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Prototype Bolens


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#1 michelle OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 06:42 PM

About an hour northeast of our home lives a very nice couple. The husband used to work for Bolens, back in the 1970s, in the experimental department. As we understand it, Bolens built three "prototype" large frame tractors with Kohler twin-cylinder engines using the short frame chassis. Each tractor used a different rear end. This particular tractor uses a Sundstrand Hydro and possibly a Pearless rear end. It has dual hydraulics and a two-speed rear end. It used to have a 3-point hitch, but some elements of it are now missing.

Before Bolens got rid of it, they had 900 hours of testing on the original K482 engine before letting the previous owner purchase it. The original motor had blown up the first day he brought it home, but he was fortunate enough to replace it with a brand new Kohler K482 that was given to Bolens from Kohler for research and development. The engine itself was a research and development unit itself.

This tractor has been in use every year since it was built. As you can see, the frame had to be repaired at one point. It had been painted (was originally the beige color). It also came with a mid-mount grader blade, that was made at the Bolens factory, but was not a production unit.

Very cool to have a piece of Bolens history and know someone nearby with knowledge of the company. We also picked up another prototype tractor, but I haven't taken pictures of it yet. I'll give you a hint though - it's older and smaller.

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Picked up some extra stuff too.

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#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 06:54 PM

Wow
You got some good stuff there!
Its not too often you see a proto type floating around, You guys are very lucky to own one as I have never seen one before but I have heard about them.
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#3 grand OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 07:39 PM

Very nice. Thanks for sharing some really nice pics and a story as well. It has to be quite unique to live in the Bolens homeland. Keep us updated.
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#4 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 08:06 PM

That's an awesome find. It's always nice to have the history of any used tractor but particularly so with this one because of it's uniqueness.
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#5 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 08:45 PM

Nice score Michelle! Looks like you got a bunch of stuff for all the rest of your collection too! Thanks for the story...Is there a more detailed history available for it like what Bolens was testing specifically and maybe results that the R&D guy might be able to fill in? I think that'd make a pretty good article!
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#6 josh deaven OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 09:01 PM

Nice pickup make sure you document as much as you.You own a piece of history.Congrats josh :thumbs:
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#7 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 10:19 PM

WOW! Great find, That is one amazing looking tractor.
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#8 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted March 17, 2012 - 10:36 PM

Congratulations. That is a really cool story and a neat tractor. Thanks for sharing those great photographs too.
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#9 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2012 - 04:26 AM

Wow,what a great find.To find a prototype like that is quite rare.
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#10 michelle OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2012 - 07:24 AM

Thanks for the kind words! Adam had his eye on this tractor ever since he first saw it last year. We picked up a Ride-a-Matic and a Panzer from him last year too. Super nice guy with so much knowledge and information. His wife even came out and was taking pictures of us loading it up.

Our only plans for it - take off the cab and snowblower. Adam says it runs super smooth, but I haven't driven it yet.

The man even engineered a window motor to the snowblower so he could rotate the chute 360° from inside the cab.

#11 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2012 - 07:29 AM

You guys just sent the cool-o-meter off the charts!
What a great find, thanks so very much for posting pictures of it.
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#12 redcarkids OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2012 - 08:09 AM

What a find. Get as much history information as you can on this mower and document it. thanks for the photos and sharing.
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#13 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2012 - 08:19 AM

Nothing like a little history attached to a tractor to really give it a peronality, especially a unique prototype, thanks for the pictures and the history, that is a great find and im thrilled to see it in the hands of a collector that will appreciate it for what it is.
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#14 michelle OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2012 - 10:54 AM

Just got in the house from using the new tractor to pull out some bushes along the garage. Adam has a big smile on his face and once I upload the video, I think you might know why.

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Edited by michelle, March 18, 2012 - 11:02 AM.


#15 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2012 - 11:07 AM

Thats a great find I hope you guys got some kind of paper work with it even if it's the story on paper with the guy you got it from name on it.
More bolens history saved and the very first prototype of a bolens ever seen is now out in the open take good care of it you can get another 1886 any day you cant get a new prototype any time soon.


Now lets see the other.
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