4805 266th Street East Spanaway, Washington 98387
For the past five years, restoring tractors has been my hobby. During that time I have tried to get my wife, Beverly, more involved and interested in the hobby. As I attend a number of shows each year and exhibit one or more of my tractors, it has been my hope to get her enthusiastic, as it's always more fun to share events together. I found myself wracking my brains to think of something that would appeal to a wife who finds herself somewhat bored with the noise and smell of the show and the putt-putt sounds of stationary engines. Because my wife is a nice person, she would accompany me to the shows and take the obligatory pictures that I would ask her to. One year I brought two of my S series Cases to a show so that she would drive one in the tractor parade. After each show, I would invariably ask her what she liked best, and she would always mention the Farmall Cubs. After viewing some of the more outstanding exhibits at a number of shows such as the Aultman &. Taylor that was so big you stood inside the rear wheel and couldn't touch the top, or the big cross motor Case, her comments surprised me. I asked her why she liked the Farmalls and she said, 'Because they're cute.' Being the typical man, I had to inform her that tractors are working mens' machinery and these items are not referred to as 'cute.' It was a number of months where I had occasion to recall that conversation.
This past spring, the annual tune up time was due for our 18 HP Craftsman lawn tractor. It takes a long time to mow three acres, and I was somewhat envious of my other neighbors who had a Honda, John Deere and Wheel Horse. While reading' one of my tractor books on a drizzly northwest evening, I read an article about how Farmall Cubs were used back in the '60s for mowing large lawns. A 59-inch deck could mow three acres an hour. My wife does most of the mowing and I thought here's a way to get her a tractor she likes and have the neatest lawn mower in the neighborhood, but where could I find a good restorable Cub at a fair price?
One Saturday morning our club newsletter came in the mail and in it was a Cub for a reasonable price. I knew the fellow's dad well he is Dennis King, our show manager for Branch 20 of the EDGE&.TA. I called him and asked if it even ran. He said his son Fred had done a nice job on it and it ran great. My wife and I went to take a look at it. I could see right away that my wife really liked it. Two hours later it was in my garage. Two weeks later it had a brand-new Woods 59-inch deck on it.
In the next couple of weeks I did some extra things to the tractor. I replaced the piston rings and valves, a head gasket, and redid the sheet metal with a more lasting acrylic enamel paint. It's not that Fred King didn't do an outstanding job for a 22 year old; it's just this picky fellow wanted to get his hand in the restoration of this tractor, too.
When I got done we rolled it out for the neighborhood to see. With some fine tuning she mows great. The 1989 Craftsman is gone, replaced by a 1951 Cub. We've gone from low man on the mowing totem pole to the neatest mower in the neighborhood.
We took the Cub, along with my SC Case, to our annual EDGE&TA show in Roy, Washington, in July. Beverly not only drove it in the parade, but also participated in the 1500 to 2500 pound class tractor pull. Upon completion of her round, she received a good ovation from the people in the stands for being the only woman driver. Being shy, she has a hard time dealing with all of the people telling her she owns one beautiful machine.
My wife now looks forward to exhibiting and driving the Cub in other shows, we can now mow 2.5 acres in 45 minutes, life is good. The more I continue to learn about Farmalls, the more impressed I am with their looks and performance. We're both proud of our Farmall, and a lot of people, as well as I, would have to agree it sure is cute!