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Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 7:26 p.m.

This picture was taken around 1977. Note the hand position and concentration on the driver's face. That's me behind the wheel.

 

When I was about eight years old, I started mowing lawns around the neighborhood using my dad's Craftsman push mower. Mr. Carroll had a double lot directly across the street from my house, and it was the biggest lawn in the neighborhood. The half that didn't have his house on it looked like a hay field the first time that I offered to mow it. There was clearly money to be made.

Anyway, once the yard was cleaned up a bit, I found his old lawn tractor sitting on flat tires and still overgrown with weeds. At the time, his two teenage sons were also overgrown with weed, which explains why there was a job opening in the lawn mowing department . I pushed my father's little mower past that tractor all summer, until I finally had the courage to ask Mr. Carroll if he would sell it to me. He said he'd think about it for a few days, and the next time that I knocked on his door, he said, "You know...I'm going to give you that tractor, because I don't think you'll ever get it running again."

I thanked him, rounded up a shovel, a chain and some friends and proceeded to dig the thing out of the ground and dragged it across the street. My dad and I worked on it for a few nights after he got home from work and we finally got it up and running.

I drove the wheels off of that thing for about four years, and mowed Mr. Carrol's lawn for free until we moved away.

But I never knew exactly what kind of tractor it was. It had faded original paint, but absolutely no decals. There was a running horse painted on the front, and one of my friends told me that it was a Wheel Horse, so I assumed that he was correct. But it didn't look like any Wheel Horse that I had ever seen; the biggest difference being that my engine had a vertical shaft, and Wheel Horses have horizontal shafts.

My uncle owned a lawnmower shop in town but, oddly enough, I never needed to bring it to him. I did once tell him that I needed a spark plug for a Wheel Horse and he immediately asked how I ended up with a Wheel Horse (he didn't sell them). I told him who I got it from and he said "Oh, that's a Mustang". So for years I assumed I had a Mustang, which made sense because the running horse painted on the front was a blatant ripoff of the one on the grills of Ford Mustangs, even though it was running in the wrong direction. So for the next long time, I just assumed it was a Mustang Tractor.

Done.

But today when I found this photo, I googled "Mustang Tractor", and all I can find are images of  Mowett Mustangs. They are all yellow, much smaller, look nothing like mine and have side decals that say Mustang, but no horse on the front. I've tried searching the name of every tractor that I can think of, plus generic store names that may have been made by someone else and rebranded. Nothing...

Surely, somebody in GRM Land must know what kind of tractor this was. Based on the running horse, It had to be made after 1964, but also based upon the condition that I found it in around 1976, probably no later than 1972.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 7:29 p.m.

Side note regarding Mr. Carrol:

I knew that he had been in the Army, as his was the first military funeral that I had ever attended. Many years after he had passed away, one of the other elderly veterans from the neighborhood, himself a WWII Navy vet, told me that Mr. Carroll had been a cook in the Army. He said that he was "Ike's Chef". General Eisenhower thought he was the best cook in the Army. Wherever Eisenhower went, he took Bill Carroll with him.

 

 

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
6/23/18 7:34 p.m.

At first glance it looks like it has a wheelhorse logo on it, but the body style reminds me of Case. Cool story regardless of what it turns out to be. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 7:52 p.m.

I also remember the shifter. It was a five speed with neutral and reverse. Not a "H" Pattern, just left to right. Reverse was all the way to the left, then Neutral and then 1,2,3,4,5. It was just a clutch pulley that that moved further out from the center of a belt driven flywheel. Reverse  and the forward gears were on opposite sides of the flywheel's center.

The metal was thick and heavy. The hood and grill came off as one piece. There was one bolt on each side of the bottom of the grill and then two more near the dashboard. Then you needed to remove the steering wheel (split pin) and slide the hood up along the steering rod.

Kramer
Kramer Dork
6/23/18 7:54 p.m.

The Wheel Horse logo was just a head, not a body.  That's of my memory is correct.  And I don't recall a Wheel Horse having hood styling like that one.  

My grandfather was a Wheel Horse and Kubota dealer in the mid 1970s.  All of our leftover Wheel Horse tractors were newer looking than your tractor.  I'd guess yours is from the mid to late 1960s.  

Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 7:57 p.m.

There was one pedal on the right. Halfway down disengaged the clutch and all the way applied the rear brake. The foot rests were platform type, mounted to the frame with faded red stippled rubber pads for your feet.

Kramer
Kramer Dork
6/23/18 7:57 p.m.
Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 8:15 p.m.
Kramer said:

Good tractor website.

