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 in Young Iron.
Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A: I have been collecting for about a year and a half.
Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A: I am a gear head, so I love to watch and learn about the mechanicals of these engines. I just find them fascinating to watch.
Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A: No one else, just me.
Q: What engines do you have in your collection?
A: In my collection I have: 1905 6 HP IHC Famous with hot tube, 1914 5 HP Lister “Ball Top,” 1918 20 HP IHC Titan 10-20 tractor, 1922 3 HP Jaeger, 1923 2-1/2 Alpha (my first engine), 1926 2 HP Witte, 1927 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Z.
My Famous was the 15th one built in 1905 and it has some unusual features, such as the data plate and the 2-speed clutch pulley. The Lister is pretty unusual. I have only seen one other. I like my engines to have their original paint/rusty and like to get engines to use as projects.
Q: What is your favorite engine in your collection?
A: My 1905 6 HP IHC Famous with hot tube because it is the only one I never have to mess with, it runs the slowest, and it will start right up every time.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A: I just got a 1918 IHC Titan 10-20 tractor from Montana. It is stuck but very complete. My dad and I flew out there and hauled it back.
Q: Which shows do you normally attend each year? What show haven’t you been to yet that you’d like to see one day?
A: I usually go to eight shows: the Dublin (N.H.) show, the Connecticut Antique Machinery Assn. shows in Kent, Conn., the Bernards-ton (Mass.) Gas Engine Show, the Whately (Mass.) Engine Museum Show and then local fairs. The one show I would like to go to one day is Coolspring.
Q: What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?
A: Meeting people my own age at shows. Lots of times, I’m the youngest one there.
Q: What are your favorite engines and why?
A: The early IHC stuff, before the Model M’s. IHC made quality engines and I like the looks of the Moguls. Also, IHC gave interesting names to their engines: Famous, Victor, Titan, Mogul, etc., instead of a letter type.
Q: If money weren’t an issue, what is your dream engine to own?
A: Any HP original-paint sideshaft Mogul.
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 Associate Editor Beth Beavers: (800) 682-4704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.