Maybe it was the new location in western Charleston County, the unusually sunny and dry weather or the Oct. 31 event date.
Then again, the public might have had a pent-up hankering to see Allis-Chalmers, Minneapolis-Moline, McCormick, Massey Ferguson and omnipresent green John Deere tractors dating a half century or more ago.
Organizers and observers estimated 300-350 people descended on a field off S.C. Highway 174 in Adams Run for a show of antique tractors and engines and of vintage and juiced-up cars and trucks, as well as classic farm equipment lugging up to 12,500 pounds several hundred yards down a dirt track.
Lowcountry Antique Tractor & Engine Association sponsored the seven-hour tractor show and pull on Halloween.
Ron Barton, who organized the fest, said he was “tickled to death” with the results. At one point, there were so many cars parking to attend the fest that a neighboring church graciously agreed to handle the overflow, he said.
The association organized a tractor show and pull in Hollywood a couple years ago with less success, Barton said.
The Adams Run event drew a big crowd even though the tractor-pull track softened, making it more difficult to tug the weights attached to a sliding ladder-like trailer.
“All the rain messed it up,” he said.
A microphone-wielding announcer, seated in a 20-foot track side tower, updated fans on the weight categories, home towns of drivers and the year and type of tractors.
Jimmy Hayes brought a shiny blue 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup to the festivities. He said he enjoyed the show. “They had a real good turnout; a good group of people.”
At least one tractor-pull participant arrived from Springfield, west of Columbia.
Raiford Rustin of Charleston displayed a polished red Ford 641 Workmaster dating back 50 years or more. “I bought it at a classic car auction two years ago in North Carolina,” he said. Rustin uses the tractor to clear his driveway of debris. At the show, he took part in a tractor pull for the first time.
The demonstrations started around 1 p.m. and ran until the late afternoon in weight classes from one to six tons or more. Lining the field were decades-old tractors from John Deere and Oliver, which dubs itself “The Other Green Tractor;” red McCormick, Ford and Massey Ferguson; yellowish-orange Minneapolis-Moline Universal and orange Allis-Chalmers.
A few tractor owners provided information sheets, such as one for a 1952 Case “tricycle tractor” used to plow tobacco and a 1951 Farmall that made its way in South Carolina from Providence to Harleyville.
Near the tractors was a cordoned off area with antique, mini farm equipment, riding and push mowers and stand-alone engines.
Among the handful of old-time cars was a Ford rat rod truck with rocking chair in back and Allstate brand tires. At least one monster truck owner and the driver of an open bodied dune buggy with pipe-framed cab displayed their wheels.
Considering the turnout, the tractor show and pull expects to return, Barton said. “We’ll try to do one in the spring.”
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or email@example.com.