Arts and Entertainment

Lawn mowers keep on truckin'

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About three or four years ago Bud Calvin and Bill Bottgenbach, two old pals from Diamond Point, decided they would rebuild an old broken-down riding lawn mower that belonged to Bill's daughter.


They pulled it out of the brush where it had died and soon had it fired up.


Then things got out of hand.


The two have since finished up three large projects, in each case turning an old riding lawn mower into a very cool riding machine.


The lawn mowers no longer cut grass, but they do draw attention.


Calvin's buggy provides hints of a street rod and includes mock vertical exhausts.


It's got some giddy-up, too. By the time they were done the two men had upped its top speed to around 25 miles per hour.


Most of the materials for their re-dos are recycled. Calvin said his only includes two new-bought items — the plexiglas windshield and the Naugahyde for the roof and seat covers.


The exhaust pipes were pulled from an old roll bar.


Drawing up plans
Bottgenbach, who has endured serious health problems in recent years, started spending time at Calvin's place a few years ago. "I'd visit in a wheelchair," he said.


After a time, he started drawing up plans for modified riding lawn mowers.


B&B Trucking was born.


"Bill and Bud," said Bottgenbach. 


"Bud and Bill," said Calvin.


The design for Bottgenbach's baby is drawn from his own imagination, but he says he was likely inspired by "a '35 Woody, or something."


The wooden parts were handcrafted by Bottgenbach from lumber purchased at The Home Depot.


Most of the rest is recycled, including the electrical conduit that provides the cab's framework.


Bottgenbach said they have a good friend in Dan Tharp at E-Cycle NW Electric Waste, a recycling depot out in Blyn. 


Tharp is always on the lookout for items the two can use.


This week B&B brought their classy chassis to The Fifth Avenue and The Lodge at Sherwood Village to let the residents get a gander. It was the first time their work has been put on display.


The enthusiastic response likely provided them with a little impetus to get going on their new project: a lawn mower logging truck.


Reach Mark Couhig at




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