NOTTAWA, MI — The third annual Nottawa (MI) Antique Plow Day was held on Saturday, April 29 in a new location for the event and drew over 60 tractors, full-size and lawn, to help work 55 acres of land. A large crowd was in attendance to appreciate the old units and the work put into them.
“We were just overwhelmed by the spectators. So many people came out to enjoy the tractors,” Coordinator Gary Zielke said. “Everyone came up and thanked us and told us how much they enjoyed it.” Zielke worked with John Yoder to organize the event.
The popular brands were represented with John Deere, Farmall, Oliver, Case, Minneapolis Moline, International, Ferguson, and Allis Chalmer all making appearances. Some unknown brands were also sighted with a Twin City, Plymouth, Happy Farmer, and a pink Ford.
While the Ford is not an uncommon brand in the antique tractor realm, the pink paint job is. Todd Smith put together the unit for his wife Donna and it ended up being quite the show piece.
“She (Donna) wanted a tractor for the shows and I put this Ford together for her,” Smith said. “When she told me she wanted it to be pink, I was willing.”
He put her name, Donna Kay, and her moniker, Lady in Pink, on the left side of the tractor. The right side was a whole different story.
“My mom (Audrey M. Smith) died from breast cancer, so her name is on the other side in honor of her,” Smith said. Audrey passed away in 2013.
Another rare find was the Improved Love unit that was at the event. These tractors were distributed from the Hartford, MI plant and were intended for fruit and vegetable operations. They could be used for road travel and pulled wagons of produce. It was discovered that they could run at 50 mph and it was proven in the field on Saturday.
While the larger units were prevalent, a few lawn tractors helped out with Cub Cadet and Wheel Horse brands showing up.
The restoration levels on the tractors ranged from one being pulled out of the barn and run as is to extraordinary attention to detail and presentation. Most were working at one point and time during the morning activity while some were on display. There were the occasional repair jobs as the units still worked as they had years earlier. The Minneapolis Moline broke a belt and someone else chipped their plow blade on a rock.
The event concluded with a photo lineup and the distribution of the participant door prizes.
For more information about the annual event, check out their Facebook page at Nottawa Antique Plow Day.