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Tractorholic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An idea has been bouncing around my skull lately to write an article about what started my interest in garden tractors.

I've always been interested in things mechanical. Mom tells me she had to put up the windup alarm clocks and other similar things when I was young as I would try to disassemble them to see how they worked...

Anyway, the first Garden Tractors I remember seeing was in the Sears store in Salt Lake City back in the early to mid 60's. I remember it was about a thousand dollars--a lot of money for a single mom raising two boys on $1.25 an hour...

I also remember drooling over the Simplicity's, Power Kings, and even the Gravely's in the Reader's Digest and Popular Mechanics.

So, if any of you have any pictures of the old Sears tractors, please let me know. Seems to me they were silver, but I could be wrong. Ditto for any pictures of Simplicity's, etc.

Thanks,

Steve
 

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Tractorholic
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2,177 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
These are some neat machines.

The ones I remember were gray or light blue... I remember they also had all kinds of attachments on display. We lived in the country, on about 3/4 acre. Many of the neighbors had larger acreage and they all had tractors, so, of course I wanted one too.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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DB restorer
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2,850 Posts
Nice Herd!
Are all three of those 725's?
Was the hood change just the years?
Did DB make any other models of rider after the 725?
Am I asking to many questions?
two 725's and a 600. The hood is taller on a 725 to fit the model 19 under. The last few tractors are differnt, with one using an 8hp and two models being 10hp. I believe the last big one was called a Suburban 10.

Lots of scary times for DB in the last few yrs, with the goverment filing anti-trust suit in 61', Newwark Ohio owning the plant for the 62' yr, then Roper coming in 1963, bringing with it the Tecumsha engines, Roper building the Custom line of foot clutched tractors in 1964, along side the orginal hand clutch units of DB styling. Tractors for 64' had either Tec or Briggs engines at the same time. The last DB models came out in 1965, and for 66' it was all Roper products.
Interestingly enough, Roper never built lawn equipment before it got the DB plant, they made stoves and items like that. In 69 the 250.000th tractor rolled out and in 74 the 500,000th. About this time there were 1400 peoples working there, and by 1986 the plant was closed and had partly been burned down by a mystry fire.
 

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DB restorer
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2,850 Posts
Here's a really one. Maybe the oldest running orginal 59 Suburban, with a serial # of 1313. Been looking for several yrs now for someone with a lower number, but other than two guys who claimed to have ones in the 1200's, noone has produced a picture of the tag showing it. Anyone got an older one? I'd like to see it.

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two 725's and a 600. The hood is taller on a 725 to fit the model 19 under. The last few tractors are differnt, with one using an 8hp and two models being 10hp. I believe the last big one was called a Suburban 10.

Lots of scary times for DB in the last few yrs, with the goverment filing anti-trust suit in 61', Newwark Ohio owning the plant for the 62' yr, then Roper coming in 1963, bringing with it the Tecumsha engines, Roper building the Custom line of foot clutched tractors in 1964, along side the orginal hand clutch units of DB styling. Tractors for 64' had either Tec or Briggs engines at the same time. The last DB models came out in 1965, and for 66' it was all Roper products.
Interestingly enough, Roper never built lawn equipment before it got the DB plant, they made stoves and items like that. In 69 the 250.000th tractor rolled out and in 74 the 500,000th. About this time there were 1400 peoples working there, and by 1986 the plant was closed and had partly been burned down by a mystry fire.
Yes, and every collectors dream is the 500,000th tractor


 

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DB restorer
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2,850 Posts
Now that's cool. And what's better... do I see hand brakes?
Well there on there but they arent what you might think as far as helping you turn much, they will stop the tractor, but thats really about all. The 59 and 62 model featured the brakes as a factory item, other than that you have to order them as an option.

On the 500,000th tractor, its going to be hard if not impossible to find. According to factory workers we meant at the TOTFS show, Roper had the tractor repainted after the big media blitz and it was then sold to an employee. No way to verify that but its the general story told. The 250,000th tractor now belongs to the Bradley Historical group, and does make it out to the show every few yrs, along with whats called the first Suburban. I dont beleive it is the first one, as i have orginal factory photo's of it and there are not the same unit. It is however a nice model of a 59 tractor.
 
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