In response to Larry Jensen's question (Farm Collector, April 2006, page 5), "Did Oliver make garden tractors?" Yes, Oliver had a garden tractor, but for a very short time, not in 1962, as mentioned, but in 1972. As was the case throughout the industry, it was not manufactured by Oliver, but by an outside source. The Oliver garden tractors were produced by the Jacobsen Co. of Racine, Wis. This company also produced garden tractors at that time for Ford and Minneapolis-Moline. The Olivers were built in four model sizes: 75, 7 hp; 105, 10 hp; 125, 12 hp; and 145, 14 hp. The 125 was available as gear drive or hydrostat. The 145 was hydrostat only. The 75 came with a Briggs & Stratton engine and the three larger models came with a Kohler engine.
Go to an Oliver Hart-Parr summer or winter show, and you'll see the Oliver garden tractor and may even find one for sale, or get information on where to find one for sale. At auctions I've been to, they seem to bring pretty good money. I was working for Oliver (39 years) as a territory manager at the time these garden tractors were produced. I have a 125 hydrostat (not for sale). This photo is a pretty good line-up of Oliver garden tractors I took at the Oliver Hart-Parr show in Madison, S.D., in August 2004.
The Oliver Hart-Parr Collectors summer show will be held in Dover, Ohio, Aug. 18-20.
- Morris Harrison
3080 360th St.
Sioux Center, IA 51250