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Garden Tractors and Mowers Vintage lawn and garden tractors, mowers, snow blowers, snowmobiles and other old machinery that is driven by small air cooled engines.

Garden Tractors and Mowers

Cost of Garden Tractors Back in the Day


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  #1  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:16:47 PM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Cost of Garden Tractors Back in the Day

I got to wondering today about the cost of the type tractors I work on as a hobby back when they were new.
I know my dads Continental riding mower from 1964 was 199 bucks because he bought it new and it is still here ,cast iron grill and such.But for example,what woulda been the cost of a new Magna Trac or a new Sears suburban in 64? I have some catalogs and will be doing some research on this but I have Nothing on John deere,cub cadet and wheel horse.
What got me thinking about it was when I go to a tractor show,I seldom see the "off brand" tractors like I enjoy.You might see a couple Bolens,which I love or a wheel horse.But for the most part,you see John Deere or Cub cadet.
It is my assumption that farmers with accounts at the dealer for john deere or International probably just bought the wife a lawnmower while at the dealer.
Where as the common man went to Western Auto and got a Wizard because he may not be able to afford the others.
What are your thoughts? Any light to shine on this?
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:10:26 AM
Ogrebeast64 Ogrebeast64 is offline
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

I haven't been able to find anything on prices when new. I can't even find the old riding mower we used to have. It was a Stallion Twin with a 7 horse vertical Briggs engine. It had reverse and six forward gears, but it wouldn't go anywhere if the clutch got wet.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:18:25 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

Most of the catalog stores had the lawn and garden items listed in the catalog. If one could source a look at one of these, they will have the prices listed for their line. Sears had a Suburban catalog every year that listed the latest in lawn tractors and garden tractors. At one time I had several old copies well into the 70s, I think mother threw them out at some time after I got married. Sears by and far had the largest line of tractors and attachments. The major tractor lines got into that market a bit after the big chain stores, their offerings typically cost considerably more. I think Cub Cadet being the highest. As I recall the sears offering for the 64 line Suburban was around $550- $600. I seem to recall the later 16 hp Crafstman in the early 70s ran around $900. $1000. without accessories. Wizzard and Wards were always cheaper, but they were only light lawn riding mowers. Snapper and Gravely were a high dollar offering from what I recall. Keep in mind that in 64, you could buy a new full size Ford or Chev auto for around $2500. We bought a new 73 Chevy pick up for $2800. mid range ,V8 ,auto, etc.

---------- Post added at 12:18:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:05:11 PM ----------

Jus got a glance of a sears catalog from 67, the 12 hp surban tractor bare listed @ $709. Apparently there's a lot of these catalogs listed on E Bay.

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Old 01-21-2019, 02:19:33 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

My dad bought a new Wheel Horse around 1967 I will have to look, I think I still have the paperwork somewhere. The local hardware store was a Wheel Horse dealer and every time dad went in the owner would tell him that he needed a new Wheel Horse. Then one day the owner dropped one off at my dads house and told him to try it out, and if he liked it just pay a little every month, what ever he could afford. That is how he ended up with a Wheel Horse!
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:41:01 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

Just glanced at a 62 sears catalog, the 725 suburban listed $489 bare, - $ 500. plus change with the electric starter. The big walking tractor $325. Definitely worth the extra few bucks to go with the rider. On E Bay those vintage Sears books are not cheap!
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:50:46 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

Ive read somewhere that the Cub Cadet in '67 was approx. $735.00
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:53:14 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

That would sound realistic, and as normal with most implement dealers there'd be a little haggling room. Depending on the size, that's about $25 - $35 above the advertised price of the comparable Sears size. I never heard what the Deere 110 price was when they came out in the 60s. $25 dollars was a good bit in 67. The average apartment rent was roughly $100 per month, we used to have a rental building. 2 bdrm apts. $125. on average.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:59:59 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

Found this in a 1956 magazine.
Seems high for what you get.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:19:43 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

