This is my 1966 T75 Penn Panzer. I found this tractor in Niantic Connecticut , the gentleman I bought it from was going to restore it for his daughter but lost interest. I was able to buy it at a good price and brought it home . After soda blasting and filling here and there she was ready for primer and paint . Next on the agenda was the 7hp B&S engine after switching over to electronic ignition and buying her a drink of 89 octane she awoke from a long sleep to my surprise she ran well. Although my garden did well here in NJ. it had been harvested a few weeks ago so I won't be posting pic's of it.
- Nov 02, 2014 06:32 PM
- by HANKG
Panzer tractors originated with an engineer named Jim Clark. Jim worked for a precision instrument manufacturer named Ahrendt Instrument Company. Jim had just built a new house in the Washington suburb of College Park Maryland and he rented a walk behind garden tractor to help him with the landscaping.
Landscaping with the walk behind proved to be more work than Jim thought it should be and the tractor was not much help. Jim felt he could build a better product, so he talked to farmers, gardeners and members of the Department of Agriculture at the University of Maryland and with their help came up with a design.
A proto-type was built in 1953, but was soon scrapped. Jim redesigned a new model that featured a used narrowed Dodge or Plymouth automobile rear end, individual rear brakes and a belt tightener/reverse disc (Gledematic) drive system. These features remained as features of the Panzer throughout its existence. Jim's boss became interested in the tractor and thought it had sales potential so they formed a company called COPAR (short for College Park) to manufacture the tractor. A contest among the employees of Ahrendt Instruments was held to name the tractor and PANZER was the result. 1954 saw the start of production with about 350 tricycle Panzers built at College Park.
In 1955 COPAR moved to a refurbished plant in Laurel Maryland where it remained until 1960. Various models were built at Laurel including 4 models of tricycle and 4 models of the 4-wheel version of the tricycle. All featured 16" rear wheels and a 9hp Briggs and Stratton engine. Copar also introduced a light 4-wheel garden tractor in 1958. It featured 12" rear wheels and either a 4HP Clinton or 5 ¾ HP Briggs and Stratton engine. All College Park and Laurel tractors were painted red/yellow except the first model (all red) and the last (turquoise). Less than 10,000 tractors were produced in Laurel.
Copar was sold to Virginia Metalcrafters (VM) of Waynesboro Virginia in 1960. In 1961 VM redesigned the light tractor and eliminated the larger tricycles and 4 wheelers. All Panzers produced after 1960 were painted turquoise and from 1961 to 1963 all grills just read PANZER. Sales, quality and the number of attachments increased dramatically under VM ownership. Panzer became very competitive in the marketplace.
In 1963 VM purchased Pennsylvania Lawnmowers, one of the oldest manufacturers of lawnmowers in the world. Pennsylvania Lawnmowers dates back to the 1870’s. The company was renamed Pennsylvania Lawn Products in 1964 and the tractors were slightly redesigned and renamed as Pennsylvania Panzer.
1966 saw a major redesign to a square hooded model renamed the Pennsylvania Meteor. Early square hoods featured increased horsepower, a wide seat and one of the first hydrostatic (automatic) transmissions to be used on a small garden tractor. The price was just under $1000.00 for a tractor with no attachments. The Meteor with the hydrostatic transmission proved too expensive and so in 1968 the older belt tightener Glidematic drive returned, the name Meteor dropped and the Panzer name returned.
In 1970 Pennsylvania Products was sold to Schenuit Industries of Baltimore, Maryland. Schenuit also owned Jackson Manufacturing (Jackson Wheelbarrow) and the company became the Pennsylvania Products Division of Jackson Manufacturing. They also moved all production facilities to Martinsburg, West Virginia. All Panzers were discontinued and the new company focused on sheet metal riders and rotary walk behind mowers.
In 1971 Schenuit Industries went bankrupt and Jackson Manufacturing was sold in the settlement, but Pennsylvania Products was closed. Machinery in the Martinsburg plant was sold to A.M.F. (Homko) and parts, foundry patterns, blueprints for all Pennsylvania and Panzer products sold to a new company Dandy Sales, Inc. The actual number of Panzers built is unknown, but almost certainly was under 50,000.
This article was originally posted on the Dandy Sales website. With their kind permission it is here for your enjoyment!
Article by: Jim Haynes
- Dec 24, 2014 08:14 AM
- by GTTinkerer
Back in April I was offered a chance to have a Panzer GT given to me if I were to restore one for a friend of my fathers. Trust me when I say nothing in life is free, I am a living testament to that. In the process of getting the friends and mine home, Dad suggested (strongly at 75 years of age ) while you're doing his do mine. So now 2 became 3. Then Dad says "and by the way son, the friend needs his before the first Monday of August for a county fair and tractor show".
