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Red Bolens Large Frame Tractors?


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#1 oldiron OFFLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 11:05 AM

I've been around garden tractors now for the better part of 30 years now.

I'm most partial to Bolens large frame tractors and have owned several over the years.

I can't help but notice that every so often a red LF model shows up.

Now I realize that many of these are getting to be near 50 years old theses days and many if not most have been repainted but over the years every so often I run across one painted red, and painted red very well. Most look to have been repainted over white, but most have had professional paint jobs.

 

Did Bolens paint some red at the factory? Maybe respray over existing white for a specific buyer?

If they were all different shades of red, it would be one thing but almost all of them are sort of a burgundy red color, not a color found at the local hardware store in a spray bomb.

I looked at a red 1455 just last week, the tractor and all of its attachments were red, what caught my eye was that they were red under their riveted on model badges. What I see is that the hood. dash tower, and fenders are red, and the frame rails remain white.

 

I've run across 1455 through 1886 models painted this color. The color is similar to old Farmall red but with a bit more purple or burgundy to it.

 

The 1455 I looked at had a red hood, dash, and seat pan, the frame was white, and the hood stripe band was white vs. red. The paint on this tractor was old, it had been out in the sun and weather for ages, but I could see that it had either been completely stripped when painted or done prior to assembly. It did not look to be a spray bomb paint job. Over the years I've run across a dozen or so like this, all the same color. Many had no grill decals, and a more basic set of hood decals, but all had screen printed hood decals, not vinyl replacements. The decals are often inverted to stand out on the red background. I also couldn't help but notice a post here just recently with pics of a 1455 with a rear tiller, both painted this same color red.
 

Did Bolens offer special colors to larger buyers? For instance, if a big country club wanted a fleet of Bolens equipment, could they have specified them to be painted maintenance red or another fleet color for that matter?

 


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#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 11:41 AM

For some reason, People Seem to like to re- paint Bolens some pretty strange colors.

Bolens Never had a Largeframe that was painted red......


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#3 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 11:56 AM

Red was not a factory color but a dealer could paint a tractor if a person would like something else for color.


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#4 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 12:01 PM

Ya, know that kinda triggers a memory.

 

I could almost swear that I read a post back when I first started playing with Bolens about a railroad(?) that had a bunch of Bolens, were a dark red.  I'm pretty sure that there were pics of them too.  Also, I believe that they were numbered as well.

 

I wouldn't bet against Bolens doing a "special paint" run for a customer that ordered enough tractors at one times.


Edited by OldBuzzard, March 02, 2013 - 12:04 PM.

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#5 8tyman8 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 01:36 PM

I have seen a few painted red ... I also seen a Kijiji Add "Massey Ferguson garden tractor" Turns out it was a bolens Lf painted red ...



#6 NJKen OFFLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 06:36 PM

I've seen many red LFs over the years. Many meaning 5 or 6. I don't think it was ever a factory color like the others have said.

I've seen them like this as well, that is what happens when you fall down and hit your head, then paint your Bolens.

This is for sale near me, if I wasn't so busy, I'd go club the guy who painted it like a baby seal.

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#7 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 06:44 PM

I've seen some pretty wild Paint Jobs done on Bolens over the years but this one is one of the worst I've ever seen!

This one surfaced on ebay a few years ago but surprisingly didnt sell! :wtf:

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  • ugly bolens 1050.jpg


#8 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 07:03 PM

Ya, know that kinda triggers a memory.

 

I could almost swear that I read a post back when I first started playing with Bolens about a railroad(?) that had a bunch of Bolens, were a dark red.  I'm pretty sure that there were pics of them too.  Also, I believe that they were numbered as well.

 

I wouldn't bet against Bolens doing a "special paint" run for a customer that ordered enough tractors at one times.

 

 

 

 

I would like to see the pics!

 

Heres the only railroad Bolens I know of.

 

1250_01.jpg

 

1250_02.jpg


Edited by wilberj, March 02, 2013 - 07:17 PM.

