| November/December 1982

  • David Bradley garden tractor
    Doug Johnson of PO Box 397, Cadillac, Michigan 49601, is the owner of the David Bradley garden tractor on the cover. The fine photograph was taken by Ken Cole, a freelance photographer, of 243 E. M-115, Boon, Michigan 49618.
    Ken Cole

  • David Bradley garden tractor

I guess to get to the story of my little red machine, we should start about three years ago. I had taken my big John Deere to the N.W. Michigan 'Steam and Thresher Show' at Buckley, Michigan in August, 1979. It was a lot of fun but it took a big pick-up truck and a large trailer to get it there, with gas at $1.30 a gallon. I spent three days at the show and $30.00 for gas to feed the old 412 cu. in. tractor.

A few days later, I was discussing this with a friend and he suggested I get a small, unique tractor that could be pulled with a small truck and trailer and could run all day for just pennies.

Well, I remembered seeing this old garden tractor parked in a back yard in Cadillac, MI and decided that I would ask the owner if he would be at all interested in selling it. To my surprise, he said 'Sure! It won't do no pulling anyhow. $125.00 and haul it away...' I grinned all the way to my friend's house. (I just had to show it to him, and he turned green with envy!)

Upon looking it over, it was apparent why it wouldn't 'do no pulling'. There was 70 pounds of air in the back tire and the clutch slipped terribly. I let all but 8 pounds of air out of the tire and adjusted the clutch and 'wow!' this little jewel would pull a 14' 1 bottom plow through hard ground, hardly popping the governor at all.

After seeing how much work this little David Bradley would do, I began to wonder why there weren't more of these around; this was the only one that I had ever seen! So, I personally contacted David Bradley and here's what I got:

It seems that back in about 1953, someone at David Bradley thought that folks with gardens shouldn't have to walk behind their garden tractors. Well, everyone knows how simple David Bradley has always kept their tractors and they did it again! But, it seems that it didn't look 'just right' to the American farmer, so no. sale!