The DOAK Story

4 HP Doak side shaft engine

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201 W. Findlay St. Carey, Ohio 43316

As a subscriber to Gas Engine Magazine for several years, and a collector of gas engines, this is the story of 'The Great Find'.

For the last six years, we have spent three months in Tucson, Arizona. As a collector and owner of the Historical Museum of Yesteryear, I am always on the look out.

Around the first of March 1986, a man told me of an Aermoter engine for sale. I drove 100 miles south of Tucson, and located him. He told me of another engine he tried to buy, three or four years before, but no sale. He said 'I will go with you and introduce you to the two brothers who own it'.

On March 5, 1986, I picked up another collector that I had met three years before in Tucson, Arizona. His name is Alex Reeves from Edmonsen, Texas. Away we went to Wilcox, Arizona. We picked up the man in Wilcox. He went with us to the home of G. L. Moore. I asked him if he had a gas engine, he said yes, but it was out on a large ranch of several thousand acres. He said his brother. W. R. Moore and he owned it together. He called his brother and said he would meet us at the ranch about one o'clock that afternoon. The ranch was in the country, about twenty miles out. At noon, Mr. Reeves and I picked up G. L. Moore, who was seventy-nine years young, and headed out. We finally got out to the road that went back to the ranch. What a road, about five miles and like an old lane at the foot of the mountains. We finally made it out there. Mr. W. R. Moore, age eighty three, was already there. The buildings were in pretty rough shape.

They took Mr. Reeves and me to an old shed, and under a piece of tin and rugs, there was an engine. We could hardly see, it was so dark in there. They opened a door in the end of the shed. I started to inspect the engine and to my surprise, it was a 4 HP Doak side shaft. I was really excited for I have twenty-eight engines and no side shaft. The water tank and gas tank were missing. I asked them if it was for sale, and they said yes. After a while, we finally arrived at a price. As we were in my car, I told them I would pay now, but did not know when I would pick it up, for I had no way to haul it. I am from Carey, Ohio which is about 2050 miles from here.

Mr. Reeves and I headed back to Tucson. As you know, I was tickled to death. I could not believe our find, as I am seventy-two. I had met a young man who restores automobiles, by the name of George Anglin in Tucson. His father, M. K. Anglin, is a part time carpenter and had a pickup truck. He said I could use it. So a week later, out we went to get our find. We called the Moore's and they met us out there at the ranch. How would we ever get it out of the old shed? There was an old tractor in another shed, looked like it had not run for years. The oldest Moore brother, who was eighty-three, got on the seat of the tractor and said, 'Give it a crank'. I said, 'I don't want my arm broke'. He said, 'Give it a quarter turn'. I did, and away it went. He told his brother to get the chain. He hooked the chain on it, and proceeded to pull it out of the shed. He drug it to an old A frame, with a 1/4 inch cable on it with a hand crank. He cranked it up, and I backed up the truck under it, and he let it down.

Away we went to Tucson, now what am I going to do with it. Mr. Anglin said he and George go to Warsaw, Indiana in June every summer for six weeks and they would take it that far.

Well, we came home from Tucson, the 15th of April. All the time wondering how bad it was to fix.

George called, and said he and his father would be in Warsaw, July 6th. My brother, Dal and I met them there in my pickup truck, and transferred the engine. Also, I got an old hand gas pump all complete. When we arrived home and took a good look, we wondered if it was possible to restore.

Dal and I are both retired and work in my shop. We started tearing it down, never saw one before. Then came the huge task of sand blasting, machine work, filling, sanding, priming, and finishing. Dal made the gas and water tanks. Ivan Schmidt did the machine work. We had trouble getting the flywheels off the crank. We made a new side shaft and the cart to put it on. It was not froze up, but had not run for fifty years. As near as we can tell it was made around 1900.

About the 16th of December, was the big day. First turn of the flywheel, she fired, and the second, it started. What a great feeling to hear it hit and miss.

I am enclosing pictures of before and after, you be the judge. So don't give up, there is a lot of those old lungers out there yet, if you look for them.

Wendel doesn't say much about this engine, as they are very scarce. Headless exhaust valve in the bottom and intake valve on top. I have Gas Engine Magazines, since 1978 and never saw the name Doak.

I love all the old junk! Hope to see you all at the Engine Shows next summer.