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#9 OldBuzzard ONLINE  

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Posted March 02, 2013 - 09:39 PM

Found the thread that I was looking for, but there were no pictures.

 

It's over on MTF, and was posted on 12-20-2011.  Fella from NJ (freeisforme) pretty much describes the same colors.

 

http://www.mytractor...hlight=railroad

 

I sure would like to see pics of those.



#10 yardiron OFFLINE  

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Posted March 03, 2013 - 03:21 AM

I had two here last year, both were 1455 models that I bought for parts, both were painted dark red. The closest I can describe the color was just slightly darker than the red used on a Farmall tractor. Apple red not tomato red I guess.

I used the one hood, had to strip it bare and repaint it white for my purposes, it was red all the way though and showed no signs of repaint. I sold the other one off in parts online, but that one was a bit rougher overall.

I had two snow blowers, one tiller, and three mower decks here over the years that were also the same red color but the snow blowers were all yellow underneath, but all were sprayed neatly and were not masked off around the part number tags. The tags were over top of the red paint, and the yellow base coat. Did they sell replacement part or model tags? All of these paint jobs were old, well faded and rusted.

One of the tractors came from the Harrisburg, PA area, the other one came from here in NJ.

I did see and pass on a rather rough 1886 about 6 months ago, it had a red hood, with reverse color decals, a red fender pan, but the dash and frame were white. The deck was red. It was missing too many parts to mess with, but it didn't look like the common spray bomb repaint.

 

I've seen plenty disguised in JD green, even saw one with Craftsman emblems all over it painted orange but those all looked to be painted with a brush or while under the influence. All of the red tractors I've had were done well, if they weren't factory jobs in the first place. If the decals weren't over the paint, I'd have figured them to be backyard repaints. I've seen new hood emblems available but I don't recall seeing new model tags and other warning labels.



#11 oldiron OFFLINE  

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Posted March 03, 2013 - 01:41 PM

I looked at the 1455 below last week, the seller had some other items on CL.

The thing was definitely sprayed over white but every decal on it was on top of the red paint. The hood had no decals at all. The engine, trans, frame, underhood area, and under seat pan were all painted red. There was obviously red under the seat pan and frame rails but not under the dash or hood. The bolt heads on the motor, wiring, or other hard to mask off items were not painted red, so it was either completely disassembled and shot red or it was done during assembly a long time ago. The hood was repainted on the outside, but the under side of the hood was still a factory type finish in red. There was no logo between the headlights and not ghost image of any side hood decals other than a single 'Hydrostatic' label along the lower edge on each side, no model number or full size decal was showing through. The dash decals were all on top of the red paint, several were chipped or peeling around the edges and shiny red paint beneath them was exposed.

The machine was borderline rough but complete, it had a matching red tiller, which also had red paint with decals over the red, and a snow blower which was yellow inside yet red outside. While the snow blower was obviously re-shot in red, again, the model number tag was on top of the red paint.

There were four decks, three in red, one in lime green, the red decks were red down to bare metal.

One of the spots where the hood was painted over had a number painted over that showed through the touch up on the left side as if it were part of someone's fleet of machines.

The seller said it came to him with a blower up front and a tiller for the rear.

The engine was showing some paint loss and the color beneath the red paint was sort of a school bus yellow, the same with the frame rail on the left side beneath the exhaust. but no where else was there any yellow showing. The complete underside of the machine, minus linkage, rods, and moving parts was painted red, the trans housing was red, but the rest was unpainted.

 

If the decals were all buried in red paint or if only easy to paint parts were red, I'd say maybe someone did a spray can paint job but this thing's paint was old, by the look of the paint its been on there for decades. While I'm sure its possible someone tore this down and repainted it, it don't seem likely judging by the rest of the machine and its condition. The owner who has it now has had it himself for several years but didn't buy it new. There is little history on it at all, but this is basically the same color I've seen on many of these. Most seem to be 1455 or 1476/77 models, but I've seen a few newer models in red as well.

