This has been my farthest drive for a Panzer, about 2.5 hours one way. I e-mailed a guy back and forth a few times and finally set up a date to go get it. He was a pretty rough lookin' fella. He was in his late 60's to mid 70's. He met me on the blacktop road on his Harley, decked out in leathers, to take me up to his place. He said I would never find it, cuz "I ain't really got an address. I just kinda live up here in the woods." I knew then it would be interesting. I wasn't disappointed.
When I got to his place, he drug the Panzer to the front with a newer Polaris 4-wheeler. The Panzer's right rear wheel was locked and wouldn't roll. I then tried rolling the engine, but it was seized too. One of the deck spindles was completely shot and I still think its a great project. The drive belt and drive chain and seat spring were also missing. All easy stuff to find so far except the chain.
The engine is an 8hp Briggs. It's missing a few minor things too. The oil fill plug, a carb linkage, throttle cable, muffler, carb was half apart, but hanging there, air filter and the spark plug.
He said it has been sitting out in the weather for abour 5 years when he got it from some 'Hillbillies." His words, not mine.
He said he saw a "Lawnmowers for sale" add written in crayon pinned up on a board at the local mill. He said the letters were sloppily written and some were backwards with just a phone number. He said he asked the clerk if this was a joke. The clerk told him nope, they come in once a month or so with a wagon for feed. The drive was about an hour away from his house and there it was, he saw up on yonder hill in the distance a lawn mower grave yard. He said he parked his truck and walked a mile on a dirt path about two feet wide up a steep hill to an old run down camping trailer. He said he was met by a boy running barefoot and throwing rocks at dogs. He said he'd go get his Paw. He met with Paw, and struck a deal. The boy pushed the Panzer and a few other mowers down the path and helped load them onto his trailer. He said there was every mower you could think of up there.
I'm not making this up. This is the story I got from the guy I bought it from. Sometimes the story is worth more than the item your picking up. I can only imagine the history behind some of these old items. If they could only talk!
I loaded the Panzer up on my 5x10 tilt trailer being pulled by my 96 Saturn SL1. Yup, I put a hitch on the Saturn. Lol. Fuel prices are a bear these days. Pulling the trailer and Panzer I still got about 25 MPG. I was lacking in the power dept. though. Poor little 4 cylinder must have thought I was mad at it. Still pulled at 60-65 mph, just took a bit to get there. Maybe I'm just a modern Hillbilly. Lol.
I got her home and aired the tires up. I used a floor jack while on the trailer to jack up the foot brake. I sprayed lube on the pivot points and smacked the drum, axle and shaft a bit with a long pry bar and hammer.
The brakes freed up and I rolled it off the trailer. I filled the crankcase and cylinder with used engine oil. The crankcase globbed out gray chunks and water. I'll probably tear it apart to clean it. I'll see if it breaks free or not. Overall the drive chain is the only thing that worries me. I may have one lying around though.The tires have all held air for about four days now.
I've lost count, but I've got somewhere between 20 and 25 Panzer's in a range of different condition and models. Some are painted, complete and show ready, others are one step from the scrap yard. Don't worry folks, I won't be taking them to the scrapper though. That will be someone else's problem after I'm gone!
Please feel free to comment, as they are always welcome and appreciated!
Here are some pictures.