1909 2 HP Challenge

Quite a Challenge

challenge 2

Steve Barr's sharp 1909 2 HP Challenge engine.

Photo by Christian Williams

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One glimpse of the hourglass water hopper on a Challenge gas engine and you know it’s time to stop and take a closer look. And if it’s an early model horizontal Challenge, such as Steve Barr’s 1909 2 HP engine, you’ll see an even more interesting feature: the cross-shaft design.

“I think Challenge was probably carrying over the design from the vertical models,” says Steve. “Later, they switched the shaft to the other side.”

While it looks strange to see the shaft on the right side of a horizontal engine, it makes a lot of sense when you envision the same engine as an upright model simply laid down on its side.

Steve acquired his engine, serial number 1055, from another collector in Michigan, and didn’t have much more to do other than gas it up to get it running. Instead, he’ll be focusing any restoration efforts on authenticity. “The color of the engine should be red or maroon – that’s what the Challenge Co.  was using at that time,” says Steve of the engine’s current green color.

Also, the carburetor on it is incorrect so I’m planning on replacing that.”

Contact Steve Barr at 5524 Washington St., Downers Grove, IL 60516-1327 • (630) 969-8544 •  stevebarr@ameritech.net .