 

11vtisy.jpg



#12 1967bolens collector OFFLINE  

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Posted March 03, 2013 - 06:55 PM

There the ones in vineland I can't seeing paying that for them if he would sell the 1250 woth the f.e.l an 2 sets of weights for like 1500 I would do it but i rather pay 3k for a late model ht23 with a factory loader

#13 oldiron OFFLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2013 - 12:48 AM

I had talked to the owner of both those in Vineland, he doesn't want to break up the pair, he basically wants to sell everything or nothing. The 1250 is nice, its got almost no wear on the tractor itself. The loader mounts are home made but well done, if not overkill. The 1455 is usable if you fix the ignition, I checked the compression on both and boat motors are healthy.

 

I only went out of curiosity, but for the right price I'd ad both to my collection here. I think he might sell the loader alone, but he'll only sell the loader with the weight box, he'd keep the weights on the tractor for plowing. We talked about $1200 for the loader and weight box and I'd throw in a three point set up so he can use his 3pt attachments. The mounts for the loader are welded on, so they're not removable nor would I expect him to cut them off, but he does have another fender pan there to use if he did.

I think the 1455 needs the fender pan more since the running board corners have some rust.

I don't think his overall price is too bad, I just don't need or want them that bad. I've got just about all the Bolens stuff I need now.

If you figure the individual items separate, they far more than total what he's asking. I've seen model 12 loaders go for as much or more than a 14, the JD crowd will go nuts for that loader. They're no lighter than a 14, they're just reversed the front rams and controls. I actually prefer the 12 for picking up dirt and manure since the bucket can roll down further and dig a little.
That manure bucket is nice too, those were super wide compared to the standard bucket. I had a model 10 here about a year ago that I put online, I had four guys fighting over it in less than an hour. I listed it on CL for $1500 without any mounts or weight box. The guy with those in Vineland has a pretty decent idea what all that is worth, so he's not going to give it away.

 

Me, I stick to the one lung motors, I've never seen the need for the big twins, nor have I had much luck with them. From what I've seen, those old Wisconsin motors will outlast a twin by far. You can't beat the shear torque and sound of those old Wisconsin motors.

 

I had offered $2000 cash for both machines, the loader, tiller, snow blower, and plow in Vineland but he wouldn't do it. In reallity the loader is worth $1500, the 1250 another $500, and the red 1455 at least $350, plus another $350 for the tiller, then what ever you figure the plow and snow blower are worth, maybe $150 each or so. If they were mine, I'd be asking more, and would be insulted if you offered only $1500 for the 1250, that to me would be like giving away the tractor and wheel weights for the cost of the loader. Not to mention he had a brand new set of Titan loader lugs there on rims that have to be worth another $300 or more.

The whole deal would be the way to go, especially if you wanted to just turn a buck and part it all out, the sum of their parts is WAY over the asking price, figure what two Eaton 12 units, the loader, the two lug tires, and the tiller would bring on eBay alone, I've seen Eaton 12 units go over $250, whole transaxles can double that. Something I noticed on that 1250 was how tight everything felt, it don't seem like its had a lot of use. It most likely only got used when the loader was needed and sat the rest of the time. The motor had excellent compression, so did the 14hp in the red tractor.

Those 15" weights bring $150 per set, sometimes more, I sold three pair here last fall for $500 to a guy in FL. I had them listed for $150 per set, he added $50 to get me to meet him just off of I95 with them in PA.

I seriously considered buying them and parting them out myself but I don't have the time these days and they would most likely just get added to my already too big fleet of tractors here anyway.

 

If those were mine, the loader would get sold and I'd rig up one with the tiller and maybe the snow plow, and set the other up with a three point hitch for garden work, I'd probably run the 1250 I have now with a plow, and set that 1250 up with a disc. I don't have any use here in NJ for a snow blower, we just don't get that kind of snow very often, and I already have two of them. I'm sure it would sell though to someone farther north though for a few hundred bucks or so. I sold one I had that needed work to a guy who drove down from CT two years ago for $150, he was glad to get it. That one in Vineland looks new compared to either of mine here.

