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Old lawnmower engine or other???

Hi all

I've dug this old thing out of the garage the other day (had forgotten about it    )

Its a Suffolk Iron Foundry type 50 G.1.2.

I've not tried firing it up so I don't know whether it will run..

Some pics..

Would anyone recognise the engine and have an idea of what it came out of??

From the angle of the filler cap and mounting bolts, it looks as though the engine is mounted at roughly 45

I vaguely recall being told that it came out of a lawnmower but due to rapid brain cell deterioration, I may be mistaken  

Cheers, John  

Yes I know exactly what that is. I have never seen one in person, but I do have a parts book for that..... which is in a box of my stuff in my parents garage in Saundersfoot.

Suffolk Lawnmower engine circa 1965 maybe a little later. Think cast iron body/frame Suffolk Punch, Suffolk colt lawnmower before Birmid Qualcast of Derby got their hands on the company ...... I think they are still about but with pressed/cast ally bodies and Briggs &  scrap-em engines these days

I've done a little research into this engine for you (and to satisfy my own curiosity), the information is a little sparse to say the least but I have turned up some if not much.

It's a 50cc 2 stroke engine built somewhere between 1961 & 1965, With 1954 and 1961 the era of the Mk1 version of this engine (Mk1 & Mk2) and was fitted on to the Suffolk Pony 12 inch cut lawnmower that was the forerunner to the 12 inch cut Suffolk Colt, the 14 inch cut Punch, and 18 inch cut Super Punch. The 75 cc 4 stroke Suffolk Punch, and the Suffolk Pony share the same cast iron side castings and self propelled drive system: frame wise and mechanically only the cutting width of the machines was different.

No doubt the Suffolk Pony was phased out, by adding the 75cc 4 stroke engine to the 12 inch cutting width frame, probably to reduce the manufacturing inventory, and so utilising as many common parts across the range as was possible; a few years later the cast iron frames were replaced with die-cast aluminium although the side rotating knob engagement self propelled drive remained until the cable & lever drive release system was added in the mid to late 60's ....... although the initial rotary knob was used as the primary engagement system with the lever just temporarily disengaging the drive at the end of the lawn for turning, etc.

Value: the engine only is worth around 10-15, with a completely refurbished one maybe fetching a maximum of 40-50. A complete Suffolk Pony with a grass box in refurbished and running condition might make 85-100.

Here are a couple of photos of a Mk1, 2 stroke engined Suffolk Pony and a 4 stroke Suffolk Super Punch of approximately the same ages:

mid-late 1950's, 12 inch cut, 2 stroke Suffolk Pony:

Late 1950's-mid 1960's 18 inch cut, 4 stroke Suffolk Super Punch; note the slight differences in the cast iron side casings:

Suffolk Pony:

Suffolk Super Punch:

I will admit to having a bit of a soft spot for the old Suffolk Lawnmowers having worked repairing and sharpening so many of them in my younger days, but I don't recall ever seeing a Suffolk Pony, let alone working on one. My first foray into owning, restoring, and refurbishing vintage equipment in 1984 was restoring and refurbishing mid 1960's 75cc 4 stroke cast iron Suffolk 12 inch Colt, 14 inch punch, and 18 inch Super Punch, and 3 cast iron side wheel, and two Panther (rear roller) push Suffolk mowers ..... having seen the photo of your 2 stroke Suffolk Pony engine has stirred some old pride in me and I now regret selling my collection of Suffolk Mowers 8 years ago. In fact Lois will probably not thank you for posting about this engine, because I am now experiencing a deep and lustful longing to have some more Suffolk Lawnmowers and another Leyland 154 tractor ....... the only piece of Vintage tackle I (am allowed to) own at the moment is an early 1950's, 8 inch cut Webb miniature "toy" push mower.



THanks for all the info Gareth

It's strange but I love machines and especially machines with small engines fitted!!

