My Neighbors Said, ‘You’re Nuts!’

By Staff
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3201 Burnett Road, Suwanee, Georgia 30174

As the cold January day began, my son Jeremy and I left on a
hunt to the north Georgia town of Ringgold. Our trophy would be an
old railroad motor car. We soon located the motor car and its
owner, but were unable to come to a price.

While on our way back home, Jeremy spotted something and yelled,
‘Look Dad, a Bolens!’ Turning around we drove up a
driveway, tooted the horn, got out and introduced ourselves, stated
our interest in that old ‘lawn mower.’ The owner told us
about how he had acquired it several years ago. Even though he said
it was for sale, we could not arrive at a price. A few weeks passed
and I still had that old Bolens on my mind. Then one day, out of
the blue, the owner called and said, ‘If you’re still
interested in this tractor, I’ll take your offer.’ A few
days later the Bolens was in my (our) possession.

The usual was in order, but I decided to tackle the 6.6 HP
Kohler engine first. It needed a valve job, rings and piston
cleaned, the works. The starter coil was deteriorated and beyond
repair. Carb was in fair condition except for the float bowl being
completely rusted away. No parts available. I pretty much set the
whole project in a dark corner.

Then came the June issue of GEM. On the front cover was the same
type Bolens, restored by Edwin Lemmer of Farewell, Michigan.
Corresponding with Mr. Lemmer gave me little hope. Then, while at
the Sand Mountain Pioneer Power Association Engine Show at
Rainsville, Alabama, I saw another Bolens owned by Jim Sparks of
Rainsville. Talking with Jim and looking at that beautiful old
Bolens really set me reeling with enthusiasm to finish my
Bolens.

‘ I hand-cut all the gaskets, and found that a carburetor
bowl and float from an old discarded 3 HP Tecumseh was a perfect
fit. Then came sand blasting and painting, new wheels for the
front, all new tires and tubes, gas tank repaired etc., etc. I
changed the ignition to a battery and coil. The engine runs great.
Locating the appropriate belts for the Versa Drive was not
immediate but finally accomplished and I am proud to show my old
Bolens. Upon completion, my neighbors now have a different outlook
on my abilities to make something from a pile of garbage.

I would like to thank Mr. Ricky Sutton for the opportunity to
save this little tractor. Also for the inspiration of Mr. Edwin
Lemmer and Mr. Jim Sparks, along with the aid of Mr. Marlen
Barrenwald.

In closing I would like to invite all readers to attend next
year’s Sand Mountain Pioneer Power Association Engine Show at
Rainsville, Alabama. This is the best little engine show I have
attended, with the friendliest folks you’ll ever want to
meet.

If any of you readers have a blower housing and Versa Drive belt
guard, I really need these to make my Bolens/Kohler
complete. 

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