I wondered about that as well. Garden tractors and riding mowers were a novelty in the 50s. Before that any riding tractor was very high compared to some of the main line farm tractors of the time. Maybe the big chain stores getting into the game drove prices down by the 60s? I still recall the first power mower the folks got in the late 50s. Was a simple reel type bought used. Even though you walked behind, at least it was self propelled. Never heard what they paid, but it was a very big deal as the grand parents even came over to see it work. Before then every one had the old fashion hand push mower. One had to get them sharpened often to get any work done. And you didn't let the grass get too far ahead of you.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:35:49 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

I have some old sears catalogues, glanced at 1986 I think and a FF20 Or a FF24 was $4999, I think the late Suburbans were bumping up around $25-2800. Some of the equipment was getting a bit pricy, they were building everthing for a garden tractor but a portable john.
Jimmy
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:39:55 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

A 110 John Deere or a Cub Cadet was approaching the price of a cheaper, new car. I just ran across an ad for a 1950 REO self propelled mower for $175. That is like $1800 today.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:31:08 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

As mentioned, back in the heyday of the "Garden tractor" There was almost every kind of attachment. All to work in the large garden. But that was our parents generation, their mostly gone now and so is the family garden project. Todays generation don't even cook at home much less grow a garden. So we don't see the genuine garden tractor any more either, just bigger and more elaborate lawn tractors. Many of the Deere offerings can easily get into 10k or more!
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:41:17 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

23 years ago i had a i-h price guide for the 1981 red cadets. my ih 982 listed for $7800.00 no options! About 20 years ago i lent the guide to a cadet parts dealer at a redpower and never got it back. i still got the 982.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:41:47 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

In 1973 I bought an AC 410 and mower. I think 1200.00 cdn. for both. had a roto tiller to. I forget if that was included or not but I think extra.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:36:23 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

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Originally Posted by Steve Kunz View Post
My dad bought a new Wheel Horse around 1967 I will have to look, I think I still have the paperwork somewhere.
The Wheel Horse was $529.95 plus $75.00 for electric start.

Here are a couple of pictures, the warranty card and a large post card.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:47:21 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

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Originally Posted by FWurth View Post
As mentioned, back in the heyday of the "Garden tractor" There was almost every kind of attachment. All to work in the large garden. But that was our parents generation, their mostly gone now and so is the family garden project.
Here are some of the Wheel Horse attachments.
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Old 02-16-2019, 03:25:50 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kunz View Post
The Wheel Horse was $529.95 plus $75.00 for electric start.

Here are a couple of pictures, the warranty card and a large post card.
Wow, I have a 1967 Wheel Horse 8 hp tractor, snow plow, 36inch snow blower and the mower deck it is an awesome machine it is all original except for the battery. I would be lost without it.

Bob
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:12:36 PM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

Pops, my son kinda sounds like you!
He found a late 60's/early 70's Wheel Horse Charger 10 Hydro and got rid of his modern junk altogether. He likes that old bugger. A lot. I do too.
That automatic compression release Kohler 10 horse just amazes me. Too cool.

He also likes the Bolens HT-20 that found me a couple years ago. New coil and he's right as rain for tilling the garden and such a quiet mowing tractor!
A thousand + pound brute.
It'd be really cool to know what he cost the original buyer with the options in the mid 70's. I've found no pricing guides so far.

Last edited by Duey C; 02-18-2019 at 11:47:11 PM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:37:06 AM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

best mower i ever had was a knockoff, just said burns 100 on the sides of the hood. 10 hp kohler, cast iron front axle, cast iron transaxle, and every thing else was steel not sheet metal. had to junk it, couldnt find parts for the tractor itself. engine and trans parts werent a problem. later found out when going thru parents house the paper work on it, it was made bu gilson. kicking self in azz now! still have the motor though and it dated to 1969.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:47:46 AM
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Default Re: cost of garden tractors back in the day

Wow.do you still have the paper work?
My Penfield was made by Burns before Gilson bought them out.
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