Baby Show

All greased up and ready to go


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What in the world is a baby show? No, it's not where parents bring their newborns - let me start from the beginning.

I bought my first engine when I was 10 years old and restored it for a 4-H Club project, which won me first prize for General Projects Day at our local fair. Since then I have been hooked and have added several engines to my collection. I am now 37 and have been blessed with two wonderful boys, Mavric and Kolton. Children have a way of changing many things in one's life. Prior to the boys, when working on an engine and trying to get it running for the first time, the conversations I had with the engine could sometimes get a little, well, let's just say colorful at times.

In the fall of 2003, I acquired this 1906 Stover 5 HP screen-cooled engine from a fellow collector. This is the first engine I have bought since the boys entered the scene. I found that at the ages of 3 and 2 they can be a real help - that is in getting into everything they shouldn't and making the task of laundry another challenge.

After several days of cleaning and making necessary adjustments, it was time to see if we could get the old girl running - after sitting for nearly 50 years. Let me paint the picture: I am in my shop with Mavric and Kolton standing by, covered in grease and oil and reeking of gas. Wrenches, screwdrivers and hammers are scattered everywhere. Are you getting the picture? I start to turn the engine over and after oh, 10 minutes, still nothing but heavy breathing and sweat running down my face. Let's see - gas, spark and compression, should run. Wrong! After further investigation, it was a problem with the igniter, surprise, surprise. With a little fine-tuning and more help from the boys, it was time to try again. Here we go, turning, turning, turning ("come on you old @#$%?!!" going through my head). While the boys were anxiously waiting I finally said, "Come on Baby" and at that time there was a puff of smoke. The boys eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and I again said, "Come on Baby" and the old girl started to run - ah sweet success!

The boys have nicknamed the old Stover "Baby" and now we go to Baby Shows. The boys are growing up way too fast and in no time they will be able to start Baby on their own. Time is precious and so are our children, this experience made me realize just how much things really do change. See you down the road at the next Baby Show!

Contact Troy Rudy at: (815) 297-4846;



Model: DO
Horsepower: 5
Year: 1906
Bore: 5-inch
Stroke: 10-inch
Weight: 1,800 pounds
Flywheel width: 2-3/8 inches
Flywheel diameter: 37 inches
Ignition type: Igniter or hot tube
Governing style: hit-and-miss
Unique features: Set up for hot-tube ignition and has an early copper carburetor.
Interesting fact: This was the smallest horizontal tank-cooled engine Stover manufactured. It was shipped to J.M. Pettera of Highland, Wis., on Feb. 16, 1907, where it spent its life in a creamery.