9955 14 Mile Road Marshall, Michigan 49068
My story begins at the Portland Swap Meet last spring on my way home from Florida. At the meet, a friend of mine, Dave Reed of Otto Engine Works, informed me that Hatch and Kirk of Seattle, Washington, who are engine parts dealers, were going to scrap military surplus Hill diesel parts. I have been collecting Hills for some time now, having a one cylinder, two two-cylinders, three four cylinders, two six cylinders and an opposed piston Hill.
Hills were manufactured in Lansing, Michigan, from 1926 to 1953, only about 50 miles from where I reside in Marshall, Michigan.
I contacted Joe Rentel of Hatch & Kirk and was informed they had been asking $20,000 but were now down to $10,000 or best offer. I inquired about a four cylinder exhaust manifold and radiator. They found they had lots of manifolds, but no radiators. Through a friend of Dave's, Paul Weaver of Seattle, I was offered assistance with this deal if I needed. So now I was more interested than ever. I obtained a computer list of Hill parts from Joe Rentel, not knowing at the time there were 30,000 lbs. of them! I then offered them $2,500.00 for the lot. Joe took my offer to Mr. Hatch, who accepted it plus another $100.00 for a manifold. Joe then obtained trucking for me which was another $2,300.00. WHEW! Now I really began to sweat!
The big day came when they arrived, all boxed and inventoried (this alone cost them some money), ready to be stored.
So goes my story of saving these parts from the scrap man, not to mention a threat of divorce from my wife Judy.
My interest in Hill diesels has continued, however, so I'm now looking for Hills to rebuild, parts, information, books, and history. The Bates and Edmonds engines were forerunners of Hill Diesel in Lansing, Michigan, so I would like some information on these also. I would like to compile a list of Hills that other people have, including the information off the nameplate and particularly the opposed piston Hill. Anyone needing parts (remember, I have 30,000 lbs. of them) or information please call or write.