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Bolens Ride a Matic

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#1 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 19, 2015 - 02:53 PM

I am looking to buy a Ride a Matic at some point and have potentially been offered one pictured belowI see that the exhaust have been cut into the front and that the Kohler engine is possibly sourced from a WheelHorse. Am I right in that this shaped RAM model would be gold and white but I have seen some that have been painted green like the older style RAMs. It runs, stops and is mainatined well.i can get some more photos/ details.

I welcome your views on this example.

Thanks

Andrew



image.jpg

#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted February 19, 2015 - 03:06 PM

Looks like the ID tag is still there, ask for a Model number.

Member Gunstuff may be able to ID it without a model number by looking at the front axle design.


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#3 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted February 19, 2015 - 04:28 PM

At first glance, Andrew, it appears to be a 1961 model.  ....If it is, you are correct that it would have been painted gold color.

 

http://gardentractor...-1961-brochure/

 

For 1961, the model was 233-01 for the tractor equipped with a rope-start, while the 234-01 was equipped with an electric starter at the factory.  ....An electric starter kit (# 23859) could be added to a rope-start model at a later date.

 

The front grille has been modified to accomodate the replacement engine.

 

More pics showing greater detail will help evaluate just what it is.

 

If you look at the Bolens manual here: http://gardentractor...-matic-tractor/  you will see a discrepancy in the photos on the cover and page 3, compared to the parts drawing on page 7 (ref # 130).  ....The photos show the gearshift quadrant covered by a sheet-metal enclosure, while the parts drawing shows just the open shift quadrant which is on the tractor you questioned.  .....This "open" quadrant is the way I remember these tractors when they were new.


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#4 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 19, 2015 - 05:04 PM

Thanks Bruce and Brian for the information.

Bruce, I just realised that your family were Bolens dealers!

Thanks

#5 wilberj OFFLINE  

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Posted February 19, 2015 - 05:54 PM

Its a 1961 only year with that hood that has a shiftier. 


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#6 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 04:29 PM

Looking at the photo again, is the front axle a bit unusual compared to other Ride A Matics?

#7 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 04:41 PM

Looking at the photo again, is the front axle a bit unusual compared to other Ride A Matics?

 

1956 thru 1959 R-A-M's had "round" front axles.

 

1960 thru 1962 R-A-M's had cast front axles with an "i-beam" cross-section.


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#8 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 04:54 PM

Thanks Bruce, so you are suggesting that 'mine' is a I beam front axle and is thus correct? Thanks

#9 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 04:56 PM

shop -002 - showroom.jpg

Bruce, I just realised that your family were Bolens dealers!
 

 

Yes.  ....My Dad was a Bolens dealer for 30+ years, starting in 1950.

 

I worked in his shop for many of those years.

 

Here is a pic of half of our "showroom" taken in 1959 or 1960.  ...You can see some R-A-M's and VersaMatics in the pic.


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#10 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 04:58 PM

Thanks Bruce, so you are suggesting that 'mine' is a I beam front axle and is thus correct? Thanks

 

Yes.


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#11 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 05:01 PM

Bruce,

Great photo; wish I got a collection of pristine Bolens in showroom condition!

I see there were a couple of Wheel Horsesthere as well. I guess Ŵheel Horse outsold the Bolens?

Andrew

#12 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 05:16 PM

Bruce,

 I guess Ŵheel Horse outsold the Bolens?

Andrew

 

That may be true in some geographical areas.  .....We probably sold more R-A-M's than Wheel Horses in those years.  ....But, when Bolens tube-frames were introduced in 1962, we felt they were a far superior product to what Wheel Horse offered so we stocked some Wheel Horse tractors as comparison, but we really promoted and recommended the tube-frames to our customers.

 

We dropped the Wheel Horse line a few years later, and concentrated on Bolens!  ....The Bolens 1050's which were made 1966 thru 1969 are my favorite tractor!

 

The area where we were located was suburban with properties mostly 5 acres or smaller.  ....We sold only a few large-frame tractors, as most of our customers did not need them.  


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#13 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted February 20, 2015 - 05:35 PM

Bruce,

I have to say I agree totally with what you are saying about the Bolens build quality compared to the Ŵheel Horses. When I took delivery on my 1254, I was struck by how well built it was. Furthermore, I drove a friend's WH (can't remember the model but it was a 70s example) which was fun but it just didn't cut the mustard with me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy looking at all the GTs but in terms of quality I would say that the Cub Cadet is a close competitor as well as the German make, Gutbrod.

Cheers





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