, and he appreciated the unusual status of the A-1.
"Mike bought an A-1 in Pinehurst, then sold it to somebody in South Dakota because it just wasn't what he wanted," Dr. Hagaman said. "We kept the second one we bought, though. It was in pretty good shape."
Each Hagaman sent his A-1 to tractor restorer Lenny Heydeman in Illinois, who rebuilt every component before applying the trademarked International Harvester red paint and putting everything back together. After so much work and effort has gone into their restoration, these rural rides no longer pull plows or mow fields. These Farmalls are trailered to shows and treated as carefully as any classic automobile.
Dr. Hagaman's interest in vintage farm machinery serves him well as president of the Stumptown Tractor Club, the Huntersville-based group that hosts the tractor display at Food Lion AutoFair.
Other attractions scheduled for the Food Lion AutoFair include the Ultimate Surfmobile from Discovery Channel's "Monster Garage," a 900-horsepower Shadrach Mustang and 40th Anniversary gatherings of two important American muscle cars that have recently been revived: the Dodge Charger and the Shelby GT-500 Mustang. Thousands of collector cars will flood the infield-both for show and for sale-and there will be an automotive art gallery.
Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5. For information, contact the speedway events department at 704-455-3205 or visit here.