I have to say my dad's Cub Cadet mower from the late 70's were far better than what you can buy today. Of course better can be measured many ways. I would guess those old machines emitted far more pollution than today's model, which is not better, but that old 14HP had far more power than today's 20+HP engines. He kept it for almost 15 years until I left home at which time he hired a lawn service. He sold it to a young couple down the street who had just moved in and I know they used it for another 10. They moved and took it with them so for all I know, it is still running.