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Twin Case 470s


My twin Case 470s started life as airport runway scrubbing machines called Star-Scrubbers. This company took new Case 470 gas tractors and added all their scrubbing equipment to them. They lived at Laguardia Airport for the last 34 or so years, with the scrubbing equipment and solution tanks on them they looked like ice grooming Zamboni machines. The only give away that they were tractors were the large rear tractor tires.They sat in an old hanger for a few years,till they demolished that and then they were stuck in an outside storage yard for a few more years uncovered. I had gotten the tractor bug and was considering purchasing a Chinese crate tractor but my wife would not hear of it, I work around Laguardia and remembered seeing those big rear wheels. I found them around dusk and was looking them over,( they were covered with old tires and garbage) when a pickup truck pulled in the yard and a little guy with an Italian accent out of the movies got out. I asked them what they doing with the old scrubbers and his response was You-Wanna-Them, You-Gotta-Take-a-Both.I asked who they belonged to and he said his boss and to return at 6AM the following morning to see his boss. I was there early, he boss arrived and I asked him about the scrubbers, his response was the same, you want them, you gotta take both. He them said something that really floored me, that very afternoon he was calling the scrap yard to take them away to be melted down. I visably shuttered and assured him that really wanted them and not to scrap them. He asked me three more times if I really wanted them and would really take them, when convinced I was for real he shook my hand like I was doing him a large service.Apparently no one, not even junk yards want farm tractors in NYC. I hired a flatbed towtruck and took them to ten acres in the mountains, it was like rescuing two old horses that were going to the glue factory and taking them to the country to live again.The next morning I used a torch and burned off 600lbs of carbon steel and 6 stainless steel tanks off them and they look like tractors again. I now have both running, one was more of a challenge than the other, the whole top end and exhaust manifold full of rain water. I have the expected problems, gummed up carbs, and rusty leaky gas tanks. One is missing the right (outer) brake pedal and the grill, I ve located a pedal in South Dakota for the best price Ive found so far, I was told the pedals for the 430, 470 and 530 are the same. I dont know if the grills would also be the same, My hope if both are sound would be to put a front end loader and backhoe on one and a three point hitch on the other. My wife is still up in the air about them, she never saw a tractor before being a city girl. But they are beautiful to me, I swear I could hear them sigh when I covered them up with new canvas tarps that first night I had them. Now Im on the search for an appropiate frontend loader, backhoe,rear independent pto, three-point hitch and I still need one grill. Since these were used as scrubbers the only thing behind the rear end is a blankoff plate that covers where the rear pto mounts. Any suggestions or leads would be appriciated

Paul Cason, PA, entered 2004-11-11
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