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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Wolf lookalike "Super Punch" once seen at GLEE trade show

I have reposted my pondering, from another thread, about a range of cylinder mowers that I remember seeing on the Wolf stand at GLEE trade show at NEC in maybe the late 1980s.  I worked at the time for a Wolf sales/service agent locally.

The mowers were very much a copy/lookalike of a Super Punch chassis but not close enough in manufacture to actually be a Super Punch and in a thick gloss orange/red.  I left the garden machinery world in mid 1991..and by early 1992 set off into a much longer career gardening at a heritage country house..and I don't recall these mowers actually making into the UK Wolf range of the time.? 

I had a feeling that they might be of South African origin as I think the Wolf family was resident across the world at the time.  UK (Ross on Wye), Germany, France, South Africa.?

Time on hands sat at home has set me off on mower ponderings once more and subsequently an online search found the photo of an electric cylinder mower that seems to echo what i remembered seeing.

The photo, link above, I found online shows a Super Punch style of build but with some Wolf looking handle fittings.?  The photo was on a .za  s/h sales listing as a Warrior electric cylinder lawnmower.

So perhaps I am on the way to answering my own question.?!!..but interested to know more of this type.

Thank you,



wristpin Sun, 13/12/2020

Another oddity was Flandria petrol cylinder mowers badged as Victas.

Their  distinguishing feature was the drive being transmitted not by chains or belts, but large plastic spur gears. If I remember correctly their chassis colour was metallic grey.

There were some South African built cylinder mowers on offer in the 90s with a name beginning with P, I think. Could have been Protea or some such.



Clive1962 Mon, 14/12/2020


  Yes, I recall the silver/grey cylinder mower sold as a Victa, didn't it have drive going down through engine deckplate rather than conventional shaft across the machine...I never worked on one.  Victa and Wilkinson Sword name were linked at one time weren't they.?

Flandria seems to jog memory to an Irish connection and some pinkish/red rotary mowers with Des Peden.?

Of course that has set me thinking further and got me on to some red chassis with yellow fittings and chute cover, gold passivated? finish to handles rotary mowers that were being purveyed to us by a man in a van..   BTS? is the mower name that has come to mind...again late 1980s  the machine were a bit of a Harry rotary sort of look, large rear chute flap.  I think the producer went into Mountfield grouping of the time..with manufacturer name appearing on the id labels of the early 1990s Mountfield rotaries.

Thank you for helping keep my memory cogs whirring :)


wristpin Mon, 14/12/2020

Looks as though we may both have memory cogs a bit out of mesh. I have found references to the Victa Lawnsman and Swordsman cylinder mowers going back to 1988 and neither have plastic gears nor a non conventional top shaft position . I’m sure that the Flandria did have the gear drive so perhaps the connection was imagined. 

Going back to the unconventional drive issue , the last (?) version of the Hayter Ambassador had a centrally mounted vertical shaft engine; the claim being even weight distribution and better balance.

As for the man in van and his BTS rotary mowers, he never made it to us . Over the years we were visited by a number of men in vans . The most memorable and reliable was known “ Captain Birds Eye “ , due to his luxuriant facial hair. He called on us every month for nearly 30 years and knew what “ mower menders” wanted; as in both what was needed and in sensible quantities, particularly that there was life before metrication !

Clive1962 Mon, 14/12/2020

Ah, interesting ref the Swordsman I did remember the name later after posting   but in a quick Google, and mention of the unconventional, the search also brought a ref to a Swardman mower.

 Haven't had much to do with H. Ambassador but always fancied a run with the last rotary mower engined type as in the catalogue the lever operation looked like it might be comfortable at a time when some manufacturers ran into snags with making existing machines OPC compliant. We had a 1981 Marquis with B&S at my current work and I ended up keeping that going well past its otherwise sell by date... we had treated ourselves to a new 1995 51cm....with its fully combined OPC........

 We also were visited back in mower days employment by another van that was loaded down with new old stock parts of the day including a bin full of last type  Zenith 13tca...should have put a few by  but they were actually a bit too dear at the time relative to its potential for a spares sale then.




wristpin Mon, 14/12/2020

Yes, the carb man visited us with the Zenith tops and bottoms binned separately. I bought several tops and a few less float bowls. As you say, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

You have fond memories of that Marquis; I remember one for all the wrong reasons.It was a new Honda engined Marquis 51 with manifold vacuum  actuated clutches . Suffice it to say that after a month or so with a very unhappy owner it was back with us being fitted with newly available cable conversion kits.

Clive1962 Tue, 15/12/2020

The 1981 Marquis Mk5M that I mentioned went on and on and whilst rather tired, could still be got back out did have a chassis crack r/h side at curve top adjacent to deckplate that had a plate repair.

  The 1995 51 though....   was the first go at OPC.  Fully manual operation, and still chain drive, It had one bar that as it was lifted pulled parking brake off, increased throttle bringing the centrifugal clutch into drive and then bringing in the traction clutch.  A bit too much for one operating bar... When trying to go round a tree circle etc it would grind to a halt.   It was converted to ease use, with the traction clutch returned to a conventional handlebar lever and is still in periodic use....but not as sweet to use as the old un.