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Restoring Cub Cadet Garden Tractors Leads to Father and Son Bonding Time
I was at the Fawn Grove Olde Tyme Days Fall Show 2010 walking around taking pictures of all the different tractors that made their appearance just like I always do. Some know that I have grown quite fond of the IH Cub Cadet garden tractors over the last year. As I was walking around taking pictures, this group of Cub Cadet garden tractors caught my eye.
I started taking pictures of the Cub Cadets and then got a chance to talk to the owner Mike Lohss. I got to ask a lot of questions at the Fawn Grove, PA Show but I had no way of documenting them. It wasn't until the Steam-O-Rama in Windsor, PA that I got a chance to do an interview with Mike to get some more details and have them documented for an article for the site. While we were at the Fawn Grove Show though, it made for a great opportunity to take some wonderful pictures of his 1961 Cub Cadet Original, 1964 Cub Cadet 100 and his Cub Cadet 147.
The two Cub Cadets caught my eye because of how nicely they were redone. The Cub Cadet 100 was acquired by Mike 15 years before it would be restored by him and his son Mike. Mike worked for a local lawn and garden dealer and bought the Cub Cadet 100 when it was traded in, his original plans for it was to fix it up and resell it and make a couple bucks. He said a couple of other projects came along and it ended up sitting in the back of his garage for 15 years. I think we all know how that goes.
Before the restoration one of Mike's coworkers was in to Cub Cadet garden tractors and Mike was going to sell it to him. Hi coworker came over to take a look at it and said to Mike, "Why don't you and your son restore it and take it to tractor shows?". So that led Mike to ask his son who was in eighth grade at the time, his son's response was "Oh ya dad, that would be cool". They started on it in 2002 and about a year later they had it finished.
I asked Mike how he cleaned the tractor to prep it for paint, whether he used a sandblaster or other method. He said he does everything by hand and using a dual action sander. I gotta give props for anyone who does sanding and material prep by hand. I am a big fan of taking the easy way out using sandblasting and now using electrolysis, especially now that we have had a few members using this method with great success.
Mike said they had the Cub Cadet 100 together and apart about 3 times making sure everything was right and the way it was supposed to be. Rebuilding what needed rebuilt. They tore the tractor apart one last time to repaint it. Mike and his son did a wonderful job on their first father and son garden tractor project together. It led them to start doing tractor shows together and restoring more Cub Cadet garden tractors along the way.
The 1961 Cub Cadet Original was acquired in 2003 ironically enough they found out about it at the Steam-O-Rama show. They went to look at the tractor in Frysville, PA and bought it. Mike said the Cub Cadet Original didn't require as much mechanical work. The previous owner had already had the engine rebuilt. They went through the rear and steering and then tore it apart to clean it. They then painted the Cub Cadet Original and put new decals on it. Quoted from Mike "I fix them mechanically so once they are painted they won't ever have to come back apart again." I must say I agree with his logic. Tearing them apart after painting is an easy way to scratch them up.
I didn't get to ask any details in the interview about Mike's Cub Cadet 147 but I must say I love it. I was iffy putting decals on mine because I always have liked a simple look and always like the way my Cub Cadet 147 looked, at least I did until I seen Mike's 147. Mike and his son Mike have a couple more Cub Cadet garden tractors. Hopefully I will be able to do some coverage on them as well in another article. Mike's son has a really nice Cub Cadet 123 and they also have a Cub Cadet 1650 along with a couple more. I want to thank Mike and his son for taking the time for the photos and interview. I also want to thank them for helping keep the hobby going by getting our next generations into the hobby.
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