Garden Tractor Story
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
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.
Keeping the Doodlebug Project Alive
Farmers from the 30s to the 50s built makeshift tractors called doodlebugs from available parts and pieces found on the farm.
Custom Built Cub Cadet Buggy
Check out Forest Spaulding’s custom-built buggy pieced together using several parts from a cub cadet and various other tractors.
Maytag Tractor, 29 Years Later
The son of the builder of a Maytag tractor featured in a 1989 article gives us an update.