OK, its rainy out for the 5th straight day, pretty hard right now, and I'm not looking forward to walking to the shop so I'll tell a story about one of those RER Bolens like the one pictured. If you are real busy - probably best to pass over my ramblings. I promise nothing earth shattering in this story - but there will be 100% truth as the whole thing evolved.
I came up with one of those just like whats pictured somewhere around the year 2001. At the time I was working for the city and the bosshole sent me over to a very secluded, two-block long street to cut a ditch with the ditching tractor. I'd already laid eyes on the Bolens but wasn't really interested because I don't collect RER's
Someone came out of the house to see what all the ruckus was, so I decided to asked about the Bolens. Seems the owner inherited a bigger mower so in perfect working order this Bolens was set aside to be a backup mower. They bought the Bolens new from the [short term] dealer right here in town and it was always stored in one of those little metal sheds you buy in kit form and assemble for your back yard. After it sat unloved in the shed for a significant amount of time they needed the space and pushed it just outside the shed where grass proceeded to grow up around the poor thing for most of that summer.
I figured it'd have some good parts and the engine was a Briggs so that'd be nice to have. We walked over to look at it and I was amazed at how nice it was. Seat was without tears and with a trip to the car wash this mower would look like new.
The guy would like to have it gone and wondered if I'd give $50. In rare form for me, I didn't even haggle. It was just that nice. Handed the man a Ulysses S. Grant and told him I'd be rolling in just after 3:30 when I got off work to load it up.
When I got back he'd aired up the low tires and rolled it over to the driveway. I backed in the drive, dropped the liftgate on my pickup, pushed it on, hit the lever and was loaded. As I latched the tailgate the guy finally got his shoes installed and came out of the house. He said something about how I came prepared and we had a good laugh. I helped him carry his ramps back out to the shed. He'd drug the ramps out so I could get the mower up into my pickup but of course I didn't need them. Still, it was a very nice gesture.
Once home I borrowed a battery out of another mower and with some gas it fired up and ran perfect. With some spit-shine the Bolens looked GREAT. Much too nice to part out and way too small for my yard, I wondered what I'd do with it. Selling is one of my least favorite things in the world. I'm no salesman. So there it sat.
A few days later a neighbor comes in to see if I had an 8 horse Briggs for his mother-n-laws mower. I show him the Bolens and he gets all excited. Seems his mother-n-laws mowers engine konked out. He's been mowing her yard until he can find an engine for her mower. The Bolens is so nice he wants the entire thing. It'd be easier to give her the whole mower than to change the engine. She needs a small mower with electric start so he doesn't have to load his Crud Cadet every week and take it over to her house to mow. I believe more than just the work involved, he wanted less quality time with the mother-n-law. Thats what I picked up from the conversation anyhow.
This neighbor had just come up with a fairly decent 1450 Crud Cadet that had the 44 inch deck. His cadet, I can't remember the model number, was a 10 horse job with the 50 inch deck and a little short on power. His idea was to swap decks putting the 44 incher under his 10 horse that he'd had for years and sell the 1450 with his old 50 inch deck, take the money and buy MIL an engine for her mower. His plan was a good one and his world was about to improve!
Guess where this story is going?.....
He offered a straight trade - his 1450 for the Bolens RER.
Didn't take long to think on that one.
While I had no use for the 1450, my dad was quite fond of the Quiet Line series. Dad had also recently come up with a Sears 3 point hitch mount, Gannon Earthcavator at an auction.
Now my gears are really turning.
He gave less than $20 for the Gannon because it wasn't advertised so I didn't go to that auction. I figured he'd trade straight up and I'd have the $50 I originally invested in the Bolens - in the Earthcavator.
No bones - dad wouldn't trade.
Said he was going to put it on Ebay. At that time Earthcavators were at a real premium. I offered some cash to boot.
I put the 1450 in the shop and went over it. Tierods were loose so I did the quick fix crimping them to get a few more years of use without expense. Changed the oil and the next spring I trimmed around the house with the 1450. Really liked the Cadet but I mow with a tractor and 6 foot finish mower so to me this is just a trim mower. Really had no use for the 1450 and it's too new for what I collect.
Saw a classmate at Wally World one day. He asked if I had any good sized riding mowers that I'd sell. He had a friend that was in the market. I mentioned the 1450, threw out $500 as a nice round figure, and he said he'd have the guy come look. That evening they came rolling in the drive. Fired up the Cadet and let the guy mow for a while. He parks the thing and holds out 5 Benjamin Franklin's. Said if I'd deliver he'd just take it. He lived less than a mile from where I worked and I told him I'd drop it off on my lunch hour the next day.
Thats my dealings with a Bolens RER like the one pictured. I came out much better on that than I figured but here 14 years later, I still don't have an Earthcavator. I had nearly $450 cash in my pocket and the use of two mowers short term while all this went down.
The Earthcavator is still sitting in the shed out at dads as far as I know. I hope to purchase it from my step mom at dads estate auction.
Edited by Gtractor, November 30, 2015 - 02:00 PM.