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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

First petrol cylinder mower

Hello All

              I recently joined the club and completely refurbished my Ransome 12 inch Ajax MK5. I must thank everyone for the hints and tips , it is all done now and mows the grass amazing. Consequently, this has given me the bug! (thank you all)

So i am pondering on my first petrol driven cylinder restoration project, and i would appreciate any suggestions to what so of make and model i should look for?  I appreciate this may be a horses for courses question, however, i am really open ot suggestions.

kind regards Dave 

Clive1997 Mon, 13/08/2018

Hello Dave

Pleased to hear you have the bug! Whist on the forum there are many interested in the Suffolk, Punches, Colts etc, I would suggest an early Atco many around from the 1930's to 1960's, most will have a villiers 2 stroke engine, later ones 4 stroke with spares available for both & several forum members who can give appropriate advice.

This is just an example nearly 70yrs old, best to try & get one with a box, often missing.…

Careful re size the 12 & 14in are easy to get on the bench, but a different story with the 28/30in  ones.

As said before shame you are way up North as I have several available & would be happy to provide you with something.

Hope that helps.

Davel831 Mon, 13/08/2018


         Thank you , BUG oh dear yes i have ! i am at present looking at a Qualcast 16 , with a villers 2 stroke engine , however i do like the look of the early atco !

Clive again thank you for the warm welcome and advice, i feel that if we did live nearer i would be like a small boy in a sweet shop?

thanks again


Regards Dave  

wristpin Mon, 13/08/2018

The issue with 50/70 year old Villiers two-strokes is the ignition system as the old ignition coils degrade  and are expensive to replace - £60/70 .  So if considering one of those it either needs to be working or the cost of a coil should be factored in to the price.  Also beware of new old stock coils that may have been sitting on the shelf for just as long.

It may be a better bet to get you motor mower experience on a four stroke Atco or Suffolk from the 1950s, with plenty of cheap parts are readily available. And yes, definitely buy one with a decent grass box.

Davel831 Mon, 13/08/2018


             Thank you , you are really a wealth of knowledge and thank you for this. To be honest i have just been offered as Qualcast sixteen that runs but has a leaky carb for nothing!  so i may take the plunge . Thank you again for the tips, saying that thou i may also look for a 4 stroke atco lol 


Regards Dave 

Chris G Mon, 13/08/2018

I would go for a smaller 4 stroke, say 18" depending on garden size, lot less fickle than a 2 stroke once you get them running right  - I must remember we're talking mowers not little  2 stroke ​motor bikes which can be a pain :-)

robint Wed, 15/08/2018

Yes the old mowers are right go for a nice marquis with a bsa F12 sloper and be prepared to fall in love, dont start with a wreck