MP068: Farmfitters Rapier

Farmfitters Rapier rotary mower showing cast aluminium base and Vincent engine.

The Rapier was an unusual rotary mower manufactured by the Farmfitters company of Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire in the 1950s and 60s.

At this time the rotary design pioneered by Power Specialities before the Second World War with their Rotoscythe was still relatively unusual. However, a number of companies experiemtned with rotary designs in the mid to late 1950s with varying degrees of success.

Farmfitters made a range of rotary mowers during this period. Their early models were powered by small Vincent engines made by the same company that produced the famous motorcycles of that name. Later models had Clinton and Briggs & Stratton engines. 

The Rapier was unusual in having a cast aluminium body onto which was mounted the engine and four wheels. The use of aluminium for this type of machinery was unusual at the time although is more widely used now. The blade, like many early rotary mowers, was made from a metal disc onto which were mounted three small triangular blades. Later rotaries generally have a long thin blade that looks more like an aeroplane propellor.

 Farmfitters Rapier advertisement 1956.

In 1956 the Rapier retailed for £42.10.0d. None of the models produced by Farmfitters appears to have been a great success and examples are consequently hard to find today.