Years ago there were plenty of WH machines here but the dealer that sold them went away in the 70's. The big brand here is Cub Cadet or John Deere. CC has had several dealers here forever.
I've looked at various other machines, two others were WH, one was a C-100, which looked just like this B-80 but with a stuck motor with no head. The deck was rusted away to almost nothing, it had four badly rotted and flat tires, and none of the controls would move. It sold at an auction north of here for $180. I didn't want to deal with all the other issues and all the unknowns of that machine.
I looked at one marked Challenger with a 16hp motor that he couldn't get to start, but it too needed everything, the tires were flat with tubes coming through the rotted sidewalls, and no deck. I offered him The guy wanted $600 and wouldn't budge on the price. It was gone two days later. I looked at a JD 112, which had a deck but it was just a shell, and it was missing a grill, the hood was falling apart, and it too needed tires right away, the guy was asking $800 and wouldn't budge on the price.
The last one I looked at was a 312-8 WH but it was pretty weathered looking and had a lot of rust, something that's pretty common here. The salt air takes a real toll on steel in some areas here. The 312-8 had a small deck, the tires were borderline with some serious sidewall cracks but they seemed to hold air. It appeared to have been sitting in the same spot for years. The guy started it on ether after jump starting it with his car. I think the B-80 looked like a heavier built machine, its all metal, had good tires, and the 8 speed transmission.
I talked to the seller again and he gave me the number of the guy who he bought it from, he's an old guy who I think just got too old to run it. He said he had a local shop put a new motor in it, a new belt, and a new seat four years ago, but he took sick soon after. He said his wife cut the lawn with it till the beginning of last season when they hired a lawn service.
He also said that they bought a new old stock deck when he changed the motor. He said the old motor was 12hp, and believes the deck was 48" but wasn't sure.
Its definitely not a 36" deck just by looking at it. It spans more than the width of the 4' wide sheet of plywood its parked on in the pic.
The plan is to offer $150 and see what happens, it looks decent enough that I don't mind spending $200 if I have too. I'd then sell off the deck to pay for any other items I'll need to get it up and running.