| November/December 1971

Box 254 Brewster, Kansas 67732

In the September-October issue on page 14, you show a picture of a garden tractor sent in by Carl Coburn, 3211 Betlou James Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21207. This letter is meant primarily for him, though I think there may be other readers interested. The kids are interested and we must keep them that way as we old codgers 'ain't gonna last forever.'

I have restored a garden tractor almost identical in design. I suspect all the casting numbers will coincide. However, my tractor is called the 'Utilitor' made by the Midwest Engine Manufacturing Company, Indianapolis, Indiana. Bore and stroke are the same as Carl's tractor.

The design is so unique that the two machines have to be related. The outside of the main bearing bosses are the journals on which the drive wheels bear. The crankshaft extends through the hubs of the drive wheels and carries a flywheel on each side with a crank built into the left hand one. The hubs of the drive wheels are large cast internal gears, driven by pinions on a countershaft. Each pinion is provided with its own independent clutch, controlled by levers on the handle bars. The right hand lever pulled back releases the right hand clutch. The left hand lever pulled part way back releases the left hand clutch, then pulled all the way back and latched releases both clutches. Presto, neutral!

This machine exhibits some mighty fine engineering design. It certainly was no accident! Mine has a tool bar similar to Carl's on which is mounted a cute little 8' plow or a cultivator, both of which I have. Just a tip, Carl,-don't ever try to use it if you get it running. It is a lot easier to do the work with a shovel and use the tractor for an ornament. Those steering clutches were an excellent idea, but the designer forgot one thing. If one wheel slips a little, you've got to be a lot quicker than I am to keep her from heading for Joneses.

Incidentally, mine has cast in the crankcase what I am pretty sure is a date 12/13/19.