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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Atco Standard clutches

Morning all

Thought I’d say hello as I’ve just joined the forum. I’ve had a couple of old mower projects and my latest is a 16” Atco standard in very poor condition, lots of stuff for me to repair... I’ve made a start with cleaning up the Villiers Mkvi-c engine which has no spark. Have replaced the ht, condenser, plug etc and should have a replacement coil arriving today. I didn’t want to fork out for a rewind on the old coil as I’m on a budget so I’ve bought a cheapo undersized coil off eBay (the “long” type - I think these are made to fit midgets?) and will modify it to fit using turned adaptors.

Right so that’s me introduced :) here’s my question: I notice that some standards have a plate clutch and some have a cone clutch. Does anyone know which machines had each style? Is it something useful to dating the machines? Mine has a plate clutch but I’ve seen pictures of 16” models with either arrangement.


olcadmin Tue, 11/09/2018

Plate clutch was first and the earliest models are slightly smaller diameter than those that came later. Cone clutches were introduced, as far as I know, from around 1925 (the first reference I can find) but may not have been on all models in the range from that time. Also, cone clutches could have been retrofitted to older mowers. Not sure I have ever seen a 14" Standard or 12"/14" HY version with a cone clutch. Others may know better.

Bramley Thu, 13/09/2018

Great that’s really interesting thank you!

I wonder if a similar thing applies to steel/brass fuel tanks? I’m guessing brass ones are earlier. 

Happy to say I’ve got a good spark now so it’s on with the strip down and repair work :)

thanks again

olcadmin Sat, 15/09/2018

Brass tanks not necessarily old - certainly on the 1921 "Oval Frame" models that I have seen they are steel. Nor are the tanks on the HY models brass (or at least none I have seen). Certainly some of the earlier Standard models in the smaller sizes (up to 22") are brass. Others may know better.

Bramley Wed, 19/09/2018

Great thank you,


Good to meet you at Bedford. If you get a chance to measure up dimensions for the toolbox that would be very helpful!


cheers :)