The Colt name would make sense, but they seem to have horizontal engines and the steering shaft is steeper than I remember.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
6/23/18 8:23 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

I know people who know way more about garden tractors than anyone should. I’ve forwarded your pic & hopefully they’ll have an answer soon. 

Slippery
Slippery SuperDork
6/23/18 8:27 p.m.

Very cool story. 

All I can ad is that I had the same socks as you when growing up in the 80s. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 8:33 p.m.
Slippery said:

Very cool story. 

All I can ad is that I had the same socks as you when growing up in the 80s. 

Pulled up high like an NBA playa...wink

Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 8:34 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to Woody :

I know people who know way more about garden tractors than anyone should. I’ve forwarded your pic & hopefully they’ll have an answer soon. 

Thank you.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
6/23/18 9:05 p.m.

In reply to Kramer :

Yeah, the wheelhorse logo is just a horse head on a wheel. Looking at the photo on my phone doesn't yield the highest definition. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
6/23/18 9:09 p.m.
EastCoastMojo said:

In reply to Kramer :

Yeah, the wheelhorse logo is just a horse head on a wheel. Looking at the photo on my phone doesn't yield the highest definition. 

This is a cell phone photo of a 35mm slide shown on a slide viewer.sad

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
6/23/18 10:46 p.m.

My mom used to call that "tractor face."  She used it when driving her John Deere A around the yard. 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
6/24/18 6:29 a.m.

Toro?

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
6/24/18 6:55 a.m.

I think it’s a sears suburban, an early one. They used a peaked hood like thr picture. 

I believe thr early ones were made by David bradly and the later by mtd  

 

drainoil
drainoil HalfDork
6/24/18 7:17 a.m.

If it sat lower I’d say it’s a Mowett. So many different tractors made at that time and name/badge swapping certainly muddies the waters.

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
6/24/18 6:17 p.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I think it’s a sears suburban, an early one. They used a peaked hood like thr picture. 

I believe thr early ones were made by David bradly and the later by mtd  

 

 

I know that a 1967 Sears Suburban 12 was a Wheel Horse. 

Junkboy999
Junkboy999 New Reader
12/2/18 4:14 p.m.

I'm not really sure what it is but It is not a David Bradley, or the Davie Bradley sears suburban.

It is not any of the Roper made Sear suburban. Sears suburban were made by Roper and not wheel Horses.
 
I collect sears suburban,  Don't have the $$ or room to restore cars so I do small tractors.
 
I think your on the right track with Mustang but, but don't let the horse on the front throw you off. That might of been
added later by the owners or his sons. The Mustang and other of it type was a Mid engine direct shaft down to the mowing
deck and simple frame to mount wheels on.  Basically your just riding on a lawn mower with out the push handle.  
This is where the term riding lawn mowers came from.  Not to be confused with a garden tractor like wheels horse,
Bolens, and Sears Suburbans and countless other.
 
Some smaller vintage riding lawn mowers to look at are Off brands like  
 
daVis
Continental
Huffy Ranchero
Huffy Pinto
 
A good place to look  
http://www.tractordata.com/
http://www.tractordata.com/lawn-tractors/index.html
 
You might get a better answer if you posted this in the Garden tractor talk forum or My tractor forums.
 
Junkboy999

Terry

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
12/2/18 7:10 p.m.

Looks like one of those 60 - 70 mph racing mowers before there was such a thing.

Kendall_Jones
Kendall_Jones HalfDork
12/22/20 4:33 p.m.

zombie canoe?

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
12/22/20 11:23 p.m.

Despite the Zombie Canoe...

Did you ever figure out WTF this was Woody?

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
12/23/20 2:46 a.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

Nope. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/23/20 10:44 a.m.

This is a zombie I like.  I'm a bit rusty, but I'll have a go at it.

The hood is very reminiscent of a Sears Suburban circa 1965, but the grille (or lack thereof) has me stymied.  Sears USA bought David Bradley tractor corp in 1910 and started releasing riding mowers in 59 still using the David Bradley name.  They did that through 1964, then they were called the Suburban after that.  The shape and front I-beam look right for a Bradley/Suburban, but not quite right on the grille.

David Bradley continued to manufacture their own tractors in Canada, and IIRC you're not far from the border.  Possible it was a DB from Hockeystan?

Interestingly enough (had to look this up) Roper bought the Bradley Plant in 66, then Electrolux bought Roper, then Husqvarna bought Electrolux, and now they're all owned by American Yard Products group with the exception of Husqvarna which spun off on its own.

The style is definitely mid-late 60s.  I copied the picture and I'll see what else I can find out.

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