A Briggs & Stratton goodbye

POSTED: June 24, 2021

When we moved to our house we inherited a wide range of what I can only call stuff. I got a big metal toolbox full of the kind of tools you don’t find anymore including one of those screwdrivers where you can flip a switch to make it unscrew rather than screw.

We also got a Briggs & Stratton Vulcan 20 lawnmower: a genuine American classic, a lawnmower equivalent of the sixties Chevrolets that Finns race around in when summer comes.

It probably goes without saying that it had no manual and it came from an era or two before online manuals appeared. For ten or more years I have kept it working, with one or two visits to professionals who whistled between their teeth like a man looking at the Chevrolet Impala of lawnmowers.

Today it stopped and would not start. Nothing to do with the spark plug. The cord would not budge when you pulled it. The cord had locked itself.

We discussed what to do. I knew that we could almost certainly fix it, but I also knew that it had now entered the world of the lawnmower hobbyist; a club to which I did not belong and did not necessarily want to.

Irma found just such a person online, and we agreed that he should come and collect it. We, in the meanwhile, would buy a new mower: an FXA mower from K-Rauta like the one we have in Pellinge.

That said, I have enjoyed owning a Briggs & Stratton Vulcan 20, and it did remarkably well. It might have lasted about forty years and until last year it never failed. I will miss it.

A little bit.