The Blue Jay That Stayed In The Nest 37 Years

Water pump coupling

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HCR-4,Box 168 Waverly, Virginia 23890

As if it isn't bad enough that myself and about 15 or 20 friends and neighbors are constantly hunting tractors for me, my wife has to go and find another. Only this one is a rare bird, at least in these parts-a Dart Blue Jay.

My wife was attending the funeral of her great-aunt in Enfield, North Carolina, when she spotted what she thought was a Fordson in front of an old garage. Upon inspection, she noticed the name Dart on the radiator.

When she got back home she told me about it and, mildly interested, I decided to look it up in The Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors by C.H. Wendel. After reading what he had to say, I decided this tractor had possibilities. So we traveled the 70 miles back to Enfield. Tractor rough, but not too bad. Engine appeared to be stuck, a few missing parts-the usual.

We made some inquiries and found out who owned the tractor, but he couldn't be located that day, so we phoned him when we got back home. He was undecided about selling. We arranged to meet him to look at the tractor. Back to Enfield again to find out a few things about the tractor.

The tractor had been in his family for years-prior to that it was a rental tractor. That's all he knew. My wife's cousin said the tractor was sitting in the same spot' when he had left town 37 years ago.

After much discussion, the owner finally decided to sell-the price was out of my league, but not really unreasonable, considering, but I decided to let it sit.

To make a long story short, I figured he was willing to sit longer than I was, so we made arrangements and I bought the tractor.

Upon arrival home with our prize, I started poking and prying. I tried pulling on the crank again; nothing. So I decided to jump on it-uh oh! Something broke. To my relief, it was only the water pump coupling. This turned out to be a revelation: I would never have known that the engine was free if the coupling hadn't broken.

I put oil in the cylinders; compression was good, and here's the 'kicker.' I cranked the engine and all four plugs fired-without cleaning the points in the magneto, after at least 40 years sitting in the weather. This is not a dry climate in these parts.

As I looked it over carefully, I found that this tractor contains more brass parts than any I've seen. The original steering wheel, seat, and water-type air cleaner are missing, as well as the radiator cap. The original gas tank is there, but beyond repair. Radiator has beautiful designs, on both the front and the sides, and is in perfect condition. Enclosed is a picture my wife has drawn of the 'Dart' emblem that's cast into the front of the radiator.

The engine is a four cylinder Buda. The tag says 'Buda the Engine' Model YTU. The carburetor is a Zenith, patent date December 23, 1908. Transmission is by Cotta Transmission Company, Rockford, Illinois, Patent September 21, 1909. It has one reverse and three forward speeds. Brake is brass, hand operated in center of tractor. It has a simple channel iron frame. Rear wheels are pressed steel-no welds. The serial number plate is intact: number B 206, Model TY.

This is about as far as we have gotten on this tractor, but we plan to get it running and, hopefully, restored. Anyone who owns one of these tractors, or has any information-PLEASE, contact me. I have never run across anyone who has ever seen or heard of a Dart Blue Jay.