The gleam of the paint as the light hits the chassis, the roar of the engines as the driver brings his machine to life, the sheer horsepower barely contained and about to be unleashed, the anticipation as the driver awaits the signal to go, all of the action and excitement that one can only find in the world of…tractors?
Formula 1 racing may have wrapped up in Montreal last weekend, but anyone who can relate to or appreciate cars, mechanical horsepower, machinery, or a really loud engine may be surprised to find out how much they can relate to a Tractor Pull.
Like its heavy horse equivalent, a Tractor Pull involves hauling a heavy load a certain distance. The winner of the competition is the one who can haul it the furthest.
But that’s not the amazing part of the Tractor Pull at the Stampede. No, the amazing part is that all of the machines taking part in the competition had to have been built before 1960. That’s right, many of the machines taking part in this competition are antiques that have been lovingly restored by their owners for the sole purpose of competing in a game of one-upmanship.
And you can see it all live at the Vintage Tractor Pull and Tractor Show & Shine taking place in the Big Top on July 10 and 11!
Now, if you’ve never been to the Vintage Tractor Pull at the Stampede, let me tell you, these machines are loud.
As in, you can literally feel the engine vibrations in your boots (and quite possibly, in your chest cavity; I kid you not).
The whole thing is like an experience for the senses. You can’t help but cheer on the antique machines as they’re pushed to their limits doing something that they probably weren’t designed to do in the first place. And you never know how it’s going to go; just because a machine was created later than the others, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it can beat a machine that’s 15 years older.
There are six weight classes that the tractors can compete in, and these tractors can run on anything from distillate, kerosene, water, or gas depending on the era they were manufactured in.
Here’s a video that gives you a taste of what I’m talking about:
Because these are antique machines, it becomes very apparent that their owners take great care of them and have put a lot of time and attention to their restoration and maintenance. And, like those who participate in vintage car shows, these proud owners like to show off their machines to the public (and each other) as well.
The Vintage Tractor Show & Shine on Saturday, July 10 at the Big Top from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. gives the owners an opportunity to do so. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to see these machines up close and ask the owners questions.
Anyways, I highly recommend checking out the Vintage Tractor Pull, especially if you’ve never been before because you won’t find anything else quite like it in the city. The Pull competition itself only happens twice this year: on Saturday, July 10 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, July 11 at 3:30 p.m. And new this year is a metal vs. muscle exhibition at the July 10 competition as a heavy horse pull team will take on a vintage tractor. Which of the two has the most horsepower? Honestly, given the age of the machines, at this point, I think it could go either way!