Eleven-year-old Matthew Holderman is justifiably proud of his restoration of this 1914 Fuller & Johnson 1-1/2 HP Model N.
While I am not a subscriber to GEM, my dad, Larry Holderman, has been receiving the magazine for a long time. I am 11 years old, and I'm in the sixth grade. I have been interested in gas engines for several years, as my family has attended engine shows for a long time. My first engine was a 1935 Maytag Model 92 that I received from my dad when I was six years old. I have taken it to several shows, including the Echoes of the Past exhibit at the Kosciusko County Fair in Warsaw, Ind., along with shows at Winamac and Bourbon, Ind.
I have been wanting a hit-and-miss engine for a long time, and in May 2000 my dad and grandpa, Stan Holderman, were at the swap meet at Hawkeye Acres, Waukee, Iowa, and dad brought me home a 1-1/2 HP Fuller & Johnson Model N engine. Dad has checked with Mr. Verne W. Kindschi, and his records show my engine was shipped from the factory on March 26, 1914, and was shipped to Wellienton & Sons, in Alice, N.D.
When they got the engine home, it was caked with old grease and dirt and was in need of several repairs. I helped scrape and dig the dirt and grease off as much as I could, and then dad and grandpa used a high-pressure washer to clean it up. The bearings and the cylinder were in very good shape, but several other parts needed attention. The original round gas tank was saved after dad and grandpa soldered a new bottom in it. Some of the pins had to be replaced and my dad fitted the bearings with new shims. I helped paint the primer, and then dad gave it one coat of green paint. We used acrylic enamel for this. The rest of the engine was then put together, and the final coats of paint were applied. The skids were made of 4 x 4 cedar posts. And I did a lot of sanding on them to get them ready to finish. Also, last fall my dad bought a cart for my engine at the Cool springs, Pa., swap meet. The engine was then mounted on the cart and an oiler obtained from Starbolt Engine Supplies was installed.
During the winter, my grandpa made a dovetailed oak ignition box for the battery and coil and screwed it to the skids. When the day came to start the engine, I was glad to see it start so easy. Then on my birthday, July 4th, I broke my arm, and with the first show coming in just a few days I had to have my dad start my engine for me. I have since taken it to shows in Winamac and Valparaiso, Ind. I have received several compliments on it.
My sister, Amanda, along with my mom, dad and me, go to several shows with my grandpa and grandma. We usually take at least two trailers with engines, and sometimes more. Also, my sister and I help grandpa make ropes with our rope maker and ride our 'Butt Buggies' powered by Chore masters. The whole family has a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to getting another engine someday.
Contact engine enthusiast Matthew Holderman at: 2328 W. 300 N, Warsaw, IN 46582,(219)269-1383.