Vintage Lawn-Boy Mowers
Oklahoma man boasts impressive collection of vintage Lawn-Boy mowers
Nicholson's restored 1958 Lawn-Boy Model 5200, 18 inch cut.
Some men collect cars. Some collect electric trains. But for David Nicholson of Enid, Oklahoma, nothing beats the romance of a vintage Lawn-Boy lawn mower.
Although he's only been a serious collector since last year, Nicholson has owned at least one or two Lawn-Boy mowers ever since he was in the fourth grade.
"There never was any other mower for me," Nicholson says.
He is continually acquiring and trading. Nicholson's oldest Lawn-Boy mower is a 1953-54 model. He also owns at least two 1955s – "for the year I was born."
Three of Nicholson's Lawn-Boy mowers are in show condition. One of the 1955s was still in good condition, right down to the original factory paint and original wheels. It showed little wear, and the original owner's manual was with it. The other two mowers, a 1957 and a 1958, he's restored to like-new mowing condition.
He's nearly finished restoring a third one, a 1963 model, and he's started working on a fourth, a 1962 model, as well as a fifth. He intends to use the latter, the other 1955, for mowing his own lawn. It will replace the brand new Lawn-Boy he bought last year and later gave to his father.
What attracted Nicholson to Lawn-Boy mowers?
First, it was the color. When he was a boy, he watched with fascination while a neighbor trimmed his grass with a bright, lime green-colored Lawn-Boy. Green has always been David Nicholson's favorite color. "Plus," he says, "I like the sound of the two-cycle engine."
Second, it was his birthplace. Nicholson was born in Lamar, Missouri, where Lawn-Boys were manufactured from 1952 until 1963. (All Lawn-Boy mowers today are manufactured in two Mississippi towns, Oxford and Sardis.)
Third, "I needed something that had nothing to do with my everyday business," says Nicholson, who repairs antique clocks for a living.
Nicholson's 1953-54 model is not the oldest running Lawn-Boy mower in the country. Last year the company, headquartered in Plymouth, Wisconsin, heard from at least three other customers from around the country who own working Lawn-Boy mowers that are more than 40 years old.
The pride of Nicholson's collection is his 1958 gold-colored mower. Lawn-Boy built the gold models for four years, from 1958 through 1961. The 1960 model year was notable because it marked the introduction of the industry's first rear-bagging mowers.
Nicholson was especially eager to acquire a gold model because the first Lawn-Boy he ever bought, with money he saved from cutting lawns as a boy, was a gold one.
He looked a long time before he located a gold Lawn-Boy for his collection. As he relates it, he actually had a dream one night last year that he had found two of them. The next morning, he took a new route to work, and there was the first one, lying against a chain-link fence.
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