Hold on this might be a long one?? LOL
I have always even since being a toddler loved cars, engines, tractor's, and such. Heck, my first word(s) were "hot car". Toys consisted of anything with wheels, and mom always said "she hated going to K-mart, because it took me an hour to find the Hot-wheel car I didn't already have".
So, we jump ahead a few years to when I am about 5 years old, or so. I had a friend that lived 2 city blocks from me, and was over playing with him at his folks house quite often. Well, next door to my friend was a local Racer named Steve. My Friend, and I were outside one day, and Steve was out in the driveway welding on his old race car. Being that I loved that kind of stuff I went over to talk to him, and I am quite sure, being a little kid I asked plenty of questions about his car, and what not. After talking with him, I turned around to walk away, and BAM! There "She" was, a Go Kart, that even had an engine on it. It was sitting next to the Garage, uncovered, rusty, crusty, and neglected, but looked like "gold" in my eyes. I no sooner turned around, and asked Steve about the Kart, and He told me I could have it!!! I pushed that thing home, and my Dad was not too keen on the fact that the engine was on there, and I guess He was right. He told me that I could "push it up the hill, and coast down, but you'r not keeping that engine". It wasn't 5 minutes, or so, and the engine was off, and in the scrap bin. I probably put more miles walking that thing walking back up the hill than anyone could ever imagine!!!
Let's jump ahead a few years, I am guessing by now I am at the age of 8, or so. My folks, and I stop at a Yard Sale, and there is a Mini Bike for sale. I do not recall all of the details, but I know the Folks who owned it said it did not run, and wanted WAY more money than my folks had with them at the time. (Well, anyone with kids that goes shopping knows how kids can break you down when they really want something). After some negotiations, next thing you know, it's getting loaded up into my Dad's Pickup. I tinkered with that thing for hours with engine manuals that I had gotten from school, for quite some time, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled on that recoil until blisters started on my hands. After about 2 weeks, or so of messing around with that thing, It finally "came to life". That was it, I was hooked on small engines. I rode the HECK out of that thing for a number of years, had scars on my knee from the clutch bell (I bet someone out there is smiling cause they did it too) , and even ended up changing engines a few occasions to keep her goin. Rocks, grass, mud, snow, it didn't matter to me, I crashed on it all.
Since the Mini Bike, I had been fixing small Engines for my Friends Mini Bikes, then moved on to fixing Lawnmowers for the Neighbors to make extra summer cash. I never really stopped messing around with that stuff, and obviously I am still active in small Engines at the age of 40.
Last summer/fall I saw an ad in the local Craigslist for a Jacobsen tractor For Sale. The ad did not have hardly any information at all, and I really didn't know what this guy had, so I called him. I asked for more details, and all he could tell me was the mower portion did not work, and "it is not a good mower". I thought to myself, "it is probably just a newer Light Tractor, but may have a usable engine". I made arrangements to go see it, and wouldn't you know, soon as I walked around the corner, BAM there "She" was a Jacobsen Garden Tractor. "She" was, rusty, crusty, neglected, and the hood was off. Gee, I had a feeling that I felt 35 years earlier about a Go Kart, but this this runs, drives, has a purpose, and best of all it's a GT. I just expected a thin sheet stamped, vertical engine powered throw away like they usually are, but not this time!! Ok, untill now the ball is in the Sellers court, and knew I had to "Wheel-N-Deal" with this Guy just so I could get it. I haggled with the Seller for some time just like my Dad did with my Mini bike, and next thing you know were loading her up in MY Pickup. (Do you sense a little Karma here?) After locking the E-brake down, the Seller hands me the hood, and shakes my hand with a "Good luck", and smile.
I get the Jake home, and I am on cloud 9. WOW, cast iron axles, Kohler k series 181 (8hp) engine, granny low(creeper), the hood, and everything works!! I check all fluids, air pressure, belts ya know the usual stuff, and only thing I found was deck spindles out of time. Since getting this Jake in the fall, I have obtained a few attachments, and even use this one for plowing.
Since the purchase of my 1967 Chief 800, I have acquired a 1967 Chief 1200, 1969 Super Chief 1200, 2 blades, 2 tillers, 2 snow throwers, 2 decks 38", 1 deck 42", 2 cabs, 2 AC alternators, Wheel weights, and soon to be a complete Haban sickle mower that is waiting for me to pick up . The Tractors required some road trips to get, along with separate trips for attachments.( I do have to give credit to my Girlfriend Patti for biting her nails, and being patient about road trips) Some smaller parts have come from all over the US with much diligence to find, and obtain. Just finding them is a never ending chore, much less figuring out how to get them home, that's if the Seller will even part with them.
For now, my Tractor's are a ongoing preservation, not restoration. Maybe a resto will be in the works in the future, but for now I will just tinker, and enjoy them.
I hope I didn't bore you all with my LONG story, but rather maybe took you to another time in "your" life to reflect, smile a little, and share a little of myself. P.S., hope my grammar does not stink too bad?? ;)