Owen's Farmall Cub

Farmall Badge

Owe's Cub Owen Meredith's Cub was acquired in 2007 from "a friend of a friend," whose name isn't remembered anymore. The Cub was built in 1949 and is Serial Number 97989. The tractor has had an easy life, as the previous owner only used the Cub to pull a wagon at parades and Owen only uses it on tractor rides; although, he complains that the Cub is a bit slow at times. Owen would be happy to discuss tractors with anyone; he can be contacted at joowen@ctesc.net


ENGINE Four cylinder C-60  vertical inline, L-head, sleeveless.
Gasoline; however, the tractor could run or kerosene (distillate).
2 5/8 inch bore and 2 3/4 inch stroke; 59.5 cubic inches.
6.5:1 compression ratio; this was later increased to 7.5:1.
7.45.1 compression ratio with 5,000 foot high-altitude cylinder head.
3/4 inch IH updraft carburetor.
4 inch bath-type Donaldson or  United Specialists air cleaner.
IH distributor, IH model J-4 magneto, or a Wico-brand magneto.
Delco-Remy generator and starter motor.
Champion D-21 or AC C86 spark plug.
Fly-ball variable-speed governor.
6 1/2 inch single disc, single-stage, dry clutch--Auburn or Rockford brand (the Rockford was considered to be heavier duty).
HORSEPOWER Running at 1,600 rpm (1947-1956), 8.89 hp at the drawbar and 9.76 hp at the PTO or belt pulley.
Running at 1,800 rpm (1956 on),  9.4 at the drawbar and 10.39 hp at the PTO or belt pulley.
The Cub could easily pull one 12-inch plow..
PTO/BELT PULLEY The PTO and belt pulley turned in the opposite direction from those on other tractors and required proprietary implements.
PTO/belt-pulley speed--1,600 rpm (1947-1956); 1,800 rpm (1956 on).
FLUID CAPACITIES Cooling system - 9.75 quarts.
Fuel tank - 7.5 gallons.
Crankcase - 3 quarts.
Transmission - 1.75 quarts.
Hydraulic system - 0.56 gallon.
CHASSIS Like the Farmall A, the engine is offset to the left and the steering wheel and driver to the right.
Integral frame design, with the engine block, clutch housing, and combined transmission case/differential housing forming the frame (no frame rails).
Use with a front-end loader, excessive drawbar loads, or sudden release of the clutch can result in a cracked block.

BRAKES Foot-pedal individually-operated differential drums.
DIMENSIONS 99 3/8 iches long; 62 3/4 inches to top of steering wheel; 75.25 inches to top of exhaust pipe.
40 inches width with wheels set in; 48 inches to ends of axles; 64 1/4 inches width with wheels set out.
Rear-wheel width was adjusted by moving the rims and discs of the rear wheels or by adding a spacer tube to each axle flange.
Front-wheel width was fixed or adjusted with an optional sliding axle.
1,477 lbs. approximate weight with fluids (early); 1,877 lbs. approximate weight (late); 2,891 lbs. aaproximate weight (ballasted).
20 3/8 inches crop clearance.

SPEEDS 1947-1956 (serial numbers 501-192112)
1st gear - 2 1/8 mph.

2nd gear - 3 1/8 mph.
3rd gear - 6 1/2 mph.
Reverse - 2 3/8 mph.

1955 on (serial numbers 192113 and up)
1st gear - 2.435 mph.
2nd gear - 3.246 mph.
3rd gear - 7.304 mph.
Reverse - 2.713 mph.
The transmission was not synchronized.
NUMBERS PRODUCED 1947 - 5,564.
1948 - 3,040.
1949 - 44,544.
1950 - 23,421.
1951 - 24,298.
1952 - 17,691.
1953 - 18,827.
1954 - 4,242.
1955 - 7,776.
1956 - 5,023.
1957 - 5,594.
1958 - 8,794.
Chassis prefixes - FCUB.
Engine prefixes - FCUBM.
1947 - 501-11347.
1948 - 11348-57830.
1949 - 57831 - 99535.
1950 - 99536 - 121453.
1951 - 121454 - 144454.
1952 - 144455-162283.
1953 - 162284-179411.
1954 - 179412-186440.
1955 - 186441-193657.
1956 - 193658-198230.
1957 - 198231-204388.
1958 - 204389-211440.
1959 - 211441-214973.
1960 - 214974-217381.
1961 - 217382-220037.
1962 - 220038-221382.
1963 - 221383-223452.
1964 - 223453-224703.

