Historic Golf Course Mowers: A 1939 Toro Tractor
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The Toro was in active use for more than 20 years at Sun Valley. Because of the resort’s elevation (5,000 feet above sea level), the summer season there was short. The fact that the Toro could be used both on the golf course and for general maintenance purposes made it a particularly valuable part of the resort’s fleet.
One of the tractor’s most unique features is its cast aluminum grille that makes it look like a racecar. The huge, 1-piece casting is quite thick. Over years of use in Sun Valley, that casting was damaged numerous times but repairs were always made. One can only guess that wealthy guests wouldn’t tolerate a visually ugly maintenance machine when they were out on the links.
For some reason, and in spite of my numerous requests over a period of several years, the modern Toro company refuses to acknowledge or provide information about this tractor or others similar to it. As the photos show, when the tractor was built, the company was very proud of its product. Probably no vehicle ever made has more company names affixed to it in such large size. In spite of Toro’s reluctance to claim it as its own, little Toro golf course tractor serial no. 2111 is now somewhat famous anyway. FC
A retired high school history teacher, Clell Ballard has worked on farms since he was in grade school. For more than 50 years he’s worked on his uncle’s hay and grain ranch during the summer. Currently they swath, rake and big bale 1,000 acres of dry land hay each summer. Contact him at (208) 764-2313 MST or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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