Along about January 2008 I saw a post in the for sale section on FarmallCub.com for a nice little Cub in Waldo, Arkansas. Like any other post I took a look out of curiosity. I already had 12 or 13 Cubs as well as a couple bigger tractors so why in the world would I need another one? Something about that Cub just stuck with me though. It looked like it was well cared for and didn’t spend much time outside when not in use. So I responded to Dan England, the owner, saying I was interested in his Cub.
Dan answered back and said he wanted to make sure I knew everything there was to know about this little tractor before he would let me buy it. Dan said the pictures he posted were about two years old and he would have his granddaughter take newer photos when she came to visit in a few days. He also told me that the Cub ran great the year before but was giving him trouble over the winter. He really felt that the magneto was the culprit and that a little work would get it going. He said he would tell prospective buyers that he had a possible buyer and he would not sell it to anyone else until I was able to see it.
Dan and I had never met and we never really chatted with each other on the forum. But something about our conversations told me that if I was to buy this Cub I knew I would be dealing with a fair and honest man. He sent the pictures a few days later along with his phone number and asked that I call to discuss his Cub. We spent quite a while talking the next day. One of the first things he told me about it was that it had a cracked block. It wasn’t a stress crack in a support ear though. It was what appeared to be a freeze crack that ran long ways just above the magneto. He had patched it with JB Weld and appeared to be holding up well, but would only get worse in time. He took the time to hi-lite the area in one photo to show this crack.
After discussing this crack with other folks I decided this Cub could survive the problem it had. I called Dan a few days later to say I would take the Cub. He then asked why I would drive 700 miles for a tractor with today’s gas prices. I told him it settled my mind in a couple ways. I would pay him immediately for the tractor if he would hold it until the Texas Tumble. I figured if I went to the Tumble I would pass within thirty miles of Dan’s place and I could get the Cub. I also looked at it another way. If I was going to pick up the Cub I might as well go the extra 200+ miles and attend the Tumble. Dan agreed to hold the Cub and the deal was sealed.
Wednesday evening, March 26, 2008 we started packing. It was about dark and I had just hooked up the trailer and was checking the lights when I saw it. Dang, the trailer plates expired in November. The state registrar does not open till nine o’clock in the morning. Now what? Dan had planned to leave very early Friday for the Tumble and if I left home later than planned I would not get to his place till very late or even worse if we were to have unforeseen problems. That could have meant not picking up the Cub till after the Tumble. I went to my big trailer and did the unthinkable, I swapped plates.
Thursday March 27 at 6:15 AM found Rosanne and I on the road to Texas. I called Dan later in the day and told him if all went well we would be in Waldo around 7:00 PM to load the Cub while it was still light and be on our way to Palestine Texas by eight. By driving all the way we would reach Palestine by midnight.
We hit that schedule just right as we pulled into Dan's about seven o;clock. I had brought another magneto along but I felt that due to the lateness, and with dark coming on, it would be better to get it loaded and work on it at Donny’s. Vince D had stopped in from Missouri on his way to the Tumble and he helped Dan and I push the Cub onto the trailer. It sure is nice that these little dudes roll so easy.
By now it was dark and we were about four hours from our destination and we could make it to Texas by midnight as planned. But with the exhaust the way it was and being in unfamiliar territory we decided to call it a day. The last thing I needed was to have a major problem on a long dark road with no help in sight. Dan and Vince graciously led us to the edge of Waldo and pointed us in the direction of Magnolia Arkansas where we could find a good motel for the night.
We left the motel Friday morning about 6:00 AM. Now that we were off course by several miles it would have been a long drive to back track. The girl at the motel desk gave excellent directions to Shreveport and into Texas. Of course every time I saw a police car I let off the gas so the exhaust would quiet down a bit. At the Texas welcome center the lady knew exactly where we were headed, so armed with a complimentary map and her hand written notes and arrows we easily found Oakwood Texas, home of the Texas Tumble.
We pulled into the site of the Texas Tumble about ten o;clock and were immediately surrounded by the welcoming committee. Well not really a welcome Committee. It was more like we were made to feel at home with all the guests. Some of the guys helped me unload Cub and since it was bought as a non-runner it immediately went to the shop. These guys were hungry for a project and a non-running Cub was exactly what they wanted from the menu.
Donnie grabbed a new set of plugs and handed them to me and said “put em in”, so in they went. Meanwhile the others went to work on the suspected magneto problem. They set the #1 piston on top dead center, marked the mag so it would go back in correctly and checked the plug wires. Donnie checked the mag to make sure it had spark and then set about doing some minor adjusting, cleaning and lubing. These guys worked so fast I couldn’t tell what all was done. Before I knew it they were cranking on that little Cub to get it to fire. After a few futile attempts Ralph told me to get on and put it in gear. After a quick shove down the hill it sprung to life.
A little tinkering with the carb had this Cub idling fairly smooth, so I asked Dan to get on and take a ride. After all it was his and I felt he might want to give it another go before it left for Ohio. It didn’t take much coaxing to get Dan to ride it. He was eager as could be to give the Cub another spin. In fact he seemed to give the impression that he wouldn’t mind seeing it pay a visit south now and then. I assured him that if it ever went on the market he would have first shot at getting Waldo back (yep, I named it after the town where I got it).