Jim Haynes has put together a great rundown of the history of the Panzer tractor. It's posted at his web site (Dandy Sales). Click on the link below to read the story.
If you have anything to add, please let Jim know or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few years ago, we acquired the entire collection of sales cards from Allen Lawnmower. These index cards listed model information, serial numbers and sales dates for Panzers sold from the mid '50s through the early '70s.
This invaluable piece of history can help you identify your tractor's year of manufacture by comparing your serial number to like tractors and their sales dates.
Please see the "Manuals & Downloads" section of the web site to view or download the database.
Model A (1954-56)
The Model A was first produced in College Park, Md. in late 1954, but most were made in the new plant in Laurel, Md. beginning in 1955. According to the sales literature I have, the Model A was replaced in 1957 by the T102, but with the exception of eliminating the stamped in serial numbers and replacing them with a sticker, there is no physical difference between them except for the engine. In 1957, Briggs introduced the Model 23A engine, which bumped the horsepower to 9.
In general, Model A tractors will have a serial number stamped on the drive casting (jack shaft casting) after the cast-in words 'Model A'. The later Model A's will have a blank space for the serial number, but that number may instead show up on the right frame rail or tool box on the right side. See the pictures below. College Park produced Model A's were all red, and the later Model A's had black and yellow accents. College Park Model A's can also be identified by the cast iron pulley on the engine.
Because the jack shafts were made of cast iron and succeptable to cracking, the jack shaft casting may not be a reliable way to identify a Model A from a T102 or other models. I have a Model A with a cast iron engine pulley and serial number stamped in the frame, but it does not have a serial number stamped in to the jack shaft. I'm going through the information I have and will publish a better identification guide soon.
If you want to identify your engine, there is a great source of serial numbers for Model 23 and 23A B&S engines online at http://www.asecc.com/data/briggs/data4.html
I've added a picture of the info from that page below. Click on the thumbnail to view.
The T100 series was the evolution of the Model A. The T102 was produced starting in about 1957 at the Laurel, Md. plant. The 100 series has a single front wheel and is larger than the T50 format. In 1957, a wide front end kit was sold for the T102, which then became the T200 series. This lasted until about 1960 when Virginia Metalcrafters bought CoPar and discontinued the line (see notes on the T220). The wide front end was initially sold as a kit that adapted to existing 3 wheelers. Later T200 series tractors had improved front end geometry / design.
T220 Copar Panzer
This was the last of the '9 hp' models. It featured a 9 hp Model 23A Briggs & Stratton engine, and rear tires were 8x16" Goodyears. They were built starting in 1959, and were discontinued after the last one had been sold in August, 1961. (Sales Bulletin 61147, August 1, 1961). Since Virginia Metalcrafters purchased Copar, Inc. on January 1, 1960, the tractors were built prior to July 1, 1960. (Per SB 6091, June 13, 1960.) I believe the Panzer in the picture is a T220, but it may be a T210.
T50 Copar Panzer
The T50 was the first in a line of 'small' panzers, starting in 1957and running through late 1958. They have a couple of features of note:
T55 Copar Panzer
These were very similar to the T50, and very rare. They had a bushing where the steering shaft attaches to the front aluminum grille casting. Some had a small Kohler engine as pictured. More info to follow!
T60 Copar Panzer
The T60 Copar Panzer was an evolution of the T55 in that it had a more powerful and practical 5 3/4hp Briggs engine. These tractors were also red / black / white/ yellow in color with the engine plate extension on the left hand side of the frame rail for the PTO gearbox.
T65 Copar Panzer (1959-60)
The T65 was similar to the T50-60 series, but can be identified by the PTO bracket on the left frame rail being forward of the engine (see picture). It differs from the T70 in that the grille, front axle and clutch handle are (generally) made of cast aluminum instead of cast iron. It had a 5 3/4 hp Briggs engine. T50-T65 models had "Copar Panzer" cast into the front grille, while the later T70 just said "Panzer". The T65 model color is teal/white, but many (most?) were painted red by the owners as in this picture. The red/yellow/black/white colors shown are correct for the T50, T55 and T60 tractors. You may find some models of T65 and T70 with a 'b' or 'bes' after them. B stands for Briggs & Stratton and the 'es' stands for electric start. There was a change to the 5 3/4 hp engine to a 6 hp engine, which may have prompted the extra letters. The engines were identical except the 6hp has the 'Easy Spin' feature on the cam shaft and a slightly shaved head for higher compression. There is also an 'Easy Spin' sticker on the engine. More details on this in a future article. NOTE: The tractor shown in the picture has a 10hp Briggs engine, which is incorrect!
T707es and T707esl
Copar reluctantly added a 7hp Kohler (K161s) engine to their tractors in 1962, and named it the T707es. According to SB 61153A dated Oct 12, 1961, they took orders until 12/31/61 and only produced the ones that were ordered. The Kohler engine was a $49 option for a T70es. The thumbnail picture is from a T707es that is the incorrect color, and is not completely assembled.
According to a later sales brochure dated May 15, 1962, there was also a T707bes model. The b designation stood for Briggs & Stratton, so it appears the 7hp version may have switched over after the initial run of Kohlers. I don't have any record of a T707es being sold with a Briggs engine, though. The 7hp Briggs was a model 170402, but that engine was a common replacement for tractors in the 1960s and 70s.
In August of 1962, the T707esl model was created and advertised as a 1963 model (SB 62168, Aug 13, 1962). The loader in the picture is the same one in the sales brochure. Pictures of the T707esl tractor in SB 62169 (8/27/62) appear to show an air cleaner from a Briggs engine, so these tractors may not have been built with the Kohler engine.
T75 and T75esl Pennsylvania Panzer
The T75 started assembly on November 1, 1963 as a 1964 model, according to SB 63188 11/1/63. They featured a 6hp Briggs 142302 model engine. Later in 1966, that engine was replaced with the 7hp Briggs model 170402, according to the Allen Mower database.
The T758es tractor is a T75 model with an 8hp Kohler K181s engine. Production started in mid-November, 1963, as they were waiting for an order of engines to arrive. The first T758es' had the word 'Panzer' cast into the grille. In later models, the word Panzer was replaced with a sticker.
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