Who Saved The Cushman Scooter?

Chapter Three
By Bob Jungbluth

Hi to all my Cushman buddies out there. Well here we go again, lets talk about the Cushman parts and the Northwest Metals junkyard. On Jan. 13, 1971 I made one of my trips to Northwest Metal in Lincoln to see if any new Cushman parts had been dumped there. It had been almost two months since I had found the crankshafts, and I was about to give up. When I arrive in the back lot of Northwest I noticed that there were about 50 boxes marked Cushman Motors that had been dumped in a pile. When I opened one, much to my surprise, it contained 2 Cushman M9 block bolted down to a wood pallet. The valves were in the blocks, and the boxes had "Put in Permanent Storage 1963" written on them. You may recall that I told you to remember 1963 in a previous chapter of this story. I had tried several times in 1969, six years after they had been put in storage, to buy a new M9 block, but Cushman told me that they were not in stock anymore. I only had enough money that day to buy 21 boxes containing 42 M9 blocks because they had also dumped about 60 rolls of 2-7/8 piston rings and a box with about 100 valve guides. Altogether it added up to 80 pounds at 7 cents a pound plus 42 M9 blocks, 21 boxes at $5.50 a box. These 42 blocks were the first of 200 M9 blocks that I would buy for scrap, or trade others for before it was over.

  Now that I had all the blocks and cranks I had to keep buying motor parts as they were dumped or what I had already bought would have been worthless. On February 22, 1971, my friend at Northwest Metal called me at my work place right after 1:00 o’clock. He said that the Cushman truck had just dumped another load and that a lot of the parts were wrapped in that red paper. I left work in Omaha and drove to Northwest in Lincoln, getting there at 4 o’clock. It was not crankshafts this time; it was new rods, boxes of them. My friend had already gone home because they closed the back lot at 4:00. The manager said, "Come back tomorrow", we are closed. You have got to be kidding!

  At 4 AM the next morning I was parked 100 yards from the Northwest front gate. When the night watchman opened the gate a 6:00 o’clock it was still dark. I drove past the gate and took the road to the back lot. It was so dark and cold I thought to my self "what am I doing here”?  Anyway, by 7:00 o’clock when my friend came to work, I had 1322 pounds of Cushman parts in my old Ford Econoline van, and it could hardly move! I had 3 boxes of 100 of the new rods, 50 new Aluminum heads, 8 boxes of 100 of 2-7/8 pistons, 5 boxes of 100 of the 2-5/8 pistons, and 50 more crankshafts. I also had about 75 small crank gears and 25 large cam gears. There were other parts, but almost 30 years, I can't remember all of them. Just as my friend arrived to open the back lot there were four other people there that were also after Cushman parts. They could not understand how I got that all loaded, when the place had only been open a short time. The thing I knew now was that other people were after these parts too, so I would have to increase my trips to Lincoln. I still have the sales receipts for all these purchases after all these years.

Your California Cushman friend,

  Bob Jungbluth

Ed Note:  If you would like to see the original invoices click the links below Use your Browser's BACK button to return here..          Engines         Miscellaneous   

Chapter 4        Return to Historic Center