A Big Hit & Miss . . . and Another

The 8 HP Stover

The 8 HP Stover before restoration, 1989. Right, the 6 HP Galloway, as found in New Mexico, 1990.

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1922 East Ivy Street, Mesa, Arizona 85203-2819.

The first time I saw and listened to a hit & miss engine was in California oilfields about 1951. The sound was more impressive to me than the sight of the old oily and dirty pumping unit. Never did I realize that someday I would be scraping and cleaning an old hit & miss engine.

After retiring in 1986, I visited my nephew in Pennsylvania and on our trips around Lancaster found the 'Rough and Tumble' show. I was hooked at first glance. Since then I have found and restored several engines.

My first hit & miss was obtained through an ad in Gas Engine Magazine. This magazine I could not live without. It has helped in many ways, many times. The 'for sale' ad was for an 8 HP hit 6k miss Stover in Austin, Texas. On a trip to east Texas to visit members of my family, I purchased this engine and transported it home in the back of my Ford van.

My wife and I rolled the engine onto a stack of pallets in a sideyard where I restored it. After painting and putting gas in the tank, it was ready for starting. I had invited family over for the big moment. The 'moment' was big-and fast-because it started on the first revolution of the flywheels. There was a loud combustion and then a big smoke ring went toward the sky. My grandson thought that was neat.

However, the governor was set to run fast and the engine began to leap forward off the pallets, so after running about 15 seconds it had to be shut off and restraint applied to keep the engine on the pallets. Everyone was shaking with delight.

Skids and a truck were made later. This engine powers a Williams 16-inch stone burr gristmill at various shows in Arizona. It has won several trophies and ribbons in Public Choice voting.

It is really amazing how we can find the old rusting iron and restore it to a work of art. What with missing parts, rusted parts stuck, you name it, we can make it run and look just like new again. Some people ask where we buy these new engines or tractors. It makes you feel good, doesn't it?

My recent acquisition was found by the roadside in tall grass and weeds. I had previously driven by the place many times to visit relatives in New Mexico. The engine is a 6 HP Galloway, believed to be one of the 'Masterpiece Six' engines manufactured about 1916 or later. It was mounted on a big truck and powered a buzzsaw. I completely restored truck, engine, and buzzsaw during 1990, and first showed it at the Arizona National Livestock Show, 1991. Although it was not running properly, it was a winner.

I'd like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Frederickson for being instrumental in my becoming a member of our state engine and tractor association. They, and many other good people, have helped me in many ways and I appreciate their help very much.