Some of you know that I've been on the search for a Bolens LF for a long time. Well, I am more excited than I could ever express in words here that my long awaited dream has finally come true. More importantly, it was absolutely worth the wait.
I became passionate about Bolens over a decade ago when a neighbor of mine bought a 1220. The unique bold styling immediately drew my attention in and promised myself that I would one day own one. Since then, I've researched everything that I can about them and continually looked for the right one and off (as life allowed) for several years. The west coast is typically pretty slim pickens as far as OPE goes like vintage a Bolens. In fact, type in "Bolens" in the local CL section here and you'll be lucky if you find even one and usually when you do, it is often way overpriced. It is why I expanded my search nationwide over the years. While I've come across several in the past that were close to what I was looking for, there was always some kind of fairly large compromise in one way or the other and I'd feel compelled to look further.
Recently I noticed a rebuilt Johnson loader in the classifieds of a different forum and was kind of kicking myself as this would already be in the garage if I had a Bolens. I sent him a message about it but what I wasn't expecting was to be offered his refurbished 1886-01 with the Johnson loader, Gannon Earthcavator and a tiller. This was it and was more than I could have asked for in many different ways. That long awaited search was worth it tenfold.
I've enjoyed following the member's resurrection threads and updates on the tractor over the years and have always been impressed with his work. One of the things that I appreciate the most is the time and effort that he put into areas and parts (many of which he made himself) that could be upgraded over a stock design to extend longevity and improve durability. It is very tastefully done. I'm looking forward to being the next, proud, caretaker and finishing it with the final touch of a new paint & decal job. It will always be kept in a very appreciative, enthusiast's, caring hands and mindset.
I'm also thankful that I had the opportunity to acquire one from a forum member. As Jay Leno has said in the past when it comes to classic car collecting, "buy one from a club member who has done it up right and knows the car inside and out." I think there's a lot of value in that aspect and applies to our hobby of vintage GT's and OPE too.
The plan is to take delivery sometime later next month and you can bet there will be plenty of photos when that happens! In the meantime... I better begin making space in the garage!