 

I gave that guy in Vineland the web address to GT Talk here, I'm not sure if he ever joined up or bothered looking.

 

I mainly got the impression that he don't really want to sell them, he really only had the snow blower and decks listed, he never did list the tractors or any of the other items that I see. I see the deck listing is gone as well.

 

I also got the impression he's more interested in bigger tractors, the Bolens were sort of a side deal he came across, I thought about asking if he'd swap for a Farmall Cub or something more suited for farming than a big GT. I do know he's got a larger piece of land somewhere else where he does some planting. He also has a place in FL. I sort of figured he was getting ready to take the Bolens stuff all down to FL, thus the reason for selling the snow blower while its still here.
The day I was there he sold three other tractors he had there, two big Jacobsen GTs, and an Ariens both were sold for decent money that day, he had several others in a barn outback as well as the others in the garage with the two Bolens. The 1250 would run on carb cleaner, I didn't try putting gas in the tank since the fuel lines looked pretty well dryrotted. The 1455 had no spark, the ign. module was on the seat. It did attempt to fire on a portable ignition box but my jump box battery died mid try.

 

I think someone else on here also was looking at them, I'm not sure if they ever followed through or not, its been over a week since I was there, they may even be gone now with all the attention they seem to have gotten on here.

 

All I can say is I wouldn't ever sell any of mine for that little, with or without the loader simply because you can't find anything close to them for that kind of money. A 1250 will do basically the same work as say a Kubota B5100 or even B6100, and they bring upwards of $5500, so why sell something that would force me to spend more money than I made selling what I had which did the same job?  While I'd rather have the more versatile Kubota or any CUT diesel, I would never spend that much on one machine just to use it once or twice a year in the garden here. My 1250 works just fine, I'm sure that's basically what that seller in Vineland is thinking.

 

Either way, this got way off from Red tractors, the 1455 isn't the only one I've seen, and from what I see, all seem to be in this basic area, I found a few posts about red Bolens LFs in PA some time ago as well. I do think that seller may sell just the 1455 alone, minus the tiller, but I doubt he'd let it go cheap, I'd do $350 minus the tiller and rear weights on just the tractor, the spare parts alone are worth that to me.



#14 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted March 04, 2013 - 06:44 AM

Can we plz not tern this into another whats it's worth thread...


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#15 oldiron OFFLINE  

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Posted March 05, 2013 - 02:55 AM

Sorry, didn't mean to take it off topic. My interest in that tractor above was limited to why or how it got painted red. With so many turning up that same color around this area, it leads me to believe that either a dealer or customer was having them all sprayed the same for some reason.

What it makes me think of is a fleet type buyer who wanted everything to match, as a kid there was a few companies in town who had everything painted the same odd color blue, Ford, Chevy, Dodge, it didn't matter, it got the same color. Dealers would have the cars resprayed at the point of purchase to satisfy the buyer. If they did it to cars and trucks, why not tractors?

Maybe a golf course, country club, or Municipal works wanted red tractors? I do know several country clubs which paint all the staff cars and carts red to distinguish them as not for customer use, they also painted their trucks, water tankers, and trailers the same color. They however were not as carefully painted as most of the Bolens tractors I've seen. Most got the Earl Sheib special type of paint job.

 

The most interesting one I've seen was an 1886 which no doubt looked factory with the hood being two toned in red with white sides, with red fenders and the rest white. The owner swore up and down he bought it new that way at the dealer in 1971.

I probably would have bought it but we couldn't come to an agreement on price.

I found several threads on another forum about two in PA a few years ago, but no pics, and another for sale in NJ that almost matches the one in Vineland.

Also, what is the ball on the hood on the 1455 models for? I've seen it on several now, if they don't have the ball, they have a hole as if its missing a hood ornament. I've only seen this on the 1455 models. The 1455 that I own had one on it too, its roughly a 3/4" miniature tow ball mounted to the hood above the grill.






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