289 V8 Powered International Cub Tractor!

Just when you thought that 2020 was nothing but sorrow and misery on top of heartache and strife, you see something like this International Harvester Cub with a 289 V8 and it totally redeems itself! Frankly, I can’t believe that this tractor is still for sale but it is and it’s listed here on craigslist in Chester, Virginia, just south of beautiful and historic Richmond. The seller is asking what seems like a reasonable $5,000 for this super custom creation. Thanks to Ian C. for sending in this tip!

If 2020 wouldn’t have kicked me to the curb this listing would be gone and this beautiful tractor would be headed to our garage. Well, truthfully the year wasn’t that bad but my percentage of fun money for buying crazy, almost-totally-useless-but-cool things like this fantastic Cub 184 was basically cut to nothing. Speaking of cut, or cutting, I don’t have a clue as to what I would possibly do with it because we don’t have a farm or even a big yard to mow, but I want it.

The Cub was made by International Harvester for a little over 40 years, from 1947 until 1980 under the Farmall and then International names, but originally they were McCormick-Deering Cub tractors. The I-H Cub 184 was made from 1977 until 1980. This one is not like anything that came from the factory as you can see. An internet search will turn up regular-spec I-H Cub 184 tractors in the $2,500 to $3,000 range but the custom work here has to be worth a premium.

The restoration of the tractor itself looks top-notch even without the crazy 289 V8 that’s stuffed into it. This was part of International-Harvester’s Lo-Boy line of smaller tractors and a search will show several of them with mower attachments underneath the engine. We could probably mow our lawn in 7 minutes with this thing. The seller appears to have done an outstanding job, this tractor has some nice, modern touches and it looks great from every angle. Even the underside looks perfect.

Of course, the big thing here is this 289 cubic-inch V8 engine. The original Cub 184 engine would have been a C-60, 60 cubic-inch L-head four-cylinder with 18 horsepower. I’m guessing that the 289 here has at least ten times that horsepower? They say that it runs great and it’s backed by a C4 automatic transmission. I don’t know what anyone would use this for other than showing in vintage tractor shows, or maybe even car shows? Have any of you seen a creation like this 289-powered I-H Cub? How about the price? I really like this one, a lot.


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  1. Howard A Member

    Nice, SG! This covers just about all the bases. Car V8 tractors are nothing new. In much bigger units, however, this is all fluff. Way overkill for the intended purpose of this kind of tractor, but the coolness factor is off the scale. I knew a guy that had a GM 327 in an IH “M” series, ( with “zoomie headers”) and he claimed, it did a better overall job than the IH motor, I think an in line 6. More power, ran cooler, better on gas, believe it or not, and sounded pretty nice. This is just a toy, but maybe Hollywood and Tim Taylor were on to something,,,,

    Like 16
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Something of this quality you don’t have to do a lot with. Sit around and look at it, take it to shows, drive it around the neighborhood, whatever. Fun factor is there.

    Like 17
    • Dickie F.

      I was wondering, does this not qualify as the ultimate sleeper ?

      Like 7
      • johnny clarke

        A sleeper would technically be a wolf in sheep clothing.You see this thing pull up and all you see is wolf

        Like 4
    • SirRaoulDuke

      This would be a big hit at my local vintage tractor show, which draws hundreds of tractors. Instant street cred…or is that dirt cred?

      Like 6
  3. Don P

    Begs for a hold my beer moment, drop the clutch and flip it over backwards.
    Seriously though, all the time put into this and he is basically giving it away.

    Like 13
  4. Joe Haska

    All I can say is you said exactly what I would have said if I could express myself better.

    Like 7
  5. Marko

    Just the thing one needs for leaving Porche and Lamborghinni tractors sitting at the traffic light.

    Like 30
    • Howard A Member

      I noticed, there’s no safety stuff, like seat belts or ROPS. It appears to have the stock IH rear axle, and I can’t find a ratio, but was geared for the original 4 cylinder. I’d have to think, like those V8 motorcycles, this would almost be undrivable.

      Like 5
      • Mark-A

        Reason is probably because the builder DIDN’T grow up around HEALTH & SAFETY LEGISLATION, likely because he knows what common sense is & can think for himself, remember the days when if U injured yourself the thought wasn’t who can I sue but I’ll NOT do that again!

        Like 5
  6. Classic Steel

    No more PTO on back .. so it will pull a float and take it to a tractor show.

    Someone has time on their hands and money 😂

    I will give creds for pretty!

    Its a good deal for a business needing an attention getter👍

    Like 5
  7. Beyfon

    I was reminded about an old YouTube video of some Swedish rednecks and the build they did with an old Volvo Terrier tractor. (Search Volvo Terror tractor)
    Watch that video to get some ideas about the kind of fun you can have with something like this!

    Like 8
  8. ace10

    No PTO, No multi-point hitch. Just an auto-style receiver.

