Incomplete Collection

Andrew Spinelli
October/November 2000


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10990 Byron Court Woodstock, Illinois 60098

This is the first time that I have ever written an article to GEM. I have enjoyed reading the stories of all my fellow collectors and their 'diamonds in the rough.' This magazine has led me to purchase many pieces of equipment, which are in my collection today. My interest in tractors started when I was five years old. My grandfather, Joseph Loucky, would take me to tractor shows and talk about the days that had gone by.

The first piece of equipment that I bought was a Fairbanks-Morse model Z hit and miss engine. I was only fourteen at the time but worked very hard mowing lawns during the summer to save the money to buy this engine. The shipping of it from Massachusetts to Illinois cost the same as the purchase price of the engine. It is hard to believe, but it has taken up to last summer to restore this engine, and I am now twenty-three.

The second piece in my collection was a 1940 Farmall model B tractor. This tractor came from Burton, Kansas, from a gentleman named Shawn. He collected many different types of tractors and was willing to help a young person get started in the hobby. Five hundred dollars was all that I had at the time and what he was willing to sell me the tractor for. This money also came from lawns and repairing lawn mowers for the people who lived on my street. The reason why I had to have a Farmall was because of an interest my grandfather instilled in me. He used to use a Farmall Cub to work a small parcel of property that he farmed with friends and family members in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. I originally set out to buy this Cub, but my mother's uncle was not willing to sell it at the time.

When I turned eighteen I bought the pride and joy of my collection, a ? scale Advance-Rumely steam traction engine. This engine came from Michigan and was on display at the Clyde Poll Museum for many years. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, he was willing to part with the engine, which was his father's, for a very reasonable price. It took more than a year of mowing lawns to pay for this one, but it was well worth it.

The latest piece in my collection is a 1942 Farmall M tractor which I purchased in my own hometown of Woodstock, Illinois, and did not have a long ride to get it home. Through all these years I worked with my grandfather on not only these pieces in the collection, but many other small engines and tractors, often hearing many stories of the old Farmall Cub in Clarendon Hills. This brings me to the reason why I am writing my first story. Perhaps later I will have enough courage to write a lengthy story for each of the above machines, but this particular story I am writing is to hopefully obtain the missing piece to the collection.

The Farmall Cub that my grandfather spoke of so often was sold by my mother's uncle, Frank Holas, in 1995 to Jim Yurgil a few houses down from the old farm in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. After a lengthy restoration, including a serious rebuild of its transmission, he sold this tractor with implements and a few pieces of paperwork that originally came with it. My mother's uncle bought this tractor in 1947 at the local county fair. It was purchased on the first day of the fair with the condition that it would be shipped to his farm when the fair was over. As I understood the story, a small walk-behind garden tractor was given to the delivery man as part of the trade, along with money to purchase the tractor. During its life in Clarendon Hills, it spent many years plowing their fields, planting their corn, and harvesting the fall crop. It also mowed several acres of grass with a sickle bar that he had purchased with it. My grandfather used this tractor very often to mow and work his father's and the other relatives' land. He would also do repairs to it, such as sharpening the teeth on the sickle bar. Unfortunately due to urbanization, my relatives began to sell off their land and the Cub was not used as often. Eventually this tractor sat for many years until my mom's uncle was convinced to sell it. Unfortunately it was not to me. The only thing that I have to remember this tractor by is a few photos and old 8-mm films, which my grandfather took when they were using the tractor on the farm. I only saw this tractor once in my lifetime and I was very little at the time. It looked enormous to me as a small kid, and probably added to my fondness of Farmall tractors. Unfortunately, last September my grandfather passed away after a short battle with cancer. Shortly before his death I often joked of hunting down the old Cub and buying it, but all of my search efforts have led me to a dead end. I am now turning towards my fellow collectors in any way, shape, or form to help me to bring this tractor home to its original family. After talking to Jim Yurgil, he believed that he sold it to someone in Indiana around 1995 or 1996. He does not recall who the person was and, unfortunately, I do not know the serial numbers from the tractor. This tractor was originally equipped with a rear power take-off, electric starter and lights. It had a manual implement lift on it, which was pretty banged up, and its handle may still show signs of being bent back into place by its restorer.

By writing this story, I am hoping that some reader out there in Indiana may remember buying one or someone who bought a Farmall Cub from Clarendon Hills, Illinois, a few years ago. I would greatly appreciate if this person could contact me so I could visit or even purchase my family's Cub so it will no longer be a memory anymore. I can be reached at home by phoning (815)-334-9044, or by mail at the above address.


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