I tend to flip through craigslist on my phone when I have a free moment; the other day I came across this: ( excuse the hipstergram photos)
I contacted the seller (contrary to my recent c list experiences, this guy was NOT a whack job… nice change of pace). He began to tell me that the tractor was in his family since he could remember. He ended up with it roughly 8 years ago, at which point he had it running and installed a new drive belt. The owner soon after moved to a townhouse and kept it in the garage for permanent storage. Long sorry short, one dean electric guitar later, I had the tractor loaded on the trailer and on its way home.
Conducted a little research and came up with the following: Model number 131.8220, manufactured by Sears / Craftsman in 1963, 1964, or 1965. I can not pinpoint the date exactly. It’s a single blade 26” cut. 4 or 6 hp Tecumseh vertical shaft motor with recoilless pull start (wrap a rope on the flywheel pulley and yank). Magnesium (most likely) or aluminum deck, steel tube frame, and fiberglass body. Non-pneumatic tires.
I have been able to locate pictures online showing this tractor in red/white and blue/white, but not the silver/ white it is. Paint appears to be original, no signs of any other color, even when removing bits of the frame and inspecting.
Tractor is complete. I had it running (albeit rough) within an hr of getting it home; motor/ carb will be serviced.
The plan is to completely disassemble the tractor, re build the differential, gear box, steering, etc as needed. Repaint frame, wheels, deck and motor in original colors (if it wasn’t for the surface rust that’s starting to get worse, I would leave it but I want to preserve this thing) Take the polisher with a cutting pad and a heavy compound to the fiberglass body and see how well it cleans up; its gel coat so I don’t want to paint it if I can avoid it (original stickers too).
Once the tractor is finished, I plan on actually using it regularly on about ¾ acre
This is where I am at so far with it: