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Article by: Gene Preston (GTtalk Member Super 982) - Rochester, NY

This is a story I believe GTtalk readers will enjoy as much as I did preparing it. It is a story about a little red garden tractor that was rescued from a life of abuse. It had been stored in a chicken coop for several years. If you know anything about chicken coops, you know that chicken manure is very damaging to paint and metal. It is like an acid that eats right into the surface of metal.

The Cub Cadet model 582 Special is one of the 82 Series wide frame tractors that International Harvester built closing out their 20-year history in the lawn and garden tractor line. These red tractors were primarily marketed at IH Farm Machinery dealers.

I have been a collector of International Harvester built Cub Cadets for decades. My corral has sheltered one of each series offered except the 82 Series red tractors. I always wanted one of the 82 Series Cub Cadet tractors with the look of the bigger IH agricultural line of tractors. While attending the nationally known Pageant of Steam show in Canandaigua, New York this summer, my friend Harold Schwartz and I walked past a variety of items for sale in the flea market section of the show.

Parked here was a down right ugly red Cub Cadet 582 Special that had much of its paint rusted away. The price tag showed that the asking price had been reduced. I commented that I wouldn't take that tractor if it were free. I had not seen many Specials around these parts. The Special differs from the regular model Cub Cadet 582 because of the four speed transmission. The slowest speed is .66 mph. It is similar to what International Harvester called its Creeper Gear; an option offered in most gear drive models. After learning that the tractor had little use because it was stored in a chicken coop for about 18 years, I took a closer look. The hour meter showed less than 350 hours on the 27 year-old tractor. I decided to take the tractor with its 50-inch mower deck.

I purchased the tractor August 8, 2009 from its third owner, John Trubee of Rush, NY. As previously stated here, it was a mess. I immediately started cleaning it before somebody saw it and thought I had gone mad purchasing something like that. A good friend and garden tractor pal, Jim "Doc" Hanna stopped about this time and was speechless when he first saw the beast. Others reacted in a similar way.

For me, part of the fun of restoring a tractor is researching its history. This 582 Special was purchased new by a farmer in Canastota, NY. He used it until he shut down his farming operation and parked the tractor in a chicken house. About 18 years later an auction was conducted at the farm and the 582 was sold to a neighbor. Recently the neighbor advertised the tractor on a local radio sales program called Tradio where John bought it. He kept it a while and then put it up for sale at Canandaigua where I bought it.

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Pressure washing of the machine was the first step. Then dis-assembly with everything safely labeled and put aside in the greenhouse where it will be sanded, primed and re-coated many times. A good quality filler primer was used. An area of the hood and fenders even required body filler. Then plenty of wet sanding. An engine oil problem on the 16 hp Briggs & Stratton twin cylinder engine was corrected.

I made a trip to the local M

582 Special is sold.

A spur of the moment thing, I purchased another red Cub Cadet model 682 5/15/10. After finding the 682 in Hemlock, NY with its hydro and 50-inch deck, I sold the 582 Special at the Canandaigua, NY Pageant of Steam show 8/14/10. It now lives in Penn Yan, NY.

I restored the 682 tractor and now own another red Cub Cadet model 982 with a 50-inch deck, purchased in Sidney, NY 11/1/10. This is my ultimate find. It is the largest of the 82 Series tractors IH built - referred to as a Super Garden Tractor. More on this mighty Super 982 another time. Cub Cadet friends have told me once you get the "Red Cub Cadet bug," it takes over the yellow and white collecting illness. I believe I am feeling the symptoms now. These 82 Series Cub Cadets look sharp when parked next to my red Farmall Super-A, 200 and 400 tractors.

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