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Today before I went to work I stopped at the rental store (which also happens to be a Outdoor power equipment store also) to rent a post hole digger (one that mounts on the draw bar on a lawn tractor). When there I noticed out in the lot a bright yellow lawn tractor, so on a lark I walked over and in the middle of a group old Murrays and MTDs is this yellow tractor. I filp the seat and the build tag says J.C. Penny, I forgot to get the build tag numbers but I will stop tomorrow and get the numbers. It did not look anything like the Simplicity built tractors and it did not have the 497 CC on the side. I am wondering who actually built it?
 

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Most of the 80's models Penny's were built by Gilson Brothers out of Plymouth wisconsin. Gilson was purchased by oMC-lawnboy about 86 or so.......then OMC sold the whole ball of wax to Toro a couple years later. Old Gilson plant is Toro's world wide parts center.
Gilson was one of the few true manufacturers in the business.Owned their own presses,cut their own gears,etc. Thats really too costly these days for little manufacturers.
They were also the largest tiller manufacturer in the uS. Sold tillers to just about everyone........Western Auto,Pennys,Wards,etc. Tons of their little front tine tillers around. I still see them today in North Florida.
 
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