Sears, Panzer and Bantam are classic brands of garden tractors. John Deere and Ottawa Mule Team tractors are also very popular among vintage tractor enthusiasts.
The John Deere 110 was the manufacturer's first garden tractor model. First sold in 1962, this petite tractor was an alternative to the large tractors used on commercial farms. The John Deere 110 has a seven-horsepower cast iron engine and offers variable-speed mowing and tilling. The John Deere 112, which entered the market in 1966, was the successor to the 110. It has a 10-horsepower engine, fiberglass engine hood and electric starter.
Sears manufactured many garden tractor models that are now prized by collectors. Some Sears garden tractors were designed for general suburban residential use, while others were custom-made. The most powerful classic Sears garden tractors belong to the Hydro-Trac line. These tractors have chrome hubcaps, cigarette lighters and other luxury features. All Hydro-Trac models feature single-lever operation.
Some tractor manufacturers continue to sell parts and accessories for classic garden tractors that are no longer in production. Tractor clubs are another valuable resource for replacement parts and information. The largest organization is the Vintage Garden Tractor Club of America. This club hosts tractor exhibitions throughout the United States, publishes a newsletter and offers classified ads on its website.