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I picked up this nicely restored little Speedex from 1979.

My father-in-law used one to manage his entire 20 acre property. I was always surprised at how durable and useful it was. I used to joke with him about buying a "real" tractor instead of a lawn mower with tiny tractor tires! I'll use it haul firewood and tote the grandkids around in a wagon. Along with our Farmall Cub, it's the perfect little tractor for the local antique power shows and county fair.

These were manufactured in Ravenna, Ohio and there are several active lawn & garden shows in Ohio featuring Speedex. I'm not sure how popular these are outside of the midwest but they were sold for decades.
 

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That's cool and sharp:bigthumb:
 

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I had a model 1631. Just about the same tractor. It was left with our house when we bought it. I worked the crap out of that thing. They were definitely durable, and pretty powerful for what they were.

The job was done so good, I had no idea that the Briggs 16HP Vanguard was a replacement engine on mine until I started seeing pics of "original equipment" tractors. Eye opener for sure.

They definitely had their drawbacks. A non-synchro tranny. Having to stop to change gears/speed. A timed, gear driven mower deck. It was kind of cool to have one simple belt, but I broke many gear teeth. Those just didn't give when you hit something like a root. Changing from the mower deck to the front blade was a days work in itself for sure. It had wheel weights and chains for winter. It never got stuck!:thumbup1gif: That front blade was another thing. It was a manual lift and holy cow was it a beast to raise. The attachment design wasn't the best for being user friendly.:flag_of_truce:parts were hard to get, but as years went by, they became even more scarce. This was the biggest reason for me researching a new tractor. It went from almost getting a Sears commercial lawn tractor:hide:, to a John Deere CUT. Big jump eh. If it wasn't for the parts problem, I may never have gotten my 2520. I am so thankful it turned out the way it did.

If you mentioned a Speedex tractor, most people never heard of it. It definitely was not a well known name.
 

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One interesting design detail is the right foot pedal. Tipping the pedal forward causes the entire engine to slide on a track (or rail) to engage with a belt and move the tractor forward. Moving the pedal down at your heel engages the so-called "brake" which causes a small chunk of rubber to rub against the clutch pulley. The rubber is nothing more than a 3" section of a fan belt.

It's all very crude and just fine as long as your expectations aren't too high. I guess we're all spoiled with our newer Deere equipment!
 

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My Friend gave me his dad's old Speedex this year. Not sure of the model number but I really haven't looked at it much.

Plan on restoring this one.

That is a really old one. Not sure of exact model number (S14, S17?) but it's definitely an S Series from the very early 60's.
 

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If you trace the history of both Speedex and Wheel Horse, their paths intertwine. There were two Pond brothers, Elmer and Harold. Harold worked for the Shaw Tractor Company. He then started his own tractor company, Speedex. Elmer started working for his brother, Harold, delivering Speedex tractors. Soon after that, Elmer and his son, Cecil, began making their own tractors, first called Pond, and then later, Wheel Horse, from their garage in South Bend, Indiana.
 
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