I also  have an Australian Victa lawn mower that I paid the princely sum of 2 for at a bootsale- there must have bee a fivers worth of petrol in it though this had to be drained and filtered as the tanks was full of grass  

I also have an old Qualcast Panther battery powered cylinder mower that had an Austin mini battery fitted, the battery was just about kaput and only managed to mow half of the lawn before it needed recharging...
I bought a gel battery that was brand new and boxed for a fiver at the bootsale, the next week I managed to get the exact charger for the battery from a different seller

I also have an ATCO lawn mower with either the 5 or 8hp engine, the gear for the self propulsion was worn so I made one by marking out and drilling out the gear then filing the lead in, I then brazed it on to the boss..
It's just somehow ended up at the far end of the shed with all sorts on the top of it!!!

I have a few model engines too  

And a few models in the loft too  

Cheers John  

Wowser for sure John! I don't think you could have dreamed thatr you'd get an answer so complete as that. Well done Gareth.

Here is another photo of a Suffolk Pony that I have copied from the Internet.

I am really getting to like the lines of this vintage mower with the sloped back engine.

Yes, I know it is probably older than I am. Yes, I know I'll spend quite few hours in the shed bringing it up to show condition. Yes, I know I'll spend a small fortune have replica decals made to fit on it. Yes, I know its a smelly old rattly two stroke; but I have found a complete one with a grass box for sale on the net, and I am very tempted to make the seller an offer of around 40 or 50% less than the asking price ....... it's a long standing but monthly repeated and recently reposted advert on one of the free ad sites  ...    ...   ... ...   Lois is gonna kill me!

Well, I've just had a verbal slapping from Lois due to all this talk of vintage Suffolk lawnmowers and vintage tractors... ... .... .... .... but a comprimise has been reached ....... I can live in the shed if I go out and buy one.

However, I do have permission to completely refurbish my Webb miniature "toy" push lawnmower, and keep it on top of "my" bookshelf.

Over time she'll mellow, you see if she doesn't ..... I'll soon have a shed full of old cast iron Suffolk lawnmowers.        

Gareth wrote:
Well, I've just had a verbal slapping from Lois due to all this talk of vintage Suffolk lawnmowers and vintage tractors... ... .... .... .... but a comprimise has been reached ....... I can live in the shed if I go out and buy one.

Remove her planting boxes build a bigger shed, install a fridge, sofa and a radio., oh and don't forget to take the dog.

Then fill it full of toys needing help and in time she will be sitting on the shed sofa, handing out warm teas in winter and cold beers in summer.

Problem sorted.

I know from expereience, I built a 25 x 13 meter machinery barn, filled it with 7 tractors 3 trailers 2 ploughs and unpteen small projects, she came around to my way of thinking in the end.

Guess she just got tired of sitting by herself in the house, while the dogs and I were enjoying ourselves in the barn.

"give us a 13 spanner" love.

I already have a 7mtr X 5mtr shed, it has a fridge, microwave/wotsit oven, my old hi fi with the big F/O surround sound speakers, a kettle and a very comfy black leather office type swivel chair.  .....  but still dare not not defy her

Gareth wrote:
I already have a 7mtr X 5mtr shed, it has a fridge, microwave/wotsit oven, my old hifi with the big surround sound speakers, a kettle and a leather office type swivel chair.

You have a chair in your leather office?  

I can have the Suffolk Pony as a little refurbishment project

there are a few rules and a couple of concessions;

The Rules

No oily foot prints on the carpet, or hand prints about the house, and that also goes for Oz and oily paw prints.

No bits of oily lawn mower engine in the house.

No fixing it on the dining table because its too cold to work in the shed.

I can sit with it all day when I exhibit the refurbished mower at the shows.

The concessions

Did you really think that I am going to tell you about these.    

You see, now that she has capitulated .... even though it is only a tiny little bit, it'll not be long before I have another Leyland 154 diesel tractor, another 3.5L V8 Triumph Stag, a BSA Bantam, and that 1904 shaft driven bicycle I have been drooling over.

Ha Ha Ha!!

Well done with the training Gareth- it's a slow process (been training mine for 33 years now), she's only just stopped moaning about me having guns all over the place  

Cheers, John  

SORRY ...................but you are both hen pecked...........get a grip.  

