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International Harvesters Club: They just keep on running

DUBLIN -- More than 150 tractors were on display at the International Harvester Collectors New England Chapter 18 Power of the Red tractors collectors show in a field off Route 101 over the weekend.

The chapter is part of an international club of International Harvester enthusiasts who collect the tractors known for their red color, though International Harvester stopped making the tractors in the 1980s, said club president Matt Petz of Nashua.

People love these tractors because they are the tractors they grew up with, often passed down through the family, Petz said.

His son Spenser, 17, of Nashua rode a 1949 International Harvester that his grandfather gave him in the tractor parade on Saturday.

"My grandfather had it restored for me," he said. "It used to be used on his farm in Pepperell, Mass."

He uses the tractors today for mowing, and he likes owning and caring for the antique, he said. "It's a piece of history."

"This is what dreams are made of," Matt Petz said when he looked at the line up of tractors readying for the parade.

"We have over 150 tractors here, and we're having a lot of fun," Petz said.

Club member Dennis Prefontaine of Hollister, Mass., said the tractors are not just for show, they are still in use by their owners, he said.

"They just run forever," he said.

They were designed with a universal platform so owners can easily move among mowing, plowing, hay making, harvesting and cultivating.

The Poole family of Winchester showed just how versatile the machines can be by powering an ice cream maker with an International Harvester, passing out vanilla ice cream to attendees.

The club has been holding the tractor show in Dublin for the past five years, this year adding an agriculture scholarship.

The first recipient of the scholarship is Amy Gowell Drogue, 18, of Derry, who was awarded $1,500. She attended the two-day show with her 10-day old Jersey cow Jim Bob and is a veterinary medicine student the University of New Hampshire.

"It's always been for fun, just a tractor club, but we want to be able to give back to the community in agriculture education," Petz said.


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