Restorations of

Snowblowers
The Gilson Snowblower Shop
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My collection of Gilson built snowblowers is a working collection. I go to great extents to restore the machines mechanically. When it comes to cosmetics I limit my efforts to touch-ups, preservation and occasional localized refinishing. I regularly hear from owners that are doing amazing restorations of these machines. Some want to make the machine ready for another decade or 2 of use, others are creating showpieces. They may be recapturing a machine they recall from their youth or one a loved one once operated. This may be their first such project or one that stands with prior automobile, motorcycle antique apparatus and whatever else old they sought to make new again projects.

This page is for their stories. If you have such a project please write to me about it including a few of your best "glamor shots" of the unit and any other background you care to share. Over time I will add to this page.

He who works with his hands is a labourer,
he who works with hands and mind is a craftsman
but he who uses hands, mind and heart together is an artist.

There's some art going on here......

BEAVER 5HP UniTrol, Tony from Canada

Tony's Beaver branded unit is of the walk-behind tractor variety built for export to Canada. Beaver was the name of a new defunct Canadian lumber yard chain. This unit got rejuvenated to prepare it for future use at a fraction of the cost of a comparable new unit. Nice job!

55012 by Ken
Kens machine is a model 55012 circa 1972. It has been Ken's machine sine 1976. In the rehab the machine got all new bearings and bushings as well as stainless steel hardware. It has been refinished with Imron paint. Nice Job!

GIL 477B by John
This is a restoration / repower piece done by John and his dad. Together they gave it a new life with a new Briggs & Stratton 11 HP Intek engine and a fresh coat of paint. The machine is a 1967 GIL 477B Montgomery Ward branded unit.

55134/55134 by JP

JP picked up his 1978 Gilson model 55134 on a June day and went to work on it. Once he knew it would be a sound machine it got taken entirely apart and refinished. The end result is one of these 2 machines. His father-law was so impressed they went out and did it all over again! The second one took a lot less time. The 2 machines have factory birthdays within 12 days of each other.

GIL 55233A by Travis from Illinois

These projects happen for any number of reasons and you never know where they will lead. Travis started out wanting to own a Montgomery Ward snowblower just like his dad used. He found a unit in reasonable condition and the project began. While we helped him out with a few needed components the machine was taken completely apart, chemically stripped and professionally refinished. Reproduction decals were made (not all are in these pictures). Once back together and test run the project machine was breeze way bound to be part of the decor. One day the unit made it's way into a snowstorm and that opened a whole new chapter. A second identical machine was found and made storm worthy as a working brother to the showpiece. It doesn't end there, a model 835 gear drive will someday emerge refinished and ready to work!

GIL 479E by Mark from Minnesota
Mark found this Old Gilson made Montgomery Ward 8/26 on Craigí list for $15 dollars. It was missing itís gasoline tank because the owner said it was rusted and stated leaking and he threw it away. The previous owner who bought it in the early 1990ís thought it was a 1975 but It actually turned out to be a 1973 based on the Model and Type code information on the engine recoil shroud. I was originally going to repower this machine with a new engine but others said I should see if the original worked so I started the 8hp Briggs and it still ran so I decided to restore the snow blower with itís original engine and paint it to match itís original colors.

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Page created December 2011