8425 SW 7th Porlard, Oregon 97219
Whenever a crowd of gas engine buffs group around a trailer at a steamup in the Northwest area, it's usually to admire 54-year-old George Massinger's collection of antique gas power plants. Although only involved for two years in this new past time, he has already learned how to restore his gas engines meticulously, so they are second to none!
After going to a Antique Power-land Show in Salem Oregon, and hearing that wonderful hit and miss sound, he immediately went in search his own toy. Only a short time later at a friend's farm, he spied a 2 HP 1909 Economy tangled among the weeds and connected to an old buzz saw. Spurred on by memories of his father using an old Stover in the 1930's to cut wood, George set out on his journey to learn about the world of the hit and miss gas engine.
Transported on his trailer to events all over the Northwest, he counts five power plants and a giant 6-foot tall governor. These five antiques include his 1909 2 HP Economy; a Hercules 5 HP, #171320 made for the army in WW1; and a 3 HP Stover, #KF 198554 cast in 1927. Also along for the ride is a very rare 2 HP Cushman Cub, #185, one of only six known to exist and owner of the lowest known serial number, an engine put out by the Cushman Motorscooter Company. George's largest and most historic motor is his 8 HP Root &. Vandervoort, #EL 37581 cast sometime between 1900 and 1916. Manufactured by the John Deere Plow Company, this particular slow stroker was used to pump the entire water supply for the town of Jacksonville, Oregon near the turn of the century. To round out the mobile museum is a massive 6-foot tall governor taken from a 1000 HP Corliss steam engine, used to produce power for the Swift &. Company packing plant on Columbia Boulevard in Portland, Oregon. Belted to his 3 HP Stover the governor draws quite a gathering as it spins round and round at breakneck speed!
What makes George's engines so popular to gaze at is his attention to detail everywhere, all motors are painted the original color, then pin striped, and built to stock spec's. Each one has its own proper decals, original I.D. plates and a set of stained and varnished wooden skids to rest on. He adds his personal touch to each engine with the addition of highly polished brass nuts, bolts, grease cups and covers for the magnetos. If there are any parts he is unable to locate, George will hand craft them from whatever material necessary, steel, iron or brass so he can finish a project. An example of his desire to keep each engine as clean as possible is the addition of a small replaceable piece of carpet under each piston exit area and under each rod span to soak up excess oil. A tandem axle trailer trimmed in two-inch brass plate and sporting a stained wooden deck makes sure that George's hit and miss collection travels in style.
Always on the lookout for a new and unusual old engine find, George can't wait to finish his latest, a Fairbanks Morse. Mr. Massinger thanks GEM and all its subscribers for their help and information in the restoration of another small part of gas engine history!