And so the work began. Dad's tractor and his friends tractor were sand blasted after being completely dis-assembled. In the process of tearing them down I found different colors of paint on the friends tractor. Remembering our one conversation when I took this project on I understood what I was seeing. "Bill, you can get the paint that is a pretty close match in spray cans" ! Yeah right, using a spray can as a restoration would get me about as far as the edge of the shop before my father would have me shot.
Several hours of hammer and dolly work repairing the fenders, hoods, and the pans covering the sprockets the old women were nearing a point of being ready for sealer. As soon as they came back from the sand blaster they were primed with a self etching primer to keep the humid air from creating rust. Let me say the old iron was thirsty as the 2 tractors swallowed 3 qts of self etching primer before they surface had been completely covered.
I used a Naisons 2 part urethane sealer with catalyst, follwed by a custom mixed Tantalizing Turquoise 2K Ful-Thane urethane paint. I am an old Centari Painter and this stuff lays down better than Centari ever dreamed of laying and covered the areas very well.
Needless to say the paint booth was filled with parts hanging from everything possible to get the 3 coats of paint on all of the surfaces. 48 hrs later parts started going back together and on July 27th dad came to Kansas City and picked up 2 Panzers. His and the friends.
The friend got his on the 29th and he called me upon getting the tractor and I was relieved that he was happy. For an older gentleman well into his late 80's he was very satisfied. Something to the effect better than it ever looked before. The only thing I did not get do was rebuild the bearing towers in the top of his mower deck. It is complete, and with a belt it could be used. I wouldn't want to use the mower myself and I am certain he wont ever use it for mowing. He wants to use it at the small tractor shows and just have it for parades.
Now as time permits I will start on mine. Having done 2 now, I have an idea how to re-assemble this one faster than I did putting these 2 together the first time.
- Jan 01, 2015 09:35 AM
- by Petenpole
Here are a couple of pictures of our " his and hers" panzers. I found the first one, a 1965 Pennsylvania Panzer T-75 and rebuilt it. It is the one with the white steering wheel. My wife said she liked the way it looked and she wanted one too! Never passing up on a reason to buy another tractor I looked for quite a while to find a second Panzer tractor near Wisconsin.
I did find a 1963 Pennsylvania Panzer T-70ES that was very rusty. The only paint left on it was under the carriage bolt that held the seat on! I did get it restored and repainted and it runs like new. My wife and I go to tractor shows together and get lots of compliments on our pair of Panzer tractors.
1965 Pennsylvania Panzer T-75
This tractor was an easy restore project. It was in good condition, ran well and only needed to be disassembled and painted. The tractor got new tires all around and as I am an old farm boy I usually have to put ag tread tires on my tractors. The Panzers use a narrowed Dodge car rear end and keep the brake drum with one brake shoe in it so the tractor has individual turning brakes just like the farm tractors do.
The transmission is a three step pulley setup for your forward speeds. For reverse you pull back on the lever and instead of tightening the belt to go ahead, the lever brings the flat part of the pulley against a rubber drive wheel on the engine crankshaft and it spins the pulley backwards and you get reverse.
1963 Pennsylvania Panzer T-70ES
My wife wanted a Panzer also so after about a year of looking I found this one. Panzers are hard to find in Wisconsin. They where built in Pensylvania and West Virginia and didn't have a real strong national distribution. This Panzer was complete, not beat up or dented at all. The engine had been gone through at some time in it's life and didn't need much except a carb rebuild to get it running again. The tires were shot and were replaced. As you can see it did suffer from a lack of paint and an excess of rust. Lucky for me it was fine surface rust and had not pitted the metal so a good sanding, several coats of primer and paint got it looking good again.
The next picture shows the Panzer torn down for painting. You can see how heavy the frame is built. The pipe frame is welded directly to the narrowed Dodge car rear end. The brake pedals extend forward from the brake drum and activate a single shoe on each side. You can see a large sprocket on the front of the pinion shaft. The three step belt pulley drives a shaft with a small 10 tooth sprocket. This small sprocket drives the large sprocket on the pinion shaft which gives the tractor it's gear reduction.
1963 Pennsylvania Panzer T-70ES after restoring. This became my wife's tractor and she enjoys taking it to shows. At tractor shows the color really stands out among other garden tractors. Both of these Panzers have the optional rear fenders
There is a good amount of information in the Pennsylvania Panzer and Copar Panzer tractor forums and also quite a few Panzer manuals and brochures available in the manuals section of the site.
- Jan 01, 2015 09:27 AM
- by tractormike