Since this is the month for survivors, I’ll throw my Homesteader into the mix.
It's a 1974 Allis Chalmers Homesteader 8. I wasn't really looking for a smaller tractor like this but when I saw the Craigslist ad it just immediately piqued my interest. I knew absolutely nothing about Simplicity and Allis Chalmers tractors at the time but I just liked the way it looked. It was something along the lines of "Now that's what a tractor is supposed to look like." That night I started doing some homework on the Homesteaders and learned that they were basically a combination of frame and body from various years of Simplicity Broadmoor production. More importantly, I found out they were available with all sorts of attachments including a tiller. I was really looking at CL for a tiller for my 990 as my wife has been interested in putting in a small garden. I got in touch with the seller and discovered that he had just purchased the Homesteader at an estate sale, played with it a little, and then decided it wasn't what he was really after. I still wasn't sold and wasn't even sure I wanted to bother with the drive to check it out unless I could really use it. A little more searching and some incredible timing and I found an ad that just said "Allis Chalmer with tiller." I had a hard time getting the seller to confirm the model but the Homesteader name eventually came up!! Turns out he had a big project it was time to get rid of. He had a complete, running, but rough Homesteader plus a rough, running Broadmoor that he was attempting to combine into one good tractor but got tired of it. Things were falling into place.
I arranged to see the nice Homesteader the next day and loved it. It started right up with no smoke and ran great. It came with wheel weights, chains, front and rear lights, a 36" mower deck, a 42" snow plow, the rare 26" lawn revitalizer (basically a combination power dethatcher and aerator), factory hubcaps, various factory sales brochures, and every, and I mean every receipt for the equipment, parts, or service for the entire life of the tractor. It seems the estate the seller bought it from was the original owner from '74 right through '11. The price was right so it had to come home with me. I called the other guy who had the tiller and arranged to pick it up the following weekend. The tiller ended up coming with the above mentioned tractors plus a good 32" mower deck, body parts for a mid '70s Broadmoor, several extra tires and wheels, and some misc. extra engine electrical parts and wiring harness. The tiller worked but needed some cosmetic work. Within one weeks’ time I ended up with three new tractors and all kinds of attachments.
The Homesteader is a true survivor. The engine is in original condition. The paint still looks great except for a few spots that were damaged at some point by battery acid. Heck, even the mower deck still looks and works good. The snow blade and the revitalizer appear to have hardly been used.
Let me tell you, this little tractor is a blast to use. It gets worked fairly often to cut the grass, it does leaf pickup duty and I've used the tiller several times. I haven't tested the revitalizer or snow plow yet but they're both on my “to do” list. One really unusual feature of the Homesteaders and Broadmoors is that the front axle is welded solid under the frame so it doesn't pivot. There's a pivot point built into the frame just ahead of the transaxle so as you cross bumps in the yard, the whole front frame, dash, and steering wheel twists slightly back and forth. It's a strange sensation but it does result in the deck following the ground contours a bit better than other tractors I've used.
The Homesteader 8s use a vertical crank Briggs engine, 8 hp obviously, and have a 3 speed Simplicity transaxle that is belt driven with a simple tensioner style clutch.