Chassis serial number location - Plate on right side of steering gear housing.
Engine serial number location - Left side of crankcase, right of carburetor.
1964 - 224704-225109.
1965 - 225110-227208.
1966 - 227209-229224.
1967 - 229225-231004.
1968 - 231005-232980.
1969 - 232981-234867.
1970 - 234868-236826.
1971 - 236827-238505.
1972 - 238506-240580.
1973 - 240581-242745.
1974 - 242746-245650.
1975 - 245651-248124.

Chassis serial number location - Plate on right side of steering gear housing.
Engine serial number location - Left side of crankcase, right of carburetor.
(Usually found cast upside down on larger castings. IH used these codes from 1931 to at least 1981. The codes are useful for dating a tractor with a missing serial number plate. Castings were usually used within six months of manufacture. Tractors with mismatched date codes may have had parts replaced or have been built from several scrapped machines.)
A - Used in 1931, 1955, and 1976.
B - Used in 1932 and 1956.
C - Used in 1933, 1957, and 1977.
D - Used in 1934, 1958, and 1978.
E - Used in 1935, 1959, and 1979.
F - Used in 1936, 1960, and 1980.
G - Used in 1937, 1961, and 1981.
H - Used in 1938 and 1962.
I - Used in 1939.
J - Used in 1940 and 1963.
K - Used in 1941 and1964.
L - Used in 1942 and 1965.
M - Used in 1943 and 1966.
N - Used in 1944 and 1967.
O - Used in 1945.
P - Used in 1946 and 1968.
Q - Used in 1947.
R - Used in 1948 and 1969.
S - Used in 1949 and 1970.
T - Used in 1950 and 1971.
U - Used in 1951 and 1972.
V - Not used.
W - Used in 1951 and 1973.
X - Used in 1952 and 1974.
Y - Used in 1953 and 1975.
Z - Used in 1954.
TIRES 3.00 x 12 front tires.
6.00 x 24 rear tires (early).
8.24 x 24 rear tires (late agriculture).
8.3 x 24 or 9.5 x 24 (late agriculture).
STANDARD EQUIPMENT IH J-4 magneto ignition.
Foot-operated differential steering brakes.
Reversible, vertically-adjustable U-shaped drawbar.
Nonadjustable front axle.
Starting crank.
Gauges by Rochester.
IH-built radiator.

Spring-mounted pan seat.
Push/pull ignition switch; this was changed to a key switch in the 1960's.
Cubs with serial numbers previous to number 224401had 6-volt positive ground electrical systems. After serial number 224401, Cubs had 12-volt negative ground systems.
(1950's prices)
No-battery generator  by Bosch for lights only.
Dual rear light and taillight by Guide ($4.50).
Battery ignition, lighting, and electric starter (6-volt Delco-Remy) for magneto-equipped tractors ($59.50). This was standard from 1958 on.
Battery from Autolite or Globe Union.
Hobbs hour meter for tractors with electric starters and lighting.

Foam-rubber uholstered seat ($8.25).
Detachable seat pad.
Adjustable front axle ($21.75).
Wide-tread increased-clearance attachment, including rear-axle extensions.
Swinging drawbar ($4.50).
PTO and belt pulley ($37.00).
Hub City attachment to reverse the direction of the PTO.
Touch-Control hydraulic lifting system with a Pesco or Thompson pump ($84.00).
Spark arrester ($6.50).
Muffler ($2.50).
High-altitude (5,000 foot) cylinder head.
Exhaust valve rotators.
Schrader & Engineair sparkplug-type pneumatic tire pump.
Front-wheel weights - 26 lbs. each ($6.00 pair).
Inside front-wheel inside weights - 50 lbs. each (availalbe 1958 and on).
Rear-wheel weights - 145 lbs. each ($30.25 pair).
One-point Fast Hitch.
Mounting step.
Other features in later years.
TYPICAL PRICES Base price in 1947 - $545.00.
Base price in 1950 - $659.00
Price with options in 1950 - $867.00
MISCELLANEOUS White Demo Cubs (serial numbers 99356-106516) were built in January, February, and March, 1950, as a marketing ploy to commemorate the mid-20th century. Dealers were later asked to repaint these tractors red.
(1950 prices)
#3 spring-tooth field cultivator ($61.00)
4-foot-wide #23A tandem disc-harrow ($134.00)
Cub 33 2-row bean harvester ($55.50)
Cub 22 4-foot sickle mower ($97.00)
Cub 151 1-furrow disk-plow ($128.00)
Cub 189 1-furrow, 12-inch, 2-way moldboard plow ($118.00)
Cub leveling and grader blade ($35.00)
Cub two-wheeled farm trailer ($174.00)
Rear-mounted Cub toolbox ($28.25).


During the early 1940's, the International-Harvester marketing department identified an emerging marketing area--limited acreages run by part-time urban farmers, large vegetable gardeners, and tobacco growers. These farmers usually each had one horse or mule and tractors available up to that time were too big, clumsy and expensive for their needs. The Farmall F-12, F-14, Cultivision A and AV were available for farmers working 40 to 90 acres (two-horse farms), but IH had nothing to offer farmers with 40 acres or less.

