Detroit Shoot-Out puts twist on clas­sic tractor pull




— The Detroit Shoot-Out is one of the Ce­cil County Fair’s most unique events, but de­spite its name, it has noth­ing to do with guns.

The Detroit Shoot-Out is a tractor pull fea­tur­ing only trac­tors with the Detroit diesel en­gine.

“They’re 3-cylin­der trac­tors with a very unique sound,” said Don Moore,vice pres­i­dent of the Ce­cil County Fair Board. “They’re usu­ally Oliv­ers or Masseys.”

Jerry Her­shey, em­cee of the event held Fri­day night, said in years past the shootout would bring these spe­cial trac­tors from New York, Vir­ginia and other states to com­pete.

“This year we only have four,” Her­shey said. “In other years we’d have 10 to 12.”

Watch­ing the com­pe­ti­tion, Ver­non Horst re­called a time in the past when he owned one of these clas­sic ma­chines.

“I had the first Detroit,” the Ris­ing Sun dairy farmer said, not­ing he started the lo­cal craze with that pur­chase in 1994. “Peo­ple saw it and other peo­ple started buy­ing them.”

Horst said he bought his 990 Oliver for $2,000.

“Then I bought a farm and I had to sell my toys,” he said. “I sold it for $15,000.”

Horst agreed that the Detroits have a dis­tinc­tive sound.

“It’s a three-cylin­der, two-cy­cle en­gine like a chain saw,” Horst said. “Other engines fire ev­ery other stroke. These fire on ev­ery stroke.”

As it pulled against the sled in com­pe­ti­tion, Ash­ley Wil­helm’s Oliver made a lot of racket. It’s a sound that thrilled Grant Bar­czewski.

“Yea Ash­ley!” the 2-year-old Elk­ton boy shouted, arms raised in shared tri­umph.

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