Engine & Tractor show to feature International Harvester.

July 12, 2021

Paul Storm, right, with his sons Kennedy, left, and Garason.

Engine & Tractor show to feature International Harvester.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — Paul Storm has been an International Harvester tractor fan since he was a kid. Storm grew up on a dairy farm south of Scottville where his dad farmed with the popular red tractors. Today, he lives near Walkerville and has a collection of antique IH tractors. 

Storm has also been instrumental in brining the Michigan IH Collectors Chapter 11 club to next month’s Western Michigan Old Engine & Tractor Show, to be held Aug. 5-8 at the Western Michigan Old Engine show grounds at Scottville Riverside Park.

Storm said about 150 IH tractors will be featured at the show, in addition to many of the WMOEC members’ tractors. 

“In 2019 the IH club approached us,” Storm said. “They had been looking at three different sites. I made a presentation and they liked the venue that the Western Michigan Old Engine Club offers. They were supposed to come in 2020 but our show was cancelled, like most events. We are pretty excited to have them here.” 

Paul Storm pulls his IH Farmall while his boys help in a recent tractor pull.

Storm owns several antique IH tractors including four model M tractors, two Farmall H tractors, a Farmall Super A, a Farmall 200, an IH 450 along with a TD9 IH dozer. Each of his children have an IH tractor that he and his wife, Aubrey, bought for them when they were each 6-years-old. His children, are now teenagers: Issabella, 16; Kennedy, 15; and Garason, 12. 

International Harvester Company was formed in 1902 following a merger of McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, Deering Harvester Company, Milwaukee Harvesting Machine Co., Plano Manufacturing Co., and Warder, Bushnell, and Glessner, manufacturers of Champion brand reaper/mower. The merger of the companies was financed by J.P. Morgan. The company became the largest manufacturer of harvesting equipment. 

In 1923, IHC purchased Moline Plow Company, putting it in direct competition with Deere & Co., and also locating across the Mississippi River from Deere’s plow works. At that point, Deere & Co. specialized in cultivation equipment, along with some various other farm implements. 

IHC got into the engine and tractor business first through the manufacturing of the McCormick Type C Mogul stationary engine, which was placed on a tractor chassis, fitted with friction drive (one speed forward, one reverse) beginning in 1911. In 1915, IHC introduced the 10-20 and 15-30 models, used primarily as traction engines to pull plows and for belt work on threshing machines. IHC then purchased more brands including Keystone, D.M. Osborne, Kemp, Meadows, Sterling, and Plano. 

In 1924, IH introduced the Farmall, a smaller general purpose tractor meant to compete against Ford Motor Company’s Fordson tractors. The red tractor quickly became a leader in row-crop tractors. In 1926, IH built a new plant in Rock Island, Illinois, near Moline, Ill., to produce its the Farmall brand of tractor. 

By World War II, IHC ranked 33rd among U.S. corporations in value of war production contracts. In addition to farm implements and tractors, the company also produced trucks, among many other items. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, IH’s profit margins were slim, though sales were good. Its downfall was mainly due to over-diversifying its product lines. A United Auto Workers strike in 1979 cost the company $600 million ($2 billion in modern value), and meant the beginning of the end of the company. Several divisions were sold off in the 1980s including its tractor division, which was sold to J.I. Case of Racine, Wis. in 1985. The truck and engine divisions remained and changed its name to Navistar International Corporation, which continues to manufacture medium and heavy duty trucks, schools buses and engines. 

To raise money for the WMOEC, Paul Storm has purchased and donated a 1942 IH Farmall Super AV high boy tractor, which will be raffled off. Tickets are expected to go on sale this week from club members and will be available during the show, with the raffle to take place on Saturday, Aug. 7. 

Storm has also donated a new IH pedal tractor to be raffled off on Kids’ Day, which is also Saturday, Aug. 7. 

This year’s show will be held in conjunction with Scottville’s 10-31 Celebration. The show is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 7 and then from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8 (displays will be limited on Sunday). Daily admission is $6 for adults, children ages 12 and under free. Thursday is Seniors’ Day, ages 65 and older, $5. 

Look for more details about the show coming up in future postings on MCP and OCP.

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