Hot Rod Mowers

By KBJR Manager

May 26, 2011 Updated May 26, 2011 at 3:11 PM CDT

Two Harbors, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Two Harbors High School shop students took on an interesting project this year; one that rumbles like thunder and moves like lightning.

Dave Anderson tells us what they learned and what it means for their future.

Gentlemen, start your engines!

This piston purr isn't coming from a hemi or a rat or a boss motor.
It's coming from a riding lawn mower.

Hot rod mowers are this year's shop project at Two Harbors High School.

"It started with this one right here and then everyone had to make something else."

The hot rodded mowers have improved gears and hopped up motors which experienced a few gremlins early on.

"One of the heads cracked and something came through it so they went through this motor and put it in her and we added the Harley stacks."

The mower project provided the shop students with lessons in several disciplines.

"You have to be a mechanic, welder and machinist."

The revved up mowers can lift their front ends via a lead foot but their cutting decks have been removed for safety's sake.

"No, you can't mow with them. They're just for riding wheelies and going fast."

That doesn't mean they're useless, though.

Skills learned in the Two Harbors shop have already earned an alumnus a job.

"We just had a guy get hired for Kessel Aircraft based on his project last year which was a lifted Kodiak four wheeler."

According to shop teacher Mike Fitzpatrick, the beauty of hot rodding lawnmowers is that students learn while having fun.

"There's a lot of guys that are learning a lot here that don't even know they're learning. They learn math and science but it's not in a text book. It's in doing it."

In Two Harbors, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.

Even though they're fast, the lawn mowers aren't used for racing.
Mr. Fitzpatrick says they're more like show rods than race cars.