Who Saved The Cushman Scooter?

Chapter Four
By Bob Jungbluth

Hi again from Sunny California. I took my just restored 1960 Eagle out for a ride yesterday and went about 20 miles. I had to stand up to eat supper and I had pains in places that I did not know I even had. I don't remember that happening when I was 18, but when you are 67 that may be normal.

As a footnote about my previous story about the M9 blocks Cushman discarded, for almost a year they continued to dump more of them. Many times the boxes were out in the field at Northwestern for weeks at a time. No one seemed to want them, and I had all I could store at my home.

On one of my Saturday trips to Lincoln and Northwest Metals, I noticed a row of about 15 large commercial dump bins next to the foundry. All the cartons said Cushman on them, and there were hundreds of small white boxes scattered all over the place. I open several of the small boxes and found that they contained 3-inch pistons. Northwest was going to melt them down for their Aluminum content! I told my friend that worked there that I wanted to buy all of them; he said I would have to see his boss. His boss was running an overhead crane, and he said he said he could only give me a short time. When I explained to him that I had been one of his best customers for the scrap Cushman parts, and that I needed these pistons, he seemed like he was willing to sell. I told him that we had an aluminum die cast operation where I worked, and that I knew that he would have a great deal of man-hours in the pistons before he could melt them. I told him that each piston had a steel wrist pin that would have to be removed plus the box and two clips before they could melt them down. He said, "How much will you give me?" I offered $ 350.00 and he accepted. This was the money we had saved to buy a new washer and dryer for my wife. It took my wife and I two days and six trips with the Ford Econoline van to haul 3,500 3-inch pistons from Lincoln to Omaha. I know you think I was making a fortune, but that was not true. For over a year it had been only money going out. I sold my gas welding outfit and a few of my Cushman crankshafts to raise money so that I could keep buying parts. In the summer of 1971 over 100 crankshafts for the aluminum OMC engine were discarded and they were there all summer. They were of no use to me, but I did pick up five of them that I later sold to Paul Covert. New Eagle gas tanks turned up the about this time and about ten of them laid there for the next two years. I also saw magnetos for the Aluminum OMC engine and a lot of Trackster motors. The volume of parts being dumped at Northwest was increasing and I could not keep up with it all financially.

One day I arrived later than usual and saw a man that I had seen there before. He was loading some packages in his pick up truck. I walked over to see what he had and I found  a pick up truck full of chrome shrouds. More about this person in our next chapter, as he one of those that helped saved the Cushman Scooter.

Your California Cushman Friend,

Bob Jungbluth

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