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Cub Restoration Business Started Small
Rod Landrum and Patrick Hendley got their start in the antique tractor business when they decided to restore a Farmall Cub together. Landrum, a self-described jack of all trades, was going to do the work while Hendley covered costs and helped out as needed. Finding parts was a problem they soon turned into a solution.
“I started buying parts off the internet before we decided to find our own parts tractor,” recalls Landrum “We found a junker Cub, paid $650 for it and winched it onto our trailer. I cannibalized what I needed and started listing parts I didn’t need.”
Soon Landrum was sending parts to buyers from New York to Texas and Colorado. Before he was done, he had sold more than $1,200 in excess parts. He then put the restored Cub up for sale.
“I had about $1,200 in it and sold it to a guy in Texas for $3,750,” recalls Landrum. “Not counting my labor, we more than doubled our money on the tractor and nearly doubled it on the parts tractor.”
It was one of three restored Cubs he has sold to Texans after posting them to Craigslist Dallas. “It’s been a good way to find a buyer,” says Landrum.
Finding tractors to fix up can be more difficult, although that’s changing as people learn about his interest. “I’m always looking as we drive around our rural area,” he says. “I’ve had several calls asking if I’d be interested in buying theirs.”
His one rule of thumb is the engine must run. “I don’t rebuild engines,” says Landrum. “If they don’t run, I’m not interested.”
He counts himself fortunate in finding several “barn” tractors, older tractors left sitting. He picked up one Cub with a belly mower. He doubled his money on the tractor and sold the mower for $150.
“Some may look bad, but if I can fire them up, I’ll buy them,” he says. “I put in new fluid, plugs, wires, coil, brakes, and more if needed. I get them sandblasted, repaint them and put new decals on. It’s amazing what that’ll do.”
In the middle of his Cub purchases, he and his partner found an older John Deere. “It was a good buy at $1,500,” says Landrum. “We restored it, painted it, and sold it for $3,000.”
An offset Farmall B that ran like a top caught Landrum’s attention. He did the usual restoration, including converting it to a 12-volt system with a new alternator and coil. When his friend shared a picture of a tractor with a farmer’s wife’s side seat, Landrum got another idea.
“We cooked up a concept for my grandson Marshall,” says Landrum. “I added a second platform, steering wheel, and seat. The steering wheel was freewheeling. I used it to teach him to drive.”
To give his grandson’s the same feel and look, he ran the steering rod to an eyebolt mounted to a plate above the front wheels.
He admits the project took more time than his usual restoration. In addition to the wheel and rod, he needed seat supports, springs, support base brackets, and seat belts.
“The base support bracket was the biggest challenge,” says Landrum. “They usually rust out. I ordered one that came from China, but the holes were off, and I had to redrill them. I also had to fabricate the second platform to fit on the left side.”
A key point for Landrum was that the steering wheels be at the same height. This required notching the post base to fit around existing bolt heads on the transmission cover. He also shimmed it to lift it slightly to match the OEM post.
While he has no plans to sell that tractor, he has done a second identical one. The second B with dual seats and steering, plus one that is an OEM single seat are ready for sale.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rod Landrum, 307 Pine Ridge Rd., Parsons, Kan. 67357 (ph 620-820-1695; farmallrod@gmail.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5