It really makes my blood boil reading such posts.

Things have to be restored, to pass on to the next generation.

Where do your women, think things come from, if us men don't restore them.


Glad my wife of 41 years 28th of last month aint like that I've taken over the breakfast room to help me do up inside the house and fix things as 10.5x6metre shed is full of tractor, ute,loader and timber all being worked on sortof     also open 1side (leanto farm shed)

My missus pretty much lets me get on with whatever I want, at first she wasnt too keen on my taxidermy collection but I soon talked her around, she still wont let me bring other women home though    

I use my garage as a little workshop, its just a pity that i'm not that good at restoring stuff though.  

I just thought that the other posters in this thread would like to see what i found on the Internet this evening:

Although it is an advert poster from 1959 for the Qualcast royal deluxe, it is the same model as the Suffolk Pony: Qualcast purchased the Suffolk Iron Foundry, the makers of the Suffolk lawn mower range.

In this picture, you can clearly see that apart from the livery that they are both the same lawn mower.


Whats 35 GNS ?

Border wrote:
Whats 35 GNS ?

Guineas? Used to be one pound one shilling so now it's 1.05.
The shilling used to be for the auctioneer but they get a lit more than that now.

Oh dear!

I have gone and found a complete Qualcast Royal delux suitable for restoration on ebay, and it's at Huntingdon which is about 65 miles from here. I have now only got a few hours to convince Lois that this is an essentially needed item.

Gareth wrote:
Oh dear!

I have gone and found a complete Qualcast Royal delux suitable for restoration on ebay, and it's at Huntingdon which is about 65 miles from here. I have now only got a few hours to convince Lois that this is an essentially needed item.

Hi Gareth

Was it you that won it???

Cheers, John  

alas no. Friends came around to visit, and I forgot to bid on it

Hi Gareth,

Hahaha, those photos of the Super Punch are mine! I posted it for sale online last year but it didn't sell.

The reason I found this site was because I was looking for decals to go on the Punch. I'm glad I didn't sell it, I have now moved house and have suitable large/flat front and back gardens. I had it running today after a carb clean. It needs a new float as it eventually fills with petrol and sinks. Other than that it works well. Ok, might neeed new clutch shoes also...

So, there I was with the Punch on full throttle (had to jam one of the wifes wooden spoons behind the throttle lever because as you can see in the photos that you pinched (hehehe!) the cable is broken). I was literally jogging behind it, it goes pretty fast... and cornering the heavy thing at that speed was a challenge!

Anyway, I do plan to restore it. Not sure if I am going to make it all original, or do a Lawnmower Man type job with chrome exhaust pipe etc!

As far as getting around the wife... well I have found the best approach is "what she doesn't know can't get your head nipped" and "what she eventually finds out can be the day you take the dog out for 10 hours"  

I have an Atco with an engine that looks identical to the punch!!

Haven't seen it in years though as it's under all sorts in the shed  


I think suffolk/atco/qualcast are linked in some way. Buyouts of suffolk etc. Spares seem to be advertised to fit all three. I got a new float valve and now the beast runs a treat! A steady, healthy thump thump. Nothing like that classic sound! Modern mowers just have a dull sounding hum.

What I want now is the ride on attachment for the super punch. Anyone know anything about these? I'm sure I saw one once. It certainly has the power for it!


I don't recall there ever being a ride-behind roller with seat for the Suffolk range of mowers. However there was one for the Atco range of mowers.

I can't remember when it was but there was a cost reduction exercise undertaken by Birmid Qualcast who owned both ATCO and Suffolk Lawnmowers which resulted in a reduce component inventory. One of the most noticeable cost reduction changes was the use of the Suffolk engine on the cylinder and roller mowers across both marques.

Therefore in my opinion if you can fit the ride on attachment to the mower then do so.

There is one currently for sale on ebay opening at 5.00 with no current bids, and collection only from a Henley on Thames address.

If it was me, and it was closer I'd have a bid.

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