STIHL Contra Series 1106 Chainsaws… “All Bite Where It Counts”

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This is a 1964 STIHL Contra—or, as they were marketed outside of Europe, the Contra Lightening.

Chainsaw collector Steve Rigby sold this Stihl series 1106 saw for £475 (US $590) in November 2023.

His description stated, “Not been started for a few years, selling as spare and repair.”

stihl contra 1964 version

Released in 1959, the Contra was Stihl’s first gearless chainsaw.

It was equipped with numerous innovations, such as improved chain lubrication and a reinforced guide bar.

Stihl said the saw “Marked the dawn of a new technological era for forestry and forest operations.”

stihl chainsaw production years

The original 1959 Contra is a 106 cc saw, while the 1964 Contra S is 137 cc. I don’t know if S stood for Super back then as it did later on!

The 106 cc STIHL 070 came after the Contra, while the 137 cc STIHL 090 followed the Contra S.

That’s why you sometimes see or hear about all 4 of these models together. There was also a gear-driven Contra G and Contra GS.

Collectors and enthusiasts seek all versions of the Contra saws, but the ‘S’ versions (or 090 Contras) are harder to find and sell for a lot more. 

Also, the earlier the chainsaw, the better. A 1959 Contra will usually sell for more than a 1963 Contra, all else being equal.

Condition always comes into it as well. A running saw is better than a non-running saw, and one that’s been used as little as possible is even better.

On eBay at the time of writing, there are several running Contras for sale and plenty of parts.

Price examples:

  • Fully restored Stihl Contra 1959 – US $2,200.00
  • A running 1959 Stihl Contra Lightning – US $899.00
  • STIHL Contra “starts and runs” (but missing parts) – US $450.00

You can see, there’s a range of prices for these three saws in different conditions.

early stihl contra lightening newspaper ad

In this 1964 newspaper advert, the Contra is called the Lightening, Lightening GS, and Lightening S – it’s all bite!

In the same order, the power output and weight of each was 9.2 hp / 24 lbs, 9.2 hp / 29 lbs, 12 hp / 25 lbs. 

If only we could get them for those prices again!

Let us know what you know about the STIHL Contra Chainsaws in the comments below.


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1 thought on “STIHL Contra Series 1106 Chainsaws… “All Bite Where It Counts””

  1. I have operated these saws back in the mid 60s an logged for 40 plus years still running stihls to this day doing firewood an parttime logging


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