Top of the Class


| November 2007

  • Andrew was invited to display his project at a special exhibit, where he shared his enthusiasm for antique tractors
    Andrew was invited to display his project at a special exhibit, where he shared his enthusiasm for antique tractors. "I learned from a young age that there is nothing at all like driving a tractor, and to own one myself would just be too cool," he says. "I chose this as my project because compared to anything else I could do, it would best reflect the knowledge I've learned. I will also have an essentially brand new tractor to use on the farm."
  • The Cub was rough and ready ... for restoration
    The Cub was rough and ready ... for restoration. Andrew and his dad searched the classifieds for the perfect candidate. "I combed everything I could get my hands on and highlighted the cheaper, little gas tractors," Andrew says. "I certainly didn't want to tackle some big machine or a diesel as my first project!"||Static/1107/P1010081.jpg||Mid-December: The Cub is stripped down to the chassis. "When working on 50-year-old machines, sometimes you have to be a little creative in the process," Andrew says. "There were many stuck bolts, bent and missing pieces, but with a little creativity you can save a lot of money on the fixes." For some fixes, Andrew relied on a sandblaster and an electrolysis tank he built himself.
  • The Cub's engine disassembled
    The Cub's engine disassembled.
  • Early February: The transmission and rear end main case
    Early February: The transmission and rear end main case. After discovering a braze on the Cub's transmission, Andrew opted to get a replacement unit.
  • Early January: the engine ready to be reassembled
    Early January: the engine ready to be reassembled. "Until this point in time, I had never restored or rebuilt much of anything," Andrew muses.
  • The repainted chassis with wheels and tires mounted
    The repainted chassis with wheels and tires mounted, just as Andrew was ready to start the process of final assembly in mid-March.
  • Andrew painting the Cub's chassis
    Andrew painting the Cub's chassis in early March before beginning final reassembly.
  • The repainted chassis with engine attached
    The repainted chassis with engine attached.
  • The finished restoration of Andrew Spivey's Farmall Cub
    The finished restoration of Andrew Spivey's Farmall Cub. "This was a complete rebuild," Andrew says. "Nothing was left untouched. I know this Cub like the back of my hand. And nobody was allowed to help. All of the seals, engine work, paint and decals had to be done by me." His hard work paid off: Andrew received a perfect score on his senior project.
  • Rear view of the restored Cub
    Rear view of the restored Cub. Andrew plans to use the tractor next spring on an okra patch, and as the family's mowing unit (as soon as he gets his International C-2 mower fixed).

  • Andrew was invited to display his project at a special exhibit, where he shared his enthusiasm for antique tractors
  • The Cub was rough and ready ... for restoration
  • The Cub's engine disassembled
  • Early February: The transmission and rear end main case
  • Early January: the engine ready to be reassembled
  • The repainted chassis with wheels and tires mounted
  • Andrew painting the Cub's chassis
  • The repainted chassis with engine attached
  • The finished restoration of Andrew Spivey's Farmall Cub
  • Rear view of the restored Cub

South Carolina Teen tackles Farmall Cub restoration for senior project

High school seniors keep an eye on the checklist as they inch toward graduation. Take college entrance exams … schedule senior pictures … order cap and gown … but  Andrew Spivey's to-do list included a less-traditional task: Restore antique tractor

At the Greenville technical school, every senior is required to complete a senior project, a year-long study devoted to a topic of the student's choice.

Each student conducts research to answer a question and produces a tangible product representing what he has learned. Throughout the project, the student keeps a portfolio of journals, photos and relevant documentation. Selecting a project topic was the first challenge.

One day, Andrew noticed an old Ferguson for sale on the side of the road. 'The thought hit me like a sack of bricks,' he recalls. 'I absolutely have to do something with tractors! How neat would that be?!?' He based his research on the question 'What goes into restoring an antique tractor?'



Although Andrew grew up around tractors on the farm, he had never restored one. In fact, he had never done any wrenching on that scale. 'I had a strong desire to work on a tractor,' he admits. 'But everyone told me I'd be in over my head … that there was no way I could restore a tractor in a school year without a skilled background in mechanics.' In the end, that advice took the form of a challenge, and his determination was fueled.

As with many life challenges, this one delivered in ways Andrew never could have imagined. He made friends with Cub enthusiasts all over North America, gained confidence in his ability to solve problems and cemented a relationship with his dad. But we get ahead of ourselves. The story begins with a barely running vintage Cub.



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