This year we tried something different. We went to the 33rd Annual Antique Engine & Tractor “Swap Meet” in January 2020 rather than the tractor and engine “show” in February. This was a first for us.
It fit perfect after a marvelous trip to beautiful Sanibel Island. The Swap Meet had just opened so we connected with our friends the Elliotts at the show on January 16th. The Flywheelers is held in Fort Meade, Florida.
Like clockwork, they picked us up. We maneuvered a way for Kent, Jane, Beth and Keith and I to fit, or take turns with the golf cart. Up and down the aisles we went checking out all the amazing finds the Swap Meet had to offer.
The biggest difference we noticed at the January “Swap Meet” vs the February “show” is that it was less crowded. This was definitely a bonus! The same vendors seemed to be there, so the guys shopping didn’t suffer.
Maybe there were a few less tractors, but the basics are the same. There is not a feature tent at the January show like there is at the February show, that is perhaps the biggest difference. The feature for the February show this year is Flywheel Engines.
Our favorite thing about the January show and the smaller crowd was this made the show more easily maneuverable!
Friends we saw at the Swap Meet!
Friends we have met over time is one of my favorite things about the Fly Wheelers show. Charlie Oates has the Ford building and he is at both the January and the February show. I enjoy the chance to catch up with Charlie at the Florida Flywheelers. With his agricultural roots and Ford history, Charlie always has something new to share!
We also caught up with Dan and Sandy Yeck. They were onsite promoting the upcoming Classic Green show. The next Classic Green show will be held in Ohio at the Wooster Fairgrounds in 2021! Classic Green’s goal is to bring all John Deere enthusiasts together.
Favorite sightings at the swap meet!
I enjoyed seeing a cool hi-crop Ferguson TO30 owned by Jerry and Joyce Sall of Hamilton’s Michigan. There were so many things to see but one of my favorite moments was getting to sit in Robert and Ara-Mae Smith’s cool Ford USAF Moto-Tug!
Robert had an array of lovely Fords. I interviewed him and his story will be in an upcoming Farmworld issue.
Besides his Moto-Tug, I also loved his 860 Propane Grove Special. This was a one owner tractor passed from grandfather to grandson. Robert purchased the orchard tractor that had worked in orange groves, then lovingly restored it. I was impressed that he had the family over to see the tractor once completed.
The Tractor Parade!
Probably the biggest bang for me was our ride through the parade again this year. The Good Ole Boys let Kent, Beth and Keith drive a tractor. I got to ride with Keith! I was in a former bus seat on the back of a Farmall M with a wide-front. Jane sat in the golf cart and photographed us!
Besides the fun of riding in the parade, the best part was the birds eyes view I got of the lovely village and folks during the drive. I had to laugh I think there were almost as many in the parade as watching!
Lodging Inn on the Lakes
Most years we stay at the Inn on the Lakes in Sebring, Florida. The property recently went through renovations and was lovelier than ever. My favorite place on the property is the patio out back. A lake is behind the patio and flowers abound and tropical birds are everywhere.
Comparison Wrap -January Swap Meet to February Tractor & Engine show
I can’t say there was a big difference other than no feature tent. I loved the less crowded atmosphere we had at the January Swap Meet. The fact that the weather was amazing was a big plus too and I know that always can’t be counted on.
January was a win for me. Let me know your thoughts!
If you like this post, you may want to read about the February show too!