The first John Deere 110 lawn and garden tractor was built in the John Deere manufacturing facility in Horicon, Wisconsin, in 1963 and subsequently became an American classic. The tractor was originally designed as a garden tractor, although it is often called a lawn tractor; the company discontinued the model 110 in 1974. The National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. displays an original 1963 model.
The John Deere 110 garden tractor was designed for low-end tilling and high-speed mowing. The first model had a Kohler model K161 air-cooled, cast-iron engine that delivered 7 horsepower. The tractor had a three-speed transmission that allowed the operator to slow the tractor without reducing the power delivered to equipment
To prevent children from accidentally starting the engine, the clutch had to be in neutral, the power train disengaged and the key turned on. To demonstrate this safety feature, early advertisements showed children scrambling about the tractor.
The drive belts and rear tires of the original Model 110 were enclosed, and there was a full hood and grill to protect the battery, engine and starter. The drive belts and rear tires were enclosed. The tractor had a scratch-resistant plastic hood and fender.
In 1964, John Deere introduced the Kohler K181S engine, which delivered 8 horsepower. Also in that year, the company replaced the fiberglass fenders with steel ones. In 1965, John Deere changed the transmission from three speeds to four speeds. In 1966, the company offered an optional hydraulic lift, which had to be installed at the factory; it could not be added later.
In 1968, John Deere replaced the separate round fenders with a one-piece fender deck. In 1962, the tractor came with a larger, heavier frame, and buyers could choose from a Kohler K181S engine, which delivered 8 horsepower, or a Kohler K241S engine, which yielded 10 horsepower. In 1973, an optional electric lift was added. The early models weighed 500 lbs.; the later models weighed 775 lbs.
John Deere sold 1,000 model 110 tractors in 1963. That model is now highly prized by collectors. The 1963 serial numbers range from 2,500 to 3,500. The serial numbers of the 8-horsepower 1964 model, also much desired, range from 3,501 to 15,000. The serial number is located on a plate just below the steering wheel.
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