Joe Starkey's freshly redone Landlord 101. Read his great story below.
May 26, 1999
Enclosed is a photo of my 1966 model 101 Simplicity that I just finished. Although I consider the rehab a "hillbilly" job, I wanted to include the photo to thank all those who gave me info in the process from the discussion section of the web site. Bob Winter, one of our members, provided me with a decal kit to complete the job. Here is the story of my old Simplicity.
As a teacher I often find myself being called upon by community members to paint, repair, rebuild etc. in the summer months. Nearby is an old 1800% clapboard siding 15 room house that was the home of my Simplicity's former owner, Phillip Rebert. Phil was late 60's when we first met as he employed me to paint his house. While there, I noticed this old tractor under an apple tree with a washtub over the steering wheel. It seemed in bad shape, but as I looked at it I noticed its engineering features and was impressed with the materials in its design. I asked if it was for sale and Phil said, "NO! That tractor's too good to sell - I'm about ready to fix it up."
Well, about 8 years later he called me back for another repaint. Both Phil and the Simplicity are older, but no worse for wear. I again inquire if it is for sale. The answer was again the same. I decided to push the tractor under a high porch to get it out of the weather. After completing my paint job away I went again for another 5 years. This time the roof needed painting and steps replaced on the porches. Phil was debating moving and told me to load up the Simplicity and take it for FREE! In an old outbuilding he had cultivators, a snowplow for the hydraulic lift, a potato plow, a bar shear plow, and a weird box to haul things which fits on the lift / hitch. It also had a chipper which fit on the front PTO but it had set out in the rain and basically fell apart as i tried to move it.
Once I got the old tractor home I rebuild the carb, as gas would run right through it. With a new battery, it fired right up. New bearings in the deck were necessary but it was soon mowing several acres per week. This spring I decided to bore the engine and rebuild. Fresh paint and "O" rings in the hydraulic pump completed my job along with a few other minor parts. Phillip is now in a retirement home and I'm sending him a photo of his old beauty!
PS - Keep the photo!
Only two comments, Joe:
1. What's this about a "hillbilly job" (I are one too, of the Southern variety).... If you mean it's not show quality -- so what! It's beautiful and it's functional, and I'll just bet you grin from ear to ear when you're seen driving it around your yard... Then there's the feeling you get when sharing the photo with Phil Rebert....
2. It also makes me feel "warm inside" to hear how the club and this site have helped you. Thank YOU for sharing the story with us.... Kent