Late to the party, but I'll nominate "Old Girl" 1978 Roper. My Co-workers know that I mess with lawnmowers, and will tell me about ones they see while doing their work (Traffic Signal and Sign repair). Most of the time when I go to the address they tell me, it is usually a box store throw-away. One day they came back and told me about a riding mower that was located at a house that was on my way home. It was almost two weeks before I decided to drive by and check it out. I was only planning a drive-by look but when I saw her I had to talk with the owner. I normally don't knock on doors, but I had to on this. Talked with the owner and asked if he wanted to sell the GT, We agreed on $200.00, and I would come by Saturday with a trailer. I picked up a U-Haul and arrived at his house with a Air Tank, Come-along, tie downs and $200 in cash. After She was loaded on the trailer, he opened the Garage and started brining out Tire Chains, all the manuals, and pointed to the snow thrower and asked if I wanted it for scrap. Of course I took it.
Restoring Her was pretty straight foreword, and made a great project for Grandson and Pap time. I made sure the engine would fire before I removed it, then we tore her down to the frame. All parts were evaluated, and either cleaned up and painted or replaced. Most of the bolts, bushings, and pulleys were replaced with new. Parts carefully prepped and painted. The Transaxle was the first snag as the shifter was binding. Removed and cleaned the shifter fix it. A few minor modifications using LED lamps, and added a couple indicator lamps for the parking brake and starter solenoid.
The real challenges was replacing the mufflers. I tried a set off a Sears GT-18 no where close to a fit. I found a company that would custom make one, so I enlisted them. While they were working on this, I installed some pepper shakers so to test the engine, and ran into a second issue, an Oil leak! After replacing the front seal, and pulling the engine three separate times the cause was found and corrected. Oil pan bolts and Intake manifold bolts were accidentally switched, 3" bolts go to the intake, and 2-1/2 are used in the pan. The muffler was completed, but another issue, it didn't fit.
Took the completed Old Girl to the fabricators twice to finally get the muffler to fit under the hood, and after my neighbor did a slight modification to give a gap between it and the air filter it was finally done. After nine months, No leaks, and runs very smooth and quiet now
Her main use for now is to take to a few shows (already been to one), and light trailer towing, later on, who knows, may even restore the snow blower.