While doing a search on Craigslist earlier tonight, I was disappointed to find that most people don't know the meaning of "Original" anymore. So, since this is a garden tractor website, and most of us here are always willing to help out when we can, let's try to do our best in clarifying to those of us who visit this site looking for knowledge, or maybe trying to find answers to the questions they can't figure out when it comes to tractors.
"ORIGINAL" to me means factory authentic paint, factory issued tires, factory issued seat, no alterations of any kind to the tractor or attachment(s), no reproduction parts, no replaced decals, and if included no photo copied manuals or literature. Batteries are the only thing in my opinion that can be replaced and not considered as original. If belts need replaced, then they should be factory brand belts.
I am seeing so many tractors listed for sale as "Original", "One Owner", "Rare", "One of a Kind", and after checking out the auction or listing, I find that 99.9% of these tractors are not as advertised. The sellers claim that the tractor is completely original, but yet you see over spray or paint on the decals or serial number tags, or better yet, over spray on the tires because someone didn't tape off the rim. The motors are supposed to be untouched originals, but yet you see new replacement head bolts. When listed as "One Owner, all equipment bought new in 19--", you find that most of the attachments are newer than the tractor and couldn't have been purchased back when the tractor was bought new. In most cases, all four tires have been replaced, which to most collectors isn't such a bad thing, however when the asking price of the package reflects that of what a real authentic "Original" tractor would be selling for, then that's false advertising.
On another note (time to vent a little) I also get upset over the asking prices lately. What is making these guys think that they need these ridiculous prices for stuff that is still able to be found? I found two auctions tonight that both had 110 round fenders for sale. The one was a 1966 110 with manual lift. It was covered in rust, has a severely busted hood, all of the guards are missing, it hasn't run in over five years, there are no attachments included, and he wants $1,000.00 firm! Really???? The second listing was a 1964 110, listed as "Rare", had a newer four speed transmission in it instead of the original three speed transmission, the frame was cut due to getting the newer transmission in, had a flat fender 10hp engine with starter in it instead of the original 8hp with the starter/generator, and the hood supports were cut up due to the larger engine, and the mower deck that is included looks like swiss cheese. This guy wants $1,500.00 for the tractor, just because he thinks it's "Rare". Where do these guys come up with their pricing?? Neither of these tractors are hard to find, and frankly, neither of them in my opinion are worth more than $150.00 each.
The thinking of most sellers is getting way out of hand now days, as pricing is through the roof lately. Whether it's original parts, reproduction parts, factory dealership parts, or even tires, it's getting to the point that it's almost impossible to finish a restoration now days without spending almost double of what the tractor will be worth when it's completely restored. It used to be that we were all in this hobby to help each other out, but lately it's all about how much money can I make off of this? It's just wrong in my book. Taking advantage of someone else just to get rich quick, only hurts the hobby, as most people just starting out won't be able to afford the high prices. I remember when money wasn't even a thought, as you traded parts that were needed. Collector helping a collector. Don't see many of those days anymore, but if things keep going the way they are, there won't be others in the hobby to even trade with.
Don't get me wrong here, I don't mind paying a reasonable or fair price for something that is completely original and don't need any work done to it, or even a nicely restored show ready tractor, however I refuse to pay a high dollar amount for something that was painted over quickly, when it should have been set out along the curb on trash day!