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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all. My name is David. I started mowing in 1975 when I was 8 years old and that first mower was a 1968 Toro Whirlwind hand-propelled 19" model 18213. That mower was my mother's gift to my father on Father's Day in 1968. We had it for 17 years. In 1994, I found a 1970 21" self-propelled model 20555 with a very low serial number: 000611. I bought that locally for $50 and it was in like new condition, including the plastic shroud. I still have it in storage out of state at the moment. I had it in the trunk of my car when I went down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to volunteer after the tornado in April, 2011. The high heat down there melted three of the wheels flat while it was in the trunk. Then I went up to Oregon and the moisture and mold made it suffer some more. So, I have some restoration to do. But I have just found the NOS parts to do it, including 4 wheels that are absolutely 1970-correct.

I have also just found a 1970 19" that is very similar to that first 1968. I am having that shipped to me from the seller in a few days. I also picked up some NOS parts for that one. I must say that ebay is a wonderful resource for parts that are no longer available from the manufacturer. Sometimes you can actually find NOS parts for a lot less than they would have cost if you could have still purchased them from a dealer.

Here is a photo of the 1970 19" :



The great thing about these years is that the air induction comes from the spinning flywheel, so the air filter virtually never gets dirty. The 19" hand-propelled with aluminum deck is also light as a feather.

From 1975 to 1988, my dad and I mowed 6 acres with these push mowers.
 

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Welcome to the forum, David!

Great introduction and very interesting about the history of your Toro's.

It's great to have another member with early model experience. Glad you found us and will be looking forward to your future posts ;)...
 

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:welcome: to the site!!

I love introductions like this! For us mower enthusiasts, our first lawnmower that we can remember using makes a lasting impression on us just like our very first car did. Those memories are fun to relive just as you have done by finding an original similar to the one that you used as a kid.

What a neat model of Toro! You don't see that particular type around as much. I like the design of the deck. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one has shipped lawnmowers around too! :D

Keep us updated on your restoration projects! :)
 

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Welcome to the forum! I still have the early to middle 70's 19" Toro Whirlwind that my dad bought new at the time. I can still remember us bringing it home and starting it up for the first time. It being a little newer has the black Briggs with the red plastic shroud to cover the engine. I actually have another engine on it right now as the original is in need of some work. One of these days I will get around to it. :rolleyes:

Both my grandfather and a neighbor had the older model like yours from the 60's. Grandfathers was a crank start and the neighbors was an electric start. As a little kid once in awhile my neighbor would let me turn the key to start it for him after emptying the bag. Boy was that fun! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the welcomes! :)

We did also have some of those later Toros over the years. A 1975 21" a 1979 19" and a 1980 19". We always had better luck with the Tecumseh engines rather than the Briggs, though. And those 2 later Toros had that clunky steel grass deflector that was heavier and more awkward. Definitely not an improvement. We ended up cutting them back several inches, with a hacksaw while keeping the same angle. Also cut off the extra piece on the deck behind the right front wheel. They were really not meant for the volume of mowing that we did and without those modifications, they would easily get clogged with grass every few feet, bog down, and stall out. After the fix, they were fine. I think that over the years the mandatory safety requirements to help keep idiots from killing themselves made everything suffer.

I really don't care for the latest mowers in ANY brand. Mounting the engine on the deck backwards, the safety bar on the handles, etc. And a lot of newer mowers have one throttle setting: ROAR. The old 3 horsepower Tecumseh engine on these vintage Toro Whirlwinds can be throttled down as far as you want, which is great when the grass is not thick and heavy. Lets them go a very long time on one tank of gas. They're also easy on the ears of the operator and the neighbors. :)

I feel the same about first mower and first car. My family has had full size Fords for 50 years and it was a mighty sad day indeed when we found out that Ford was discontinuing the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis. We have a 2004 Crown Vic right now that just turned over to 18k miles and we plan to hold on to it for a very long time. A lot of people don't realize that they handle like a much smaller car and have plenty of get-up-and-go. The civillian version is only 15 horsepower less than the interceptor. I have owned both and the performance is quite similar. The funny thing is that our 04 is a basic version, with standard wheel covers rather than fancy wheels. People often pull off to the side and let me go by. :D Maybe they have guilty consciences.

Some of my favorite cars are the 1972-1976 Ford Torino and 1968 Ford Custom/Galaxie, because of cars that were a big part of my growing up.

I guess the heavy interest in all of this old school stuff makes me a dinosaur.

Well, that's a label that I just don't mind at all. :party
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's a photo of the 1970 21" as it looked in late 2004, sitting on 4 squares of green indoor-outdoor carpeting in the den of our old house. Now, I just have to replace the throttle cable and install the 4 NOS wheels and do a bit of cleaning when I get it out of storage, likely later this month:

 

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..Some of my favorite cars are the 1972-1976 Ford Torino and 1968 Ford Custom/Galaxie, because of cars that were a big part of my growing up...
:cool My dad had a 68 Galaxie two door. It was a pretty basic model. Green outside, black interior. A neighbor at the same time had a 4-door I think a 68. Power everything on it as I recall including concealed headlamps. It's rare to see a Galaxie of those years even at the shows around here anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
:cool My dad had a 68 Galaxie two door. It was a pretty basic model. Green outside, black interior. A neighbor at the same time had a 4-door I think a 68. Power everything on it as I recall including concealed headlamps. It's rare to see a Galaxie of those years even at the shows around here anymore.
My family had a 68 Custom 2 door sedan from 1971-1977. Then my wife and I had a 68 Galaxie 2 door hardtop from late 2004 to 2006. We would have kept that one but it developed an untraceable electrical short. I will have to dig out some photos later. The Custom was tan/tan. The Galaxie was white with black vinyl top and black cloth and vinyl interior. Both had the reliable 302.

The concealed headlamps would make that one a Galaxie XL or an LTD. I had a couple of 79 Thunderbirds and didn't really care for that vacuum system. The slightest leak and the headlight doors won't stay closed.
 
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