    This rig is set up for parades around the neighborhood pulling a hay wagon. And not much else.

    Like 4
  9. David Grim

    Put a triangle on the back and drive it.

    Like 4
  10. MorganW MorganW

    This could make for some fun hay rides…quality of the work looks very nice.

    Like 6
    • chrlsful

      yeah, scary-nite Halloween.
      8^ 0

    • chrlsful

      the flathead bent8 I could see, the chromed up 1 I could see (the 223/262 or was it the later 6 i6s the ‘ThriftPower’ or “Falcon” motors. Just couldn’t see).

  11. CVPanther Member

    You mean I could plow my garden and drive to work with the same vehicle?
    That is in dream territory for me.
    Beautiful tractor, lots of nice work there.

    Like 7
  12. Allan W

    A sequel worth waiting for: ‘Ford-powered International Harvester vs Ferrari’.
    Wasn’t Carroll Shelby famous for wearing overalls? PERFECT!

    Like 9
  13. Dewayne D

    Change tires and add some weights and it would be ready for the tractor pull!

    Like 5
  14. Jcs

    Will this pass the emission test?

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Let me rearrange a bit, and add a word.

      This will pass the emission test station.

      (Keep the throttle open, and don’t look back!)

      Like 10
  15. William

    You know, back in my younger days this might have been nice for logging. Not so big, could get into tight spaces. Put some chains on her and no log is too big to drag out of the woods.

    Like 6
  16. local_sheriff

    I have absolutely no real use for a tractor but I’ve always wanted one. Over-powering a smaller tractor with a car-type V8 is such a cool idea – this ‘MF 350’ has to be my all time favorite so far:


    Like 4
    • fabman

      That little MF is sweet! really impressed with how well it drives down the road. That was built by a craftsman.
      Thanks for sharing

      Like 1
    • SirRaoulDuke

      How about these crazy Europeans that dropped a turbo Volvo Red Block into a tractor?


      Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      There are plenty of such overpowered compact European tractors on YT, however I really enjoy them when they’re not stretched but at first glance could’ve passed for stock. How about a cute V6 Fergie?


      Like 1
  17. jdoc

    Could only pull heavy logs with some serious weight on the front. The bright orange/red and loud engine might keep the bears away.

  18. Rob Member

    Back in the 1970’s you could be a competitive tractor puller in less than a week. Pull a junk 1930’s F series IH tractor out of the weeds and sticking a junkyard V8 and automatic in the frame rails and couple it to the Tractor Trans. Widen the wheels and cut most of the tread off a set of tires. Back in those days seat belts roll bars and scatter blankets hadn’t shown up yet.


    google search “riding lawnmower with 454 on test drive”. its filmed from drivers P.O.V. yeah this man carries his nuts in a dump truck.

    Like 1
  20. fabman

    It is pretty and appears well done but pretty much worthless other than a conversation piece. If it retained pto and ability to mow or do something useful it would be cool to have. The engine mounted on a run stand would be more practical… A little 215 aluminum olds/buick v8 would be sweet in that tractor.

  21. fabman

    It is pretty and appears well done but pretty much worthless other than a conversation piece. If it retained pto and ability to mow or do something useful it would be cool to have. The engine mounted on a run stand would be more practical… A little 215 aluminum olds/buick v8 would be sweet in that tractor.

  22. ErnieSC


    Can’t believe the Critical Comments!

    This wasn’t Built to be a Work Tractor or a “Work” Anything! It was Built for Pure, Unadulterated FUN!

    Lighten up Folks!
    Different Strokes for Different Folks!

    Like 6
    • Fabman

      You are right, it does not need to be a workhorse to be fun. It is cool and very well done…somebody put a lot of time and attention to detail into it. For 5k it was a deal.

  23. tian647
  24. JD

    Say what you will but as for me I’m all in. Just for the sheer innovation creativity and skill level of course it doesn’t make sense that’s what makes it so interesting!!

    Like 2
  25. ErnieSC

    Just curious, everyone……………….

    Was this a legitimate listing – or was this an attempted SCAM?

    I clicked on Link and it had been removed. I have a Son who lives near this Posting Location. I’m not rich but I have wasted more than $5000.00 on Toys before and I liked this little Tractor! Would have LOVED to take to local Car Shows!

    • John H

      Looks like somebody pulled the trigger on it. Another tractor that size would be perfect for my use grading the driveway and snow plowing, but this one wouldn’t do too well for it. But…perfect for shows and playtime!

      Price seemed pretty reasonable for the amount of work in the restoration and transplant.

      Like 2
  26. Rusty

    A farmer that lives near me is a big IH fan, his family has used them for a long time, he has a whole collection that he puts out on the 4th, from a beautiful IH red pickup, down to a child’s pedal tractor, I think 10 in all, all beautifully restored. It’s quite a sight, tractors, lawn tractor, and toy all!

    Like 1
  27. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Ok, it’s sold, which one of you bought it and we want to see photos!

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