Ok, so it's not exactly a tractor but the E1 was part of the G.E. Elec-Trak family and since it actually cuts grass and was not an attachment (the fact is
it had attachments of its own!) I decided to include it here in the tractors section.
My E1 (PM32) has been recreated from bits and pieces from quite a few different sources believe it or not. These machines are very rare and I had only heard of one other person who reportedly had one when I first started searching for one. I got an idea that perhaps the only way to ever own one was to maybe build one up from spare parts since I had never seen one or heard of anyone who had one. There is a black and white picture on the Elec-Trak Owners Club site of one that had been modified to run on 36V that originally helped serve as a guide for me. The owner had cut a hole in the top of the engine cover to allow for a standard Elec-Trak 36V mower motor to be mounted on the base. They would plug it into the tractor instead of as originally designed, a 120V AC outlet. Shortly after my search began I was lucky enough to be come across an old E1 Facts Sheet which had a much better close up picture on it to guide me.
From Jim Coate who owns the Electric Tractor Store in Virginia I bought a "NOS" base unit, a "NOS" handle assembly, "NOS" mower blades, and an old original motor that currently was not operational. I also got a "NOS" Heavy Duty Grass Catcher (PM15) attachment and a variety of small "NOS" parts he had in stock for it including some "NOS" brushes for the motor.
From an ex-dealer in Pennsylvania, I got a second "NOS" base and although it turned out Jimís was in better shape, this one happen to have a set of original "NOS" wheels on it I was able to use. He also had a "NOS" Heavy Duty Grass Catcher (PM15) frame. My idea was paying off and it looked like I might be able to put together an entire machine before long.
Finally, from a wonderful older couple in Toronto Canada, I bought a G.E. (PM102D) mower off Craig's List. G.E. Canada made the original E1 and was still making an electric push mower or walk-behind at least as late as 1998-99. It had changed very little from the early 1970ís model. Cosmetically it was gray with a black hood instead of yellow with a white hood. The rest of the mower was almost identical with just a few changes here and there. I planned to use the (PM102D) hood and motor as it was working well with no problems.
I started painting the (PM102D)'s black hood white and last but not least was set to add a short power cord with a standard grounded 120V AC plug to the end of it. When I was all done I thought I'd also have some decals made up for the hood and hopefully in the end would have myself an almost original E1. I was getting very close and had already proved it worked great passing a bench test I had put it through.
Just when I thought I had tracked down every piece I would ever possibly find to make my own E1, an actual E1 came up for sale in South Dakota on the Elec-Trak Owners Club site! Since I had all kinds of "NOS" parts I took the original hood, complete with decals and the power cord I was missing off the barn find and put them on the "NOS" machine I was building up. I now also have two old motors- both with issues I am having looked at. I do have the sets of "NOS" brushes I was able to get so I am hopeful I'll be able to get both running well and I can switch out the newer (PM102D) motor I had installed with an original (PM32) motor. If I get one of the motors working I'll have every piece I need to put together a totally 100% authentic Elec-Trak E1 walk-behind mower, most of which will be "NOS" when I'm done- just the motor, hood and the small power cord will be used but even they will be authentic, original E1 parts!
Through it all I have now ended up with a pile of odds and ends of E1 parts, enough for another 1 1/2 E1's. I'll put them together to make as close to another E1 as I can and soon be listing it and the other parts for sale to anyone who would like to start as I did and build one up from scratch. They are so rare that I don't believe this is such a bad alternative to waiting for a shot at one that might come up for sale again someday. Truthfully, I can't believe I was ever so fortunate as to find all the parts and pieces I did. I also can see no evidence that one of these had ever come up for sale before on the club site.
The E1 was the only machine that had both a model number, E1, and a part number (PM32). It had only two attachments. I am still looking for an original 100' Extension Cord (PM10). As mentioned I was able to pick up two Heavy Duty Grass Catcher (PM15) frames. There was a bag for one of them I found in the box but it definitely did not fit the frame and was also a bright green, not really a G.E. Elec-Trak color. I'm going to try to have bags made up locally to fit them. Special thanks goes out to Jim Coate (who recently also came up with an original E1 Owners Manual for me!) and everyone else who helped make this possible! The E1 was also highlighted on Page 2 of the Elec-Trak Attachments and Accessories brochure.