There are currently three lawn tractors which have been rescued after falling into disuse with their previous owners. All were made here in the uk by Westwood, a company who specialize in building ride on mowers.
To identify the three I’ve given them fleet numbers in order they arrived.
Number 1 is a Westwood D1200. This arrived as a non runner after being bought at a farm sale by the previous owner who hadn’t been able to get it going. It came complete with cutting deck and snow plough blade, although the plough control linkage was missing. Being a D1200 it has an electric start Lombardini single cylinder diesel engine and a fairly complex electrical system. The electrics were found to be a problem, with bodged wiring repairs and even the battery connected backwards. The battery connections were corrected, injector removed and cleaned, then the engine was started by applying 12 volts to the starter to bypass the bad wiring. The tractor was successfully started and driven, although I’m not convinced the battery was charging. The Plan is to restore this machine, including a complete re-wire and use it for snow clearing duties in winter.
Number 2 is a Westwood T1200. This tractor was originally bought to provide spares for number 1. However it was found to be in excellent structural condition and will now be restored. It is almost identical to number 1 but has a Briggs & Stratton single cylinder petrol engine. It also has a complex electrical system, which will probably also require rewiring as part of a full restoration. This tractor will be used for general duties and may be re-fitted with it’s grass cutting deck for mowing.
Number 3 is a Westwood W6E which was donated by it’s previous owner when he became aware I had a collection of these machines! Although only missing a bonnet and one wheel on arrival, number three was in a very sorry state. As it was already partially dismantled, I decided to tackle this restoration first.
In addition to the Westwoods there are two wartime ‘Trusty Tractors’, manufactured in Barnet, North London. They are ‘walk behind’ or ‘pedestrian’ tractors, although you could buy a special seat that hitched onto the back. Looking at the precarious steel seat on a bendy steel frame I think it’s probably easier just to walk though!
Neither Trusty is currently a runner but both will be restored eventually. The first one (rusty one in the photos) is in quite a bad way. Although the wheels turn and the engine turns over as it should, everything else is pretty much rusted solid. There is also a lot of corrosion to the frame of this machine, which will need extensive rebuilding and renewal of the steel side plates.
The second Trusty is a little younger than the first. Machine number 4497T, it also dates from 1945. However while 4159 is fitted with a British J.A.P.5 engine, 4497 has a U.S. made Briggs & Stratton ZZ.
Although only a few months (or maybe even just weeks) newer than 4159, this tractor is in much better condition. For the later part of it’s life it has been standing outside as a garden ornament. It’s previous owner gave it a thick coat of green paint to tidy it up for this, which had the added benefit of giving some protection to the steelwork. However it’s worryingly difficult to push along, so will need stripping down to investigate things like bearings and will also need a major grease up, not to mention freeing up of some of the painted parts. Even the spark plug got painted green!