Young Iron: Dana Kehoe

Dana Kehoe attended the Rock River Thresheree Reunion in grade school and has been hooked on gas engines ever since.

Dana Kehoe

Dana Kehoe and his favorite engine, his 1-1/2 hp 1923 John Deere.

Photo courtesy Dana Kehoe

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Take a quick glance at the exhibitors and attendees at gas engine shows, and it’s easy to think that this is an older person’s hobby. But take a closer look and you’ll find a growing number of younger enthusiasts. You’ll meet them here in Young Iron.

Dana Kehoe, Age 16, Monroe, WI

Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?

A: I have been collecting gas engines for four years.

Q: What attracted you to the hobby?

A: I was attracted to the hobby after attending the Rock River Thresheree Reunion as a grade-schooler. I felt a connection to the antique equipment and wanted to know more about them.

Q: Who else in your family collects engines?

A: The other members of my family that collect are my Opa (grandpa), uncle and cousin.

Q: How many engines do you have in your collection? Any rare or unusual ones?

A: I have three gas engines in my collection. I have a 1923 John Deere 1-1/2 hp Model E, a 1908 Galloway water-cooled 2-1/4 hp and a 1910 Galloway air-cooled 1-3/4 hp. I also have a corn sheller that I restored in October 2015 for the shredding party.

Q: What is your favorite engine in your collection and why?

A: My favorite engine is my 1-1/2 hp 1923 John Deere. I enjoy working on it and enjoy running it several times a week.

Q: Are you working on any restoration projects?

A: I recently completed the 1908 water-cooled 2-1/4 hp Galloway. I completed this project for judging at the Green County Fair in Monroe, Wisconsin. My project received a first place, an award of merit and the small engine trophy. It was also selected to be shown at the Wisconsin State Fair, where it won a Judges’ Favorite ribbon.

Q: Which shows do you normally attend each year?

A: I normally attend the Rock River Thresheree near Edgerton, Wisconsin, each year. I would like to attend the Badger Steam and Gas Engine Show in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minnesota.

Q: What are some of the obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?

A: The biggest obstacle I have with projects is money.

Q: What are your favorite engines in general and why?

A:My favorite engine is a 60 hp Fairbanks YVA single-cylinder from the 1920s. My uncle owns the one on display in the machine shop at the Rock River Thresheree. I enjoy how the engine sounds and the size of it.

Q: If money weren’t an issue, what is your dream engine to own?

A: It would be a 6 hp John Deere because it looks like the 1/2 hp I own, but bigger.


Young Iron is looking for gas engine collectors, age 35 and younger. If you or someone you know would like to be profiled, please contact us at (800) 682-4704 or by email.