It sounds like you might have a MTD built garden tractor. Have you found a model number on it. If it is like mine, it should be either on the bottom side of the dash or on the flat panel between the rear fenders under the seat.
I have two of these tractors, a 1975 and 1977. They are model numbers 145-990A and 147-990A. If yours is a 1973 model like mine it should have a model number of 143-990A The third digit in the model number will the the year model between 1971 and 1980.
I love my tractors. I do not have a lot of equipment with them. Do mostly mowing with them.
I have owned the 1975 model for about 14 years and it had very little use before I got it from the original owner. It carries a White"s badge, instead of the MTD badge, which I do not think is the same as the White Equipment badge put on some of the newer MTD models. Mine originally had silver or gray hood and rear fenders, a heavy cast aluminum grill, with the rest of it either dark gray or black. I think the decal is white and black. I repainted the gray or silver an almond color along with the wheels and left the rest of it the original color.
I just got the 1977 MTD Hydrostatic 16 model about 6 months ago from a close friend of mine who had owned it for about 20 years. The motor had just been rebuilt.
I also have a 1973 Ford LGT 165 that is about in the same category as far as size, horsepower, about the same hydro trans, 16 HP Kolher instead of Briggs. It also has hyrdraulic lift, but has a pedal insteasd of the hand lever to operate the hydro trans. It has 12-inch rear wheels instead of the 15-inch rear wheels like the MTD. I like the MTD better than the Ford, which was built by Jacobsen, and the MTD is quite a bit heaver than the Ford.
I have a Owner"s Operating Service Instructuion Manual and a 20 page MTD Lawn-Garden Tractor Accessories catalog dated around 1981 that list all the accessories available for several different MTD models, like the -485, -760, -780, -498, -810, -820, -830, -990 and -995. The three digit prefix for the models built between 1975 and 1980 will be as follows:
1975 135- or 145-
1976 136- or 146-
1977 137- or 147-
1978 138- or 148-
1979 139- or 149-
1980 130- or 140-
I think that a 1974 will be 134- or 144-
and 1973 will be 133- or 143- and so forth.
I am in North Carolina and if I remember correctly, there was some guy out in the Mid-West that had started collecting a few of these old tractors and had posted a lot of pictures, etc. on his website. If I find anything else on it I will forward you the info.