Vintage Lawn-Boy Mowers
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Labor costs represent a major expenditure in restoring the old mowers. To get the restoration exactly right, Nicholson pays for such skilled labor as machining, welding, sandblasting to remove old paint, and custom mixing of paint to exactly the right color.
The sandblasting, repainting and detailing is done after Nicholson has rebuilt the engine, lubricated it, filled it with gasoline and mowed with it two or three times.
Nicholson's monthly long-distance phone bills have run as high as $155 for calls he's made tracking down Lawn-Boy mowers or parts, or gathering Lawn-Boy trivia for his history of Lawn-Boy.
Even before he begins working on his Lawn-Boy book, Nicholson has already helped to preserve and perpetuate Lawn-Boy's history. Last October (1990), he organized a get-together in Lamar of men who used to work in the Lamar Lawn-Boy plant during the '50s and early '60s. For the get-together, Nicholson brought the 1958 gold Lawn-Boy which he had restored, to show to the delighted former employees.
Nicholson told some of the former employees about another gold Lawn-Boy mower he had located, a 1959 model still in its original shipping box and never used. When the former employees heard that that mower was for sale, a fund drive was launched. When they raise enough money to cover the purchase price, the former employees will donate it to the Barton County Museum in Lamar.
Because of Lawn-Boy's impact on Lamar's history, Nicholson is also contributing some of the material he's collected to help the Barton County Historical Society build a Lawn-Boy exhibit in its museum. Among the items he has donated is a tiny Lawn-Boy lawn mower replica which he made out of brass.
The former Lamar assembly plant employees-now scattered to other parts of the country-have also helped Nicholson collect information.
Last Christmas, Curtis T. Morris, who was president of Lawn-Boy during the 1950s, delighted Nicholson by sending him a one-quarter-scale replica of a 1950s mower.
Today, dealers in his part of the country have been enthusiastic about his hobby. "Some of them get as excited as I do whenever I acquire a good one."
Nicholson says the Lawn-Boy Company has been especially helpful and encouraging: "They send whatever information is available." One piece of information the company recently sent him is its newest brochure for Lawn-Boy Walk-Behind mowers. It bears the company's new slogan, "Forever Mower."
No one knows how true that slogan is better than David Nicholson.
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