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Spring machinery show draws crowds to Penn's Cave

by on June 07, 2018 10:16 AM

SPRING MILLS — The Nittany Antique Machinery Association held its annual spring show May 31 through June 3 at Penn's Cave. 

The event featured large displays of antique tractors and implements, antique tractor pulls, hit-and-miss engines and antique vehicles. A building filled with toy tractors, trucks and farm machinery also drew visitors, and the east end of the grounds contained a large flea market featuring hundreds of vendors.

The featured brand of tractors for this year's show was Farmall. Many examples of the bright red machines were seen among the hundreds of tractors on display. Some were restored, while others were shown in their “barn-find” condition, with some rust and dents but still completely functional. Crowds of spectators roamed the display area, remembering the “good old days” of farm life in rural Pennsylvania.

Among the antique cars was a 1954 Kaiser Special sedan, shown by Elwood Knepp, of McClure. The Special was an early 1954 model, which was a leftover 1953 Manhattan fitted with a 1954 front clip and different taillights. Later 1954 models had slightly different styling, featuring a large, wrap-around rear window. Kaisers are easily recognizable by the unique arching “widow’s peak” curve on the upper edge of their windshields and rear windows.

Jim and Sherry Reasner, of Snow Show, showed a 1954 International R-100 pickup truck. Jim Reasner said he found the truck in Shamokin in fairly good shape, but with front end damage. He gave the truck a frame-off restoration over a three-year period. He gave it a Farmall red and cream paint job, and fabricated a wooden bed floor for it.

“It’s completely stock except for the bed and rear bumper,” he said. It uses the original six-cylinder engine and three-speed manual transmission.

Tours were given of a grist mill being constructed on the show's grounds. NAMA secretary Bob Corman and mill designer Bob McLaughlin said they hope to have the mill running for NAMA’s fall show in September. Water will be pumped up to a spillway and flow down over the water wheel, powering grindstones inside the structure.

“We’ve had the stones for several years, waiting to build the mill,” said Corman.

NAMA was formed in 1975, holding its first show at the Penn's Cave Farm in September of that year. The fall show, held each year on the weekend following Labor Day, has become one of the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi River. The spring show, held on the first weekend after Memorial Day, is a somewhat smaller version of the fall event and features free admission.





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