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Cutaway Tractor Shows How It Works
North Carolina tractor collectors are educating new generations with their show-it-all Farmall Cub. The tractor has 27 viewing ports from air intake to exhaust. Rapid-fire LED lights imitate ignition as the valves lift and lower, pistons rise and fall, and camshafts, crankshaft, gears and axles turn. Creating the unique tractor was the work of the Appalachian Mountain Region IH Collectors Club.
“International Harvester did 13 similar cutaway Farmall Cubs in 1950 and provided them to several colleges,” says James Dickson, club member. “Our club decided to replicate the effort after some of our members saw an original in Florida. We wanted something we could haul around to teach young people.”
In addition to Dickson, about 10 of the 90 plus members worked on the project. Member Dale Green donated a 1951 Cub to the effort. One member did the precise cutting needed, while another sandblasted and repainted the tractor. Others contributed tires and parts. One member had contacts with a professional video production company. The result was an informative video about the project that included young professional actors asking members questions about the tractor.
“We mounted a heavy-duty electric motor with a 57 to 1 ratio gearbox on the rear end,” says Dickson. “It powered a large pulley on the pto shaft to further reduce the speed to 20 rpm’s. Everything functions as it ought to at that speed.”
Club members raised the tractor hood about 6 in. for a clear view of upper parts. When on display, the tractor’s rear end is raised off the ground, allowing the wheels to turn.
“It’s fun to watch parents and grandparents trying to teach a 12-year-old about how an engine works,” says Dickson. “For some like myself who struggled to understand how a differential works, this Cub allows you to just look down into it and see.”
Dickson says the project has been a learning experience for members as well. He notes that sometimes the questions from the people seeing the moving parts can be difficult to answer.
The tractor was completed in 2020 and has been taken to schools and local shows. It’s starting to build a reputation beyond the area. The timing couldn’t have been better, as 2022 is the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the Farmall Cub.
“We took it to a farm show in Georgia where hundreds stopped to see it,” says Dickson. “This spring it’ll be at the IH Collectors Club National Winter Convention in Tennessee (March 24-26). It’ll also be at the Red Power Roundup in Ohio (June 23-25), where the Farmall Cub will be the featured tractor.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, James Dickson, 55 Forge Valley Dr., Mills River, N.C. (ph 828-775-5773; dickson-james@att.net).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #2