The Simplicity Walk-Behind Garden Tractor Family

Collector aims to obtain every model of Simplicity walk behind garden tractor
Charles Allen Hargreaves
May/June 2000
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Here I am with five of my tractors – this is before I bought my other two. From left to right, Simplicity model D, model M, model M1, model LB, and model L.


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About four years ago I got a Simplicity Model D walk behind garden tractor for my birthday from my grandpa. It needed tires, so my dad helped me get them. My dad helped me restore the tractor.

Two years later I saw a tractor in front of my grandpa's motor home. I uncovered it and read the tag. It said "Simplicity Model M." Well, I thought about it for a couple of months then I talked to my dad about it. He said "Call him and ask him," so I did. Next I knew, here it is at my house on a trailer begging to get restored. It needed tires so my dad again helped me out at a show. I saw a couple of tires and my dad asked me if it was the right size and I did not even know what size they were but I looked and looked and told my dad they were the right size, and Dad bought the tires. We took them home and they were the same brand and size. "Yes," I said out loud. But now the harder part. The engine on the tractor has been frozen for a long time. My dad got that motor freed up and running top notch. Now it is time to restore it.

Last year I was at Scottville, Michigan, Old Engine Club, and I saw this one Simplicity for sale, so I went to look at it. Too much money. This man came up and said that he was trying to sell it. The paint job was messed up. He said, "I have one at home. I took parts off it to try to sell it." He said he would bring it tomorrow if I wanted to buy it. I said, "OK." So the next day, I went over there to look at the parts frame and it was Simplicity Model M1. He said "Give me $25 for it," and I started to walk away. He asked, "Too high?" I said "Yep." He had the parts that came off it for sale for $30, equal up. So I talked to him and got all of those parts and the frame for $14. I think I did good. I still needed a motor and wheels for it. Again I went to my dad and he got them for me. Now it was time to restore it.

That same summer I worked at my grandpa's house for a Simplicity Model L. It was just like the last one, in parts. It needs a motor and tires. I have not had a chance to get them yet.

A couple months later at an old engine show, a man came up and said he had a couple of walk-behind garden tractors. So, my family and I went over to his place and there was a newer Simplicity garden tractor. Model LB. I had to have it and I bought it. The motor on it was frozen, so my dad and I tried to get it loose, but it did not budge. Right now it is up north to be worked on; the only thing I hate about it is that I do not think it is the right motor.

Just last November I was riding the school bus home and I saw two garden tractors. They were both Simplicitys, Models V and Ml, plus a lot of attachments. I went over there and talked to the owner. The price was too high, but I had to have them, so I talked him down quite a bit until it was in my price range. Then the next day my dad, mom, brother, and I went to pick them up. Cool, I'd say. Now I have seven Simplicity walk-behind garden tractors.

I am trying to collect one of each model of Simplicity walk-behind tractors and attachments made. I know of two other models that I have to get, Models L1 and J. But I think there are more models than I have and the two I need to get. Then I'm going to start collecting the riding lawn mowers from Simplicity. If there are any other models that you know of, can you please write me or call me and tell me? I have an answering machine at home. By the way, my mom is telling me that I can't get any more tractors until I move out because of space in the garage. Well, I will move out next year and then I can start up my collecting again. Plus I am selling one Simplicity, Model M1, the last one I bought, because I only need one of those models, not two.

Anyone who knows of or has information on Simplicity garden tractors, please call or send a note to me at 16350 Force Avenue Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319. Phone (616) 696-9650.


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