Muscle cars, monster trucks, and motorcycles get all the glory, but sometimes the coolest cruisers are hiding in plain sight. And by that, we mean in your garage, or storage shed, or under a blue tarp in the back yard.

We’re talkin’ lawn tractors—like this 1968 International Harvester Cub Cadet Model 72.

For those of us who fantasize about plowing the back forty, an hour on a riding mower is a weekly escape from a nagging boss, crappy commute, and Hawaiian-shirt Fridays. Lately, the idea of restoring (and hot rodding) vintage lawn tractors has been gaining popularity, since many of these workhorses are just scaled-down versions of industrial-grade farming equipment. Our ’68 Cub Cadet, for example, has a cast iron frame, a bulletproof rear-end, and a flathead Kohler motor with anvil-like reliability.

Tractors like these were just made to be rebuilt so parts are usually still available—from basic hardware to serious pulling-tractor performance upgrades. In fact, we sourced our favorite automotive aftermarket company, Summit Racing, for many of the parts and hardware we used on our Cub Cadet project. After replacing the fuel lines, cleaning up the wiring, and dropping in a new battery and hardware, our Cub Cadet started right up. Our restoration also included new paint and primer, rust inhibitor, and lighting to get the tractor looking as good as new again.

If you’re looking for a new challenge—or just need to satisfy your need for wrenching between car projects—crawl back into your shed, kick over that tarp, and scare those spiders away.

There may be an awesome vintage hauler just begging for your attention.

Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or watching a 1972 Corvette overheat. An avid motorcyclist, he spends the rest of his time synchronizing carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.