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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Ransomes Mercury 16"

Hello Everyone,

I recently bought a Ransomes Mercury 16" that hadn't been run for years, I have cleaned the full pipe, carb, points and thankfully this is now running.

I am going to fully restore the mower, however, it is missing the grass box.

I have searched for a new grass box on the internet without any joy, does anyone know where I can get hold of one?

I can't seem to find much information on the Mercury model, so if anyone can shed some light on the history that would be great too.

Many thanks in advance.


wristpin Wed, 28/05/2014

I fear it will be a case of "keep looking " -  auction sites, boot fairs and auto jumbles etc. May be worth trying The Old  Mower Co.

What engine does yours have? My Dad had a Mercury in the  late 50s / early 60s and it had a Clinton.

thecaretaker Wed, 28/05/2014

Hi wristpin,

It has a villiers mk7/1 engine. with a villiers S10/1 carb,  I have no idea of the year!

I will continue on my search....



wristpin Wed, 28/05/2014

I guess that the Villiers would pre-date the Clinton; unless the machine has been re-engined.

thecaretaker Fri, 30/05/2014

I don't think it has been re-engined, the Ransomes is Mk1,

Is the green too dark/shiny?



Layzee Fox Mon, 02/02/2015

Hi, I have just bought a similar machine but haven't picked it up yet, though I know it's got the Villiers Engine fitted.

I believe there may be another one on a famous auction site going at Litchfield as a non runner for a tenner and it does have a box as I enquired before I saw the one I've purchased. But you'll need to be quick as auction deadline is imminent.

Good Luck

wristpin Thu, 12/02/2015

At the end of the day we can all do whatever we like with our machines but your green is not Ransomes Green (what ever that is?!) . I believe that older Ransomes machines were painted in a darker shade than than machines produced in the last 30/40 years. If your machine has not been repainted before have a look inside the chain case, under a handle bar grip or even up under the chassis where the original paint wont have been faded buy uv light.

What I would question is whether the engine should be green at all. Quite often Villiers engine cylinder blocks were either black or silver with the chassis manufacturer's colour being confined to the fuel tank and engine cowling.  If any one has access to a sales brochure of the period it will be as good a guide as any as to how your machine would have left the factory.

I have a Ransomes publication headed Repair and Overhaul Charges dated 1969 which details three levels of winter service - Cutting Unit Overhaul, Partial or Service Overhaul and Complete Overhaul and it is interesting to note that the Complete Overhaul included a complete re-paint. If a machine has undergone a dealer repaint it is open to speculation as to whether the correct shade was used.

Ransomes was not alone in offering/specifying the repaint at overhaul option. When Atco had their regional service depots their winter service included  completely dismantling the machine, stripping to bare metal repainting and reassembling and applying new transfers. Their owners' manuals of the era included images of this being done.…