BIG FAIRBANKS MORSE ENGINE GETS A NEW HOME

Webster taken at Tri-State show

Webster, inverted vertical taken at Tri-State show 1982 by Dave Reum.

Content Tools

705 W. Annie Dr., Muncie, IN 47302

A large Fairbanks Morse semi-diesel engine is now owned, restored, and exhibited by the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Association, Inc. of Portland, Indiana. The engine came out of a brick yard in Jackson County, in south central Indiana. The statistics on the engine are as follows: Model Y, 100 HP, built in 1924, 2 cylinder, vertical, 14' bore and 17' stroke.

This engine was purchased from the owner, Mr. James Heller, in the autumn of 1981 and was removed from the brick yard where it had been silent since 1946. The engine was dismantled and hauled approximately 165 miles to the Tri-State's property near the Jay County, Indiana fairgrounds. Among the Association officers and members involved the names of Dave Reum of Cowan, Kenneth Doherty of Geneva, and Paul Shores of Muncie, are worthy of special recognition. They were involved in the purchase and move of this big engine.

The engine sat covered during the winter of 1981-82. (See page 2 of Sept/Oct 1982GEM.) Restoration began in earnest in the Spring of 1982 when the goal was set to have the big engine restored and running at the August 1982 show. Kenny Doherty was a prime mover in this effort and because of his untiring labor the engine was fired up on the Sunday prior to show time.

The 100 HP Fairbanks Morse engine was exhibited for the first time at the Tri-State Show in August 1982. It was started (by air) and run twice each show day. Ken Doherty served as chief engineer.

It is quite a sight to watch the big engine being started and really something to see and hear it run. It proved to be a good crowd attractor. The Association plans to exhibit the engine at its annual show and eventually hopes to belt it up to a large piece of equipment.

Photo is courtesy of Bill Bond, Founder of the Spark Plug Collectors of America and was taken at the Tri-County, Indiana show in August 1982.

This is a reproduction of the world's first internal combustion powered vehicle, built in 1885 in Mannheim, Germany by Gottleib Daimler. This replica is built of all walnut wood with Amish buggy wheels. The engine is a 'PB' Briggs & Stratton. The project was started in February 1982 and finished in Mid-August.

The Tri-State club held its 17th annual Antique Engine & Tractor Show on August 26-29, 1982 at the Jay County Fairgrounds in Portland, Indiana. This year's show featured a record 1,753 gas engines and 254 tractors on display by proud exhibitors from 15 states. Engines and tractors from the common to the rare were in operation throughout the shaded grounds. An antique show and sale with 140 dealers from all over the midwest was also a popular attraction. Lots of food, fun and nightly entertainment was enjoyed by all. This 4-day event has become one of the finest and largest shows of its kind.