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Rare Ford Prototype Garden Tractor
When Josh Deaven saw a Ford LGT 120 for sale, he knew it wasn’t standard issue. The hood was shorter. It and the cowling around the dash were fiberglass instead of metal. The front wheels had long spindles with a bearing cap that stuck out too far, and the motor was sideways with the starter generator hanging out. Other differences between the prototype and Ford LGT 120 production models include a fiberglass battery cover versus plastic, fiberglass grill and a slightly different hood design.
    “It was advertised as a prototype that came out in 1971 or early 1972,” says Deaven, owner of Deaven Tractor and Classic Tractors. He supplies reproduction parts for Jacobsen-built garden tractors from 1964 to 1976. They include Ford, Minneapolis Moline and Oliver garden tractors.
    Deaven has been in the business long enough to question prototype claims. He asked for and received photos of the one for sale.
    “There were enough differences that could be seen in the photos for me to take a chance on it,” says Deaven. “I paid $1,200 for it and brought it home.”
    The story that went with it was that a Ford liaison man knew about the prototype, acquired it, and restored it. When he died, the tractor was put up for sale when the estate was cleared up.
    As Deaven searched for proof, he was told there should be an R&D tag riveted in place. While he found 2 patched holes, there was no tag.
    Jacobsen made the Ford LGTs, and Deaven knew that Jacobsen often used prototypes in their literature.
    “You can tell that decals have been stuck on or different parts were used from the final production model,” says Deaven. “I knew my tractor was special, but when I found the brochure introducing the Ford LGT 120, there it was. It was also used in a calendar. It was their pictorial tractor.”
    The Ford LGT 120 brought Deaven full circle. It was a repossessed Ford LGT 100 his dad bought in 1975 that started his interest in tractors and parts.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Josh Deaven, 326 Hillside Rd., Elizabethtown, Penn. 17022 (ph 717 367-0756; JoshDeaven@aol.com; www.facebook.com/Deaven-Tractor-Parts-1037674372938433/).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4