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Garden Tractor Story

Author Photo
By Staff

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Left to right: '64 BIO, '68 207, '78 808GT.

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.

I finally remembered that a friend of mine had had one in pretty
bad shape, also a poor motor, and the differential was shot, and
looked pretty bad. But it did have a good hood and grill. He had
given it to his neighbor and there it sat, out behind the barn.

I contacted the neighbor and he was willing to part with it. So
I took it home, then I also bought the one I had looked at earlier.
The year before, I had bought an old Simplicity 117 which had a
sweet-running replacement motor, and I thought if I ever found a
207 it might need a motor.

Well, I put the best parts from these three tractors together
and had everything I needed.

We have taken this little 207 to quite a few shows this year,
including the Gathering of the Orange in Brigden, Ontario, and to
the Portland show.

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