With one speed and moving three miles an hour, the rare 1947 Bolens Ridemaster is one of the first motorized garden tractors. After a few years of work on the project, Doug Carrick has one up and running on his acreage. He finished restoring the antique tractor earlier this year.
One of Carrick’s friends bought the tractor in Alberta, all in pieces. His friend sent photos, and from there Carrick figured out what it was and began his search for the manual.
The wheels were rusted right out, so Carrick searched Canada and the United States for replacement wheels. As it turned out, the wheels that ended up fitting are motorcycle wheels from a dirt bike.
The engine he has been using was his father’s from roughly 75 years ago. When Carrick was 14 years old, they used the motor in a scooter that he would ride around the farm. Despite the engine’s age, he said it still runs like a clock.
For more on this story read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.