Our Garage 'Mini-Museum'

The Gilson

The Gilson.

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P.O.Box3l8 East Liverpool, Ohio 43920

Thirty years ago, we purchased a 1? HP Gilson engine from a neighboring farmer. We really didn't know what we would do with it, but this greasy piece of machinery was on two wooden pieces which still bore the phrase, in the original paint, 'Johnny On the Spot.' Imagine, after 43 years of daily, and not too tender use at that, to be able to read the writing on those old wooden strips. On the fender was a metal plaque which said 'Goes Like Sixty.'

Four years ago, when he retired, my husband decided to restore this engine to its original beauty. We never anticipated just what this decision was going to do to our lives. We became 'engine fanatics,' attending shows, buying magazine subscriptions and asking everyone we knew where we could find more engines. In the meantime, with the help of Dan Hickman, Sam Hilditch, and Eugene Black, the Gilson was rapidly becoming a red beauty after many hours of hard labor.

During this restoration process, my husband came up with the idea of getting a Maytag engine. Little did we know how that was going to affect our lives. Does anyone know how many styles of Maytag engines were made? We soon purchased a 92 model after following all the leads and eventually ended up with several 92 and 72 model Maytags. We continued to look for that elusive upright, the one model we had to have. Last year we went to the show at Wauseon, Ohio and there it was, in reasonable shape and affordable. As with each previous engine, this one had to be torn down, cleaned up, rebushed and repainted until it was perfect. This was done with the help of a friend, a retired machinist, Dean Schneider, who very ably did all the necessary machine work to make the engine perfect. What next? Of course, we had to find an 82 model Maytag. Again, we were fortunate enough to be able to get this one from Larry Simpson of Madison Heights, Virginia, 'The Maytag Man,' and the restoration was again completed.

Throughout this time, we had acquired an Economy, a Stover, an open crank Cushman, and several Briggs &. Stratton engines, some of which are waiting their turn for the restoration process. One particular find is a 3 HP Jackson, similar to a Novo, which is going to be a major project in itself.

You may have guessed by now that this was written from a woman's point of view, but I must add that over this four year period, we have both learned a lot about gasoline engines and have met many of the fine people associated with this particular hobby, and it has been a very enriching experience.