Garden Tractor Story

| January/February 2001

609 Church Street St. Johns, Michigan 48879

Back in June of '93, on the cover of GEM, was a picture of a Bolens Ride-a-matic. This tractor really took my eye, so I started looking for one to restore. I didn't have any luck. I found just one, but the fellow would not sell it.

Then I saw an ad for a 1964 Cub Cadet. It looked pretty bad, but ran great. Well, it wasn't a Ride-a-matic, but it might be a fun project. And it was.

Later I found a Bolens. It wasn't exactly the model I was looking for (I had really wanted the one with a teardrop gas tank), but it wasn't too bad, and with an engine overhaul and a lot of time and work, it came out looking and working really good.

The next project was a little 4 HP Wheel Horse, model 400. This proved to be a great little show tractor and a ball to drive. Then one day I mentioned to my wife that when I was a kid, my dad had Allis-Chalmers tractors and I had owned a WC and a WD. So, why do I have all these lawn tractors and none of them, are Allis-Chalmers? She said that her dad, too, had fanned with A-Cs.

I soon found and restored a 1964 B-10 and later a 1978 808 GT. For about two years I have been looking for a model 207 and couldn't believe how long it took me to find one. I finally found one in a lawn mower salvage yard that looked fair. Poor motor, no starter generator, no hood or grill, so I didn't buy it.