I’ve Been Tracking Gravelys for Years Now!

By Staff
1 / 5
1938 with aluminum head Edison Splitdorf mag.
2 / 5
Model L 'S' (slow), with chainsaw.
3 / 5
1938 with rear cultivator (foreground).
4 / 5
Wheelbarrow attachment.
5 / 5
Model L 'I' Intermediate with leaf bagger.

4825 Sweet Air Road, Baldwin, Maryland 21013

Hi! Having been a subscriber to GEM for only a year now, I was
happy as all-get-out when opening the June cover. A lawn and garden
tractor! I’ve been tracking Gravelys for six or seven years
now.

My collection of Gravely model L’s is quite complete. Shown
here are a 1938 complete with aluminum head, 5 HP engine,
Edison-Splitdorf magneto, a set of curved-down handle bores (sent
to me from Alabama), and rear cultivators; a model L ‘S’
(Slow Tranny) with chain-saw; L with wheel-borrow attachment; and
an L ‘I’ (intermediate Tranny) with leafer-bagger
attachment.

These tractors were made in Dunbar, West Virginia. A friend of
mine, Richard Juftice, owns a Gravely shop in Spencer, 50 miles
from Dunbar. He introduced me to Murry Taylor, who worked as a
quality inspector in the Dunbar plant from the late ’40s
’til they moved in the ’60s. I also met J.D. Thaxton, a
dealer through the late ’50s. When I walked into his old shop,
I couldn’t believe it! It was like being in the past. I hauled
home what I could. About the remainder of the stuff J.D. said,
‘Rodney, next time you’re here you can clean
house.’

My best friend, though, I’ve saved for last. At the 1992
Maryland Steam and Gas Engine Show I met a fellow with four D
models, single wheeled Gravelys, 1920-1940; at the time I had none.
A few weeks later he showed me a letter a model D owner wrote to
Gravely in 1977 asking for parts. They stated they no longer carry
such vintage parts, but try the Pallbrook Tractor Company in
California. Well, I did! I bought it all! What a find!

To sum up, I haven’t owned a hit and miss engine, but lawn
and garden tractor time is just around the corner. What better one
than Gravely, which Ben F. Gravely pioneered in 1916!

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