Bradley's Oliver '8'

Bradley Garden Tractor

Content Tools

7500 Seymour Grass Lake, Michigan 49240

I read a story about a gentleman who had put together a tractor for his grandson from miscellaneous parts, with the hood from a David Bradley garden tractor. I envied his mechanical ability, and have been searching for certain parts to do the same project. Initially, I was trying to make a tractor that would be easy for a young person to drive, not go very fast, and be safe under any conditions. The unfortunate problem is I do not have the mechanical ability to complete such a project, as minimal as it may seem. Therefore, after consulting with my brother, Allen Hunt, who could pull off this task, and heeding his advice ('Why not get something already built?'), I decided to tackle something with fewer mechanical complications.

I am a driver education teacher to teenagers in the Jackson County, Michigan, area. I was discussing this project with one of my young drivers. He told me about his Uncle Otis. Otis is a collector of stuff. The student indicated that Uncle Otis had several junk or old lawn tractors. 1 thought that there was a possibility to make this project have, at least, a beginning. I made the initial contacts and traveled the short distance to see the tractor. When I arrived, I was elated. This lawn tractor was exactly, mechanically, what 1 was looking for. It was/is a HUFFY with an eight horse engine. I couldn't find the model name or number, but there is a foot pedal that engages a belt and also increases the throttle cable. When the foot pedal is released, the machine slows down and then stops. There are three forward gears, with reverse. In addition, this particular machine has electric start, headlight, brake pedal, AND A HORN!!

Well, it didn't take us long to close the deal. When we got it home, grandson Bradley Allen Husak and I proceeded to remove all the rust and then repaint it. I have two Oliver 77 models, one narrow front and one wide front, so of course we painted our new model Oliver Green using paint spray cans. In May we went to the Farmers Antique Tractor and Engine Association Show in Adrian, Michigan, and purchased some Oliver decals. Bradley's great-grandfather, Ivan Hunt, is the club secretary. I purchased an Oliver 88 decal, cut it in half and stuck one 8 on each side of the hood. We now have a kid's tractor Oliver 8.

Bradley has had much joy driving this tractor. He rolled the lawn about thirty times this spring. He has a lawn cart to haul dirt in, and has developed many skills to use as a legal driver, in time. Honestly speaking, I have had teenage drivers that are not as good as he is with basic driving skills. You ought to see this young fellow back a trailer! Makes Grandma Carol mad!

Bradley has a younger sister, younger twin brothers and a cousin who should get many hours of driving skills and fun out of this project. For less than $ 100.00, yes, that's right, one hundred dollars, for machine, paint, decals, and Grandpa has achieved his task!

You can write me if you want to, but, why not look for something like this on your own. The picture shows proud Bradley with his Oliver 8.