The first E15 I bought turned out to be a disaster. You name it, I was going to end up replacing it including the battery box, rear
fenders, front side panels, front grill, timer grill, seat, rear battery box cover, brakes, lights, and the list goes on and on. I guess
I will one day be able to say I saved another Elec-Trak from the land-fill but I really would have rather not had to work so hard at it. I did get it running but it has a lot of work it
ahead of it.
Along the way I was able to pick-up a second E15 at no charge just for towing it away and although I was planning it for parts I started thinking perhaps that machine should really be my E15 and the first machine I would use for parts- that's how bad it was!
The day before Thanksgiving 2010, a fellow advertised on the club site he had an E15 that was "NOS" - his grandfather had been a dealer in Kansas and it had been in storage ever since they had bought it, never used, the dealership now long gone. He was selling this one for his father now and even the original factory batteries were still in it! He sent me some pictures and even though the batteries had been in it all those years there was just some light surface rust under the hood, the rest of the tractor was incredible. After a few calls back and forth I ended up with a "NOS" E15! Now the sad news- it's so pretty I just can't bring myself to use it! I'm afraid like my other "NOS" tractors I will forever keep it as a museum piece. Still, it should show well at antique tractor shows!
Unfortunately now I have two other machines that I need to find homes now. They both need a lot of TLC to get them running well but since they are E15's I am planning on keeping them around for a bit. They will hopefully become a nice winter project one year. I really want to see them get back in circulation one day. The E15 is the first of the high-end Elec-Trak models, those made for really heavy work such as plowing and running front-end loaders and sickle mowers. It was 850 lbs., was comparable to a 14hp gas tractor, had seven forwards speeds and four reverse speeds, and had a maximum speed of 7 mph. It could mow approximately 3 acres of lawn on a single charge.
"NOS" 1973 Appearance Kit (A15):
The 1973 Appearance Kits that were introduced in 1972 were a cosmetic upgrade for the early E12, E15, and E20 tractors. The "NOS" (A15) Kit I was able to get consisted of a plastic dash board panel verses the original decal, left and right plastic hood strips verses the original decals, left and right plastic insignia strips for the bottom of the side panels where not even decals existed before, a plastic shift graphics plate showing the shift pattern, and few needed screws and a plug for the dash panel. There were two versions of the kits made for each of the three models of tractors. The "B" series kits also included a new larger steering wheel and cap. They were a little harder to install but you did end up with the more modern larger steering wheel when you were done. The E20 kits also included a cruise control plate assembly. They came in an "A" series kit and a "D" series kit (see packing list below) and although neither included a new steering wheel, the "D" series kit included a replacement hood with the plastic side strips already installed. The kits were designed to modernize the earlier models to look more like the later models. I picked up a "NOS" kit for my original E15 from Harold Zimmerman, all but the blue side panel strips which I was able to get "NOS" from the Electric Tractor Store. Since I was recently blessed by getting a "NOS" E15 Tractor complete with these new features already installed, I am still keeping the kit for one of the restoration jobs I will someday take on with the other machines.