Jefferson prepares for antique tractor show

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 1:09 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - You can almost hear them putting into town for the Fourth Annual Jefferson Antique Tractor Show. Some will look brand new, while others will have more of a used appearance.

When someone says “look at that old tractor,” most expect a rusty machine sitting in front of a farm. But, in a town where motorcycle rallies have become popular, this Saturday the streets will be filled with old work horses: tractors. President of the East Texas Antique Tractor Engine Club Harry Hamilton and Tractor Show Founder Don Rainey agree the show is “bringing history back to life.”

“We’ve got kids from 5 years old all the way up to 95 years old that piddle with these old tractors,” Hamilton said. “It’s an addiction, really. It’s a lot of fun.”

There were only three tractors present in the morning, but there will be more.

“The Tractors will be all parked, and you’ll be able to walk around and visit with the owners, which is a must-do,” Rainey said.

Hamilton described the range of his collection. “My oldest one is probably about a 1948,” he said. He has 14 tractors, all kept out of the weather.

“I like to restore them. Now, we do have some in the club that likes them rusty,” Hamilton said.

Don likes his with, shall we say, patina. Hamilton said club members are from all over East Texas, but they’re always looking for younger members.

“We like having some of these shows. We can get some of these kids in here, and hopefully they’ll come back and just build on it,” Hamilton said.

The tractors do seem to be a kid magnet. And, at 11 a.m. Saturday, there will be a tractor race.

“It’s two tractors, and the slowest tractor wins. It’s about a thirty feet go, okay. We have a stopwatch. We’ve got a green flag to start you and checkered flag to stop you,” Rainey said.

Don says the race takes about 5 minutes, and there will be no riding brakes or clutch, just low speed.

“I’ll be watching, okay? No cheating,” Rainey said.

This is pretty much the opposite of Don’s event from a week ago, the vintage motocross rally. They expect about a hundred old tractors at the show. The rest are coming, it just takes a while to get there.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in downtown Jefferson. It’s free to attend, and there will be a tractor parade at 1 p.m.

Promoter Don Rainey and President of the Antique Tractor Engine Club Harry Hamilton discuss the tractor show, race, and parade this Saturday in downtown Jefferson.