Antique Outboard Motor Club Has Good Turnout For Spring Show
By Lauren Zeugner
While the weather was a bit cool today, Saturday, May 20, the sun is shining and diehard collectors from the Antique Outboard Motor Club’s 2023 Spring Antique show are out making deals. The show is being held at North Webster Community Park.
Club members and members of the public are busy chatting about antique outboard motors, with several sales taking place. Dave Trantor, one of the show’s organizers, is occasionally making announcements about different outboard motors those attending may want to check out.
One such item is a Wright 1915 outboard engine which caught the attention of Keith Gill who was taking numerous photos of the engine’s details. “When you see something this rare, you take lots of photos or bring tons of cash,” he said with a laugh.
The club’s show has been taking place in North Webster since 1988. Trantor said the show attracts visitors from all over the region — Michigan, Ohio and Illinois and even some Canadians attend the show. Christopher Scratch is one of those Canadians. He’s been attending the show every year since 2001, unless there was “a terrorist event” or COVID shut the border between the United States and Canada.
“This is the perfect venue for it (the show) because of the lodging available, the park and the food establishments that are available,” Trantor said. This year, attendees of the show booked most if not all the rooms at The Fisherman’s Cove Resort, located near the park. Attendees also stay at the Dixie Haven Resort.
Trantor said he was happy for the weather which drew a good crowd. The show is always held on the third Saturday of the May and Fall. Those with items to sell or swap vie for the prime parking spots in front of the pavilion in the park or in the parking lot of the Dixie Haven Resort. Many bring their boats and hit the water during the show.
For example, this year, someone brought a trailer full of antique motors and parts from the estate of a dentist, who was an avid collector, to sell and swap.
The show usually has the serious business of selling and swapping in the morning with club members then going out on the lake in the afternoon and Sunday morning before heading home.
Several attendees launched their boats including Sonny Clark with his 1940 Lyman Leader that he just got finished restoring. This was the first time in a number of years Clark was operating a tiller motor. J.J. Walls and his wife, Morgan, took their young son, Tucker, out in Walls Alumicraft Deep Sea with a Big 4 Evinrude. This was Tucker’s first “big” boat ride.
The show brings out several types of people: the collector, the guy looking for what he had as a kid, the mechanic who loves to tear down engines and put them back together and those looking for decor items.
The show continues today until about mid-to late afternoon.