at Zolfo Springs Held March 5, 6, 7, 1976


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I was given the task of reporting the big 3-Day Show at Zolfo Springs, Florida but since I was there only two days and spent my evenings with my wife, Ethel, at a motel, I thought you might like to hear about the show from one who 'lived' on the grounds the entire time.

Our Flywheeler Club editor, Norma Austin, gave such a nice account of the show in our club paper I feel she has done a far better job than I could have done. So here's Norma:

Flywheeler Bob Brennan kicked the show off on Friday morning at 5:20 A.M. by starting the first engine. Shortly thereafter, WOW! Everyone got in the act.

It was a super big show, the best yet, with so many things to see and do that I am sure I missed something. The weather was great, real hot one day, but otherwise bright and cheerful.

Flea markets were extensive and interesting. A variety of food was offered for sale at popular prices, really good too, and mostly for worthy causes. Well planned in an area that somebody dubbed as 'food alley.'

The special events were interesting and very worthwhile. The Bicentennial Fashion Show displaying women's wear through the years was really great. A good deal of thought and planning went into the entire Pioneer Park event, and I feel it was a huge success.

As usual, Florida Flywheelers were the mainstay of the event. (Ed's Note: Naturally, Norma, an engine nut can't see anything but engines.) We really went all out. Some of us made as many as 3 trips to Wauchula area delivering engines to show.

There were some big 'uns, small ones, many in between. Many hours of loving care and dollars were reflected by all our engines. (If we could ever compile a club inventory, it would likely be stupendous!) Wish I could tell about who had which engines, but that would run into pages. Can't even say which engine was the most interesting or spectacular, because they all were special in their own category.

Friday was a big day, with a number of spectators, and by noon we realized that we were right smack into the middle of the 1976 Pioneer Days celebration. From there on, it was almost non-stop. That night at 10:30, there was still a gang outside and somebody was hot-rodding two John Deeres around the area. Engines were running and nobody was sleepy, just hated to end the day.

Saturday was more of the same, only better, and again on Saturday night, they just couldn't give up. At 11:00 P.M. engines were still popping and folks still gathered around. (Incidentally, Carl Austin says he'll take HIS 'barbecued John Deere' on a toasted roll! Anyone for a tractor sandwich, says he? Carl H? Tony?

Club vice president took as careful an inventory as he could and counted 250 gas engines, 35 steam models and bigger ones owned by Phil Laudon and Ray Schisler. Alan Phillips had his large Caloric hot air engine going, and there were 17 smaller engines of the hot air and vacuum type. There were over a doen models counted, 15 tractors and five really large Diesels 15 to 30 HP including Gardner Adams' 'old faithful.' Ron Bunting has a 25 HP Fairbanks; also Charles Cockran and Dave Glass have a pair of them.

Wish you could see these engines in full color. Mr. & Mrs. Lester Gaul of Gibsonion, Florida are the proud owners. 1914 Foos Jr. 2? HP on a walnut wood framed truck and battery box; also shown (to the right) is a Busy Bee 5 HP air cooled made in Glendale, California. Not shown (due to poor photography) is an Ideal made in 20's. These three engines were perhaps the best restored of the entire show.

Now here's one of a kind, well almost. Owned by Carl Frank from Peterborough, New York. It's a 1904 1? HP Galloway made at Waterloo, Iowa, and is a make-and-break type. It is the last model using a brone rod. Four cycle but ported at bottom of stroke to allow for better heat dissipation. Top muffler was only warm while the bottom one was plenty hot.

Enclosed are two pictures of an engine my brother, Bob, built. It is a 4-stroke cycle engine utilizing one valve. The design was adapted from the Grench WWI Grome aircraft engine. design was adapted from the French WWI Grome aircraft engine.

Operating parts are as follows: (1) flywheel-from