Classic vehicles again fuel hope for relief sale success



When 20,000 to 25,000 people descend on the Kansas State Fair?grounds in Hutchinson this weekend for the 45th Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale, more than a few will have a keen interest in the classic cars and tractors to be sold this year.

The sale has developed a tradition of selling several donated motorized items each year to help raise funds for the worldwide relief efforts of Mennonite Central Commit?tee.

?We have some wonderful donations,? said Jerry Toews of Goessel, who helps prepare them for the general auction that will start around 1 p.m. in the Sunflower North Building.

It doesn?t take long for Toews to share his enthusiasm for the quality of this year?s donations.

?We have an amazing 1942 Studebaker Coupe, all original, from a Mennonite family in Protection that has been in the family since new,? Toews said. ?It?s been tagged and insured every year until its donation to MCC about a month ago.?

The Studebaker was donated by the family of Lester Selzer, who purchased the car new in 1942.

?This car has never sat for long periods of time,? Toews said. ?It has always been stored indoors. It has nice original interior and paint. The chrome is nearly perfect and there is hardly a dent in the old car. It starts and runs like a champ.

Toews said such a car is almost impossible to find these days.


?When I was a kid back in the ?50s, you could find these old cars in barns and garages?but that was 50 years ago,? he said. ?To find something like this today is more than amazing.?

One of the more unconventional vehicles ever is the 2009 Plymouth Prowler mini-car donated by Merle Krehbiel of Pretty Prairie.

Toews said the Prowler, which measures 7 feet long with wheels that are 13 inches tall, is powered by a single-cylinder Subaru gas engine.

Four tractors

Four classic tractors?each of a different make?should interest buyers with an agricultural interest:

? A 1951 IHC Model C, donated by Irvin and Evelyn Harms from Moundridge.

?Irvin and Evelyn have donated an antique tractor or antique car for the past 13 years,? Toews said. ?It has new paint, new muffler, steering wheel, battery box and very good tires.?

? A restored 1948 John Deere Model B tractor donated by Leroy Bitekopher of Canton.

Toews said the tractor has ?amazing? sheet metal and paint work done by Lowell and Romney Heinrichs of Goessel. New tires and tubes were donated to the cause by Cole Street Station of Moundridge, and Darwin Gingerich of Moundridge donated John Deere parts for the restoration.

? A restored 1952 8N Ford donated by Ed Landis of rural Abilene.

?Everything is new, including new sleeves, pistons, rings, bearings, valves, tach, voltage regulator and numerous other small parts,? Toews said. ?No expense has been spared mechanically.?

He said 1952 was the last year of production for the 8N Ford.

? A 1939 Model C Case tractor donated by Jim and Doris Yoder of Newton.

?Lowell and Romney Hein?richs, rural Goessel, volunteered the incredible body work and paint,? said Toews, who did the mechanical restoration. ?The Model C Case is a smaller tractor and nicely proportioned. It was known for excellent pulling power for its size.?

Other auctions

More than 1,000 volunteers representing some 70 Menno?nite, Breth?ren in Christ and Amish congregations join forces to organize, donate items and contribute funds to make the sale possible.

The general auction is only one of five auctions planned for the weekend. The other four are:

? a quilt auction, featuring more than 200 hand-crafted quilts and quilt related items;

? a silent auction featuring a golf package for four at Prairie Dunes;

? an auction just for kids at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Pride of Kansas Building;

? and a surplus auction.

Admission to the sale is free and the general public is invited to participate.































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