17609 Co. Rd. 71 Forest, Ohio 45843
I thought readers might be interested in what can be done with material lying around the shop. I call it my miniature pick-up truck, and it has become extremely popular at antique engine shows and parades.
The basic tractor is a Polaran Lawn Mower, powered by an 8 HP electric start Briggs motor. The frame is 7 inches longer to allow space for a stake rack bed on the back, and leg room in the middle. Clutch, brake and steering were moved to the left side, so two people can ride with reasonable ease. Tall people can rest their feet on the front fenders.
Battery and gas tank are nestled under the hood in front of the motor and for service, the entire hood hinges for ward. Brass radiator is a roll of 6 inch wide brass shim stock formed, then glued, to heavier metal underneath. Since I am a retired plumber the radiator cap is brass fittings from my stock. The headlights are bicycle lights that I found at an engine show flea market they were brand new still in the original boxes. I installed 12 volt bulbs to make them functional.
The Claxton horn is authentic and came from my antique display in my shop. The rubber bulb was a problem, as I searched all over southern U.S. one winter while in Florida, then found new bulbs 40 miles from home in Urbana, Ohio.
The seat is discarded patio furniture. I cut and welded the pieces to make the frame fit the space. Plywood base was covered with foam rubber and red vinyl. Fenders are part original lawn mower and scrap metal edged with gold auto door trim from an auto supply store.
The cab is inch scrap paneling which covers a frame of inch EMT and is assembled like tinker toys. The front, top and back are three separate pieces and store flat inside each other to save space during transport to and from shows. The entire unit fits inside my Dodge Ram Van.
The stake rack is removable to make a flat bed truck and we can also seat two additional people on the back. I changed belt pulley sizes, so with a three speed transmission, we go from 1 to 10 MPH.
A heavy duty rear bumper and hitch is installed to pull my engine trailer in parades. Yes, the trailer and engines add up to about 1 ton of weight. It makes a unique display seeing a little pick-up pulling such a big load, driven by myself dressed in a clown costume.
We pump oil with the front unit and water with the rear.
It all boils down to the fun we can have as adult children, for my wife and I have just celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary.