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#116037 11/08/22 02:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
This is my homage to early Pope from the 60s and 70s. In technical terms this is a Pope hybrid. It has taken me over 6 months to complete. It started out my uncle gave me an engine off of the first Pope mower he ever owned, which might have been a Simpson-Pope but I can't be sure. It was the one with the entirely closed in cowl. The engine has rotary valves. A short time later I happened to acquire a base from a 1970s model. What you see here are my efforts to rebuild a "retro" Pope mower that looks close to their original design, in a general sense.

I had a Pope fuel tank but decided not to use it, because it was a bit too beaten up and rusty. The Villiers tanks are always much easier to fit to old mowers that have lost their tanks and I just happened to have a nice, clean one at my disposal. The cowl is essentially half Tecumseh, half Briggs and Stratton, with the back half overlayed to make it look like a traditional Pope cowling shape. The recoil starter is Tecumseh.

The engine required an adaptor plate to fit to the base and then the shaft required extending both top and bottom with high tensile fittings. I decided to key these for extra safety. The blade disc is H. G. Palmer, the blades are Rover, the blade bolts are HT plough bolts and I used Rover nyloc nuts and Victa washers. Various other parts were re-engineered, or repurposed to re-make a working mower. I looked at old photos and illustrations the whole time to try to keep it looking close to an original Pope design.

Had problems sourcing paint, but ended up settling for good old Killrust for the white and the orange is Rustoleum "Kubota Orange".

Wheels are brand new, genuine Pope. Hubcaps: Only one original could be fitted successfully, the rest were beyond my abilities to fit, so I made replicas from metal candlestick saucers and fixed them in place with glue and white silicon.

I tried to keep the carby filter and snorkel looking as close to original as possible. It goes but I don't want to use it too much. After spending so many hours and dollars on this thing, the last thing I want to do is get it dirty or knock paint off. LOL!

Attached Images
P1010120.JPG (472.16 KB, 121 downloads)
P1010112.JPG (660.05 KB, 120 downloads)
P1010119.JPG (589.29 KB, 120 downloads)
P1010115.JPG (449.24 KB, 120 downloads)
P1010118.JPG (538.33 KB, 122 downloads)
P1010114.JPG (654.04 KB, 120 downloads)
P1010126.JPG (483.89 KB, 121 downloads)
P1010130.JPG (320.87 KB, 118 downloads)
1 member likes this: FAST GRASS
Portal Box 6
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,233
Likes: 32
Junior Technician
Great job... good to see it started...
Thanks for pics
speedy


........................Keep your blades sharp......................
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,467
Likes: 143
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi vint_mow, I'm impressed excellent job

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,059
Likes: 146
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Vm , Speedy and Norm,

Well done Vm ,I can see why you wouldn't want to get the mower dirty now that it looks like it just came out of a box.

I didn't think many people were interested in Pope mowers these days ,as a few sellers I've seen lately , struggle to get $50 for one.

Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
Hi Max, I haven't seen a single vintage Pope mower advertised anywhere for ages and ages, and the parts are generally grabbed up as fast as they appear on auction sites. My feeling is they have suddenly become rare. For the same reason you hardly ever see Southern Cross mowers advertised anywhere. I'd like to talk to those folks who are struggling to get $50 for a vintage Pope mower! The only ones I see advertised are the modern red-coloured ones. Of course nobody wants them (yet) as they are not old enough and in any case will never be as unique as the old Australian-made ones.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,059
Likes: 146
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Vm ,I've seen 7 to 10 ,Pope mowers from fifties to seventies advertised online in the past 12 months.

About 4 rotary valve Pope mowers ,some in NSW and QLD, even a first model was for sale in QLD.

There were 2 mowers on eBay a while ago selling together for $20. ,one was the second model VC Victa and the other was a seventies Pope,
the victa was running and not one bid , the Pope looked a clean mower ,after a week the seller removed the ad.

One Pope was for sale in Tasmania and I put the pics here https://www.outdoorking-forum.com.au/forum/u...sponse-cleavers-hardware.html#Post115357

The 3 metal base rotary valve Pope mowers I saw for sale were around 50 to $60 .

They were for sale for weeks also at the same time a rotary valve engine was for sale but at the same price as the
complete mowers.

All these Pope mowers were on eBay ,Gumtree and Face Book Marketplace and the first model was selling on a Vintage mower site.

The last 2 Rotary valve mowers I bought , not that long ago were under $100 and I was the only bidder, the first one
came with another mower that I fixed and sold for more than what I had paid for the 2 mowers, so one was free.

The next one is the clean one that I put a video on youtube showing it running but I do wonder if I advertised
that mower for $50 . how many weeks it would take to sell , no one is interested in old 2 stroke mowers in my area ,I have sold a couple
Gold Edition "Celebrating Six Million Mowers" victa mowers for $60 .each, serviced and clean running mowers.They cost $2. each.and
took a few weeks to sell at $60.

Any Pope that is not a rotary Valve mower ,I would pay $10 to $30. tops ,I've seen people online advertise them for free.

Yesterday there was a free Victa rear clip on side discharge cover advertised on gumtree.

