The 30" and 36" Atco De Luxe mowers were introduced in 1931 to replace the larger versions of the Atco Motor Mower. They were designed for use on larger grass areas including parks, estates and sports grounds. Relatively few would have been sold for use on ordinary lawns. In 1935 they were priced at £85 and £100 respectively.
As has been mentioned in previous "Mowers of the Month" the original Atco Motor Mower became known as "The Standard" after newer models had been introduced by the company. These large De Luxe machines were powered by a single cylinder 500cc JAP four stroke engine. This was so large that water cooling was used, making these the first Atco models to incorporate this type of cooling. The use of a radiator and fan helped disperse heat, especially when the mower was stationary.
The De Luxe marked a major change from the original Atco Motor Mowers. The design utilised plate steel sides rather than a cast iron frame. This would have helped keep weight to a minimum which in turn would have reduced the cost of manufacture and purchase price for the customer.
Despite the obvious differences there are also some similarities. The De Luxe featured the same starting mechanism as the earlier design and of course both also had the familiar Atco "torpedo" petrol tank mounted above the engine. The design also maintained the simple Atco concept of enabling different cutting widths to be manufactured from relatively few components. This was achieved by designing the mowers with modular components, separate by cross members or spacers of different length to provide each cutting width.
Interestingly the design is also very similar to the larger Atco mowers produced some 20 to 30 years later in the 1950s and 60s. This demonstrates the way in which Atco mowers, perhaps more than any other manufacturer's models, were a steady progression in design over many years.
The 30" and 36" De Luxe could both be used with a trailer seat. The use of the curved "pram" handles made it easier for the operator to control and steer the mower, especially when going round corners, because there was always a piece of handle within easy reach.
The models were produced throughout the 1920s. Mowers of this size are not commonly found in collectors' collections simply because they are too large for many people to store and transport.