WATERLOO — Collectors of vintage John Deere Tractors nationwide will converge again Thursday through Saturday just upstream from that machinery’s birthplace.

The Two-Cylinder Club will hold its annual Expo at the National Cattle Congress grounds, which is just upstream from Deere’s downtown operations and the Cedar Valley Tech Works. That is the approximate location of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company, birthplace of the “Waterloo Boy” two-cylinder-engine tractor purchased in 1918 by Deere and mass produced through about 1960.

The Cattle Congress is the perfect location for the Expo, said Jack Cherry, editor of the Grundy Centerbased Club’s magazine.

“I don’t know how it could be better. I think through the generosity of Bob Molinaro, a lot of things were improved out there,” Cherry said of Molinaro, the late longtime Warren Transport executive and NCC board member and supporter. “They have a good board that has spent their money wisely. The Cattle Congress has just gotten to be a much nicer place. It’s concise, it’s

Lauren Ambrosy, 16, of Readlyn unloads a vintage John Deere Model “B” Two-Cylinder Tractor at the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds Monday prior to the start of this year’s Two-Cylinder Expo Thursday through Saturday.

convenient for people who have any kind of mobility problems.” He also credited the work of NCC facilities manager Jim Koch and Lonnie Elmore of the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau in bringing and keeping the Expo at the NCC fairgrounds.

“It’s kind of a ‘take it easy’ event now,” Cherry said of the Expo. From the big 1987 Expo near the Waterloo Regional Airport on Deere’s 150th Anniversary to now, “the thing about the Expo we’ve evolved into is to keep it very simple, laid back, so visitors are able to interact with exhibitors and the vendors. We want people to be able to come in and not have it a hyped event, where it’s loud and there’s ten things going on at once. Familes like to stay together, and Dad can talk to them and say ‘That was the tractor your grandpa and I had.’”

It’s the 23rd Expo and the seventh at NCC. While a late spring may affect the number of exhibitors, Cherry is still expecting a couple hundred will fill up McElroy Auditorium, Estel Hall, and the fairgrounds. A professional tractor restoration specialist will set up shop in Estel Hall and assemble a 1949 tractor. “He’s going to assemble it starting on the morning of the 11th and have it completely assembled by midday on Saturday,” Cherry said.

Eventually, Cherry said, he’d like to develop the Expo into an an audience-critiqued event where the best exhibitors are invited back, along the lines of a “concours d’elegance” automobile show. Visitors to this year’s show may be asked about their favorites among various eras of tractors.

Parts, tractor and memorabilia auctions are planned as part of the Expo, as well as tours of some Deere facilities Thursday and Friday with shuttles available. More information is available at 824-6060 or twocylinder.com.

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