Thanks, Jim, some day I will do something with mine but for now it's getting a well deserved break. Did that color combo apply to all MTD models for just a year or two? The reason I ask, is last Saturday my wife and I were at a local crusher yard looking for some truck parts and she said "Hey that looks just like your old mower in the shed!" I looked and it sure was a rusty old MTD with the same color combination but it was a "Fifteen Hundred". It was complete near as I could tell and not in much worse shape than mine. She has a pretty good eye!
I should have taken a pic!
Yes the whole lineup used the same basic color combo, at least in the sales brochures. I know it was used in '71 and I thought it was still used in '72 as well. Your story about the junkyard just confirmed that. According to the op manuals, the bigger tractors (models 990 hydro and 960 gear) used a 14hp engine in '71, a 15hp in '72, and then 16hp from '73 to the end of production. If the fifteen hundred was blue they must have used that in '72 also.
Of course they would also paint them whatever color a client wanted when made as various store brands.....
On a side note..... I'm impressed that your wife accompanies you to junkyards!
Thanks as well Jim. The colour of the tractor I may consider is red. My plan was to restore to functional, paint etc, install a 13 hp Briggs and sell it. I do not have a need for a garden tractor, however it might make a good project. I am not sure of how strong the market is for this type of older tractor and the investment could escalate quickly.
I very much appreciate the quality information you and others have provided in such a short time to a new member from the great white north :)
if it's red it's obviously a different year but I don't know what color was what year other than the blue and white. They made that basic tractor from at least as far back as '67 thru '73 with a restyled grill in '74. It looks like the '69 and back were seven hundreds, though, so yours should be a '70 or '73. If you go to the MTD manuals site and just change the third digit of the model year to "0" or "3", it'll get you to the right manual.
I'm sure it would make a great project but be careful not to put too much money into it if looking to resell. Keep in mind that while MTD did classify it as a garden tractor as opposed to a lawn tractor, it's still a really small GT. While I think the little ones are cool and can outwork any of the newer box store mowers, they're not in nearly as much demand as their bigger GT brothers such as the 990 and 960 mentioned above. The problem is, the little guy could easily cost as much to restore as the bigger ones.
Either way, ENJOY.
And please feel free to ask away if you have any more questions.