I don't usually sell 2 stroke mowers as I get offers for $20. for a mower that's just has a service, it's quicker
and easier to sell the alloy base for $7.50 in scrap.

I've bought a few old mowers from a guy not far from me ,he will sell any old mower for $30. ,Pace ,Pope ,Villiers ,Victa ,Villager etc.

If I go to a scrap yard the same mowers are $10 to $15. , seen a lot sell for $2. to $5. on ebay because the seller only gets one bid.



Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
Hi Max, Not sure why but I missed seeing all those ads and I thought I had searched for them thoroughly. Of course I won't buy off Facebook and will not buy any mower that I cannot physically drive to, so I have to say no to any interstate mowers. Let me know if you ever spot any because I obviously can't.

I did see the Victa chute on Gumtree, and it is still up there, but if you look again you will see the seller is wanting $50 for it.

All the Victa mowers I have watched on ebay in good condition have sold for well over $100. Some of the better ones have fetched around $300. I did buy two old Victa 18s for around $60 each several months ago but that was on Gumtree, only one was going and not running well. In fact it has a very bad leak in the carby which I still haven't got around to looking at. They also have parts missing.

I recently watched a single Rotomo wheel go for over $300 on ebay. People can go crazy on there and the sad thing is parts are worth a LOT more than mowers. The reason is parts can be posted, mowers can't, so if a mower or large part like a catcher is not available within driving distance, most people will not bid on them.

Nobody will be getting my Pope reno for under $800, because in all truth that is what it has cost me in time, parts and labour. It is not just some oily, greasy, rusty wreck that you might find at the local tip for ten bucks. I have no desire to sell it. It is essentially a curiosity piece for the Man Cave and I don't really care what anybody else might think about that.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,059
Likes: 146
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Some are easily missed Vm.

I've picked up old Victa mowers listed as Victor and Wipac mowers for 10 to $50.

Not that long ago at the scrap yard I bought a couple Victa 18 mowers for $15 each ,they weren't complete but one had a good
set of wheels .

A lot of the Pope mowers I see aren't listed as Pope mowers ,the ones that are around $50. have surface rust on the
base etc and the original decals aren't visible.

Yes the parts are expensive ,it's usually cheaper to buy a mower for parts.

I don't have spare time for Facebook but have seen lots of old cheap mowers, if I do a quick search on marketplace I've seen a few bargains that you probably wouldn't find normally.

A few auto Victa 18 mowers with a side skirt for $30. to $50. , even a complete 2a for $100.

I will let you know Vm next time I see an early Pope in QLD.

Yep you build a mower for how you want it to be not for what other people want,.I wouldn't sell a mower that takes a lot of time to build.

Some Pope mowers below were on Gumtree for a few weeks.

Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
Pope x2.jpg (43.05 KB, 59 downloads)
Pope 1.jpg (513.06 KB, 59 downloads)
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
I did see the one in left photo but, like always, it was too far away. The cities seem to have the most old mowers. Smaller suburban blocks, more people, therefore less damage and wear over time. As I live in the country I seldom see old mowers and when I do they are usually completely clapped out wrecks. In the country people tend to abuse them over larger areas of rough ground. Lots of high grass, rocks, sticks etc.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,059
Likes: 146
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
If you live in a country area Vm and old mowers aren't available you could always go to a Swap meet once a year.

TOOWOOMBA SWAP 3 & 4 SEPTEMBER 2022

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 210
Likes: 4
Apprentice level 3
See attached!
Spent many days pushing a rotary Pope. Heaps of torque!

Attached Images
Pope front cover.pdf (1.82 MB, 8 downloads)

"Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten"
1 member likes this: vint_mow
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
Thanks Max, I see a 1970s (probably) Pope is for sale on Gumtree, but way out of my reach as always. I tend to shy away from swap meets these days, mainly because I am spending too much money on mowers and parts as it is. An entire day of it could cause too much temptation. :-)

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,059
Likes: 146
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Yes I saw the Pope for sale Vm , it's already been advertised for a week and I think it would take a while to sell at half the
asking price , most 2 stroke mowers from the seventies and eighties I have advertised that are serviced ,clean, good running
mowers with a catcher don't sell for $40. so I end up scrapping the alloy base . the Victa Mustangs ,VC sports ,Sunbeam ,1st
and 2nd model VC's ,Mayfair mowers, etc have no value in my area.

The Swap Meets are cheap for old mowers ,I've seen lots of old complete Victa mowers with brass fuel taps that sell for less than
what the fuel tap sells for on eBay.

I see there is also a Free Scott Bonnar 2 stroke mower in ACT.

My first Rotomo from a swap meet was $30 and my first Victa 18 was $15. and the Victa 18 had the early recoil starter.

On eBay recently I saw a model 1 Rotomo engine that was missing the muffler ,carby ,starter pulley and cowl
sell for $600.

The good thing about the swap meets is the mowers are cheaper to buy than buying the parts.

Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
As always Max, it is a case of what people are wanting at the time and what they are willing to pay. I've seen some excellent parts listed on ebay at times for a low price and nobody buys them. The same or poorer quality parts are listed by others very cheaply but a few bidders get caught up in a bidding war, and before they know it they end up paying ten times the price. I'm not quite sure of the sanity among those who bid in this way.


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