Prototypes of an entirely new small tractor were presented to IH management in late 1944 and the decision was made to move forward with research and development on what was termed "Farmall X." This new tractor was to cost approximately $225.00 to produce and to sell for approximately $400.00. It was to be two-thirds the size of the Farmall Super A. Comparable competitors included the Allis-Chalmers G and the Massey-Harris Pony.

Production was delayed by World-War II and the tractor wasn't introduced to the public until December, 1945. The first production tractor left the assembly line in May, 1947. The Farmall Cub cost $55 million to bring to production; it was manufactured at the Louisville Works in Kentucky.  
An aggresive marketing program resulted in large sales almost immediately.

An early survey of 10,000 purchasers revealed that more than 50% of the Cubs were being used on vegetable, grain, or livestock farms. Only 3% of Cubs were used by tobacco farmers. 75% of the Cubs were used on farms of less than 50 acres.

Sales of Farmall Cubs decreased in the 1960's, due to farm consolation and mergers. About 75% of the Cubs sold at that time were used in industry. In 1963, the Farmall Cub agricultural version was discontinued and only the International Cub industrial version--painted yellow and white--was retained. The industrial version was built from 1964 to 1975 (serial numbers 224704-248124). List prices of the IH Cub industrial version ranged from $1,680.00 in 1964 to $3,529.00 in 1975.

The Farmall Cub Lo-Boy and International Cub Lo-Boy were introduced to the public in September, 1954. The only difference between the two versions was that the Farmall Lo-Boy had an adjustable wide front axle. The Lo-Boy was produced by rotating the rear drop-axle housings forward and shortening the front-axle extensions; this lowered the tractor by approximately seven inches and shortened it to 62 1/2 inches. It was given a padded tip-over seat, the controls were slightly modified, and the vertical exhaust was replaced with an under-mounted system. Cub Lo-Boy serial numbers were recorded separately from Cub serial numbers. These numbers ranged from serial number 501 in 1955 to 26007 in 1968. The target market of the Lo-Boy included municipalities, government agencies, commercial enterprises, and industries.

IH began production of the Cub Cadet in January, 1961 (serial number 590), and continued until 1981 (serial number 694248). The tractor was developed to meet IH's need for a small, four-wheeled garden tractor with an air-cooled engine in the four to seven horsepower range. The Cub Cadet was intended for gardening and estate maintenance; however, owners found it useful for a wide variety of home, farm and industrial applications. The Cub Cadet Corporation (CCC) took over Cub Cadet production from IH on June 1, 1981. CCC was owned by the Modern Tool and Die Company (MTD); although, CCC was independent of the MTD brand. Eventually, CCC would become a division of the MTD Company. Production of the Cub Cadet continues to date.

There were seven styling variations to the Cub, Cub Lo-Boy, and Cub Cadet between 1947 and 1980. The Cub was originally produced with a wire-mesh grille and a smooth-sided hood with three horizontal bars stamped into the hood side for rigidity. It was restyled in 1959 to match IH 460-560 tractors that were released at that time.  Cubs with serial numbers from 210,001 (1958) to 222,500 (1963) had grilles with three larger horizontal bars painted white, with the model designation in a stamped metal oval on the side supports of the grille. They also had white accents. This styling was retained until 1954, when the Cub was given a new horizontal nine-bar grille. All Cubs with serial numbers from 185,000 to 210,000 had stainless-steel emblems on the sides of their hoods which identified the models. This was done so that the Cub would match other tractors in the Fifty Series. In 1958, the Cub was restyled with a new grille, emblems, paint scheme, and decal changes to match tractors in the IH 40-60 Series. The final restyling of the Cubs occured in 1963, (serial number 222501 on). These Cubs had a new flat grille and different paint. The grille screen, hood, wheel rims, and grille housing were white and the rest of the tractor was IH 483 Federal Yellow.

Cubs sold in North America had decals reading "McCormick Farmall Cub" or "International Cub." Export tractors had a variety of insignias, as did Cubs built in IH factories in foreign countries.

International-Harvester's production of the Cub line (Cub, Cub Lo-Boy, and Cub Cadet) represents the longest production of any tractor in the world--32 years.


Fay, Guy. International Harvester Tractor Data Book. MBI, 1997.
Updike, Kenneth. Farmall Cub & Cub Cadet. Farm Tractor Color History Series. MBI, 2002.
Updike, Kenneth. Original Farmall Cub and Cub Cadet. MBI, 2005
Will, Oscar H., III. Cub Cadet: The First 45 Years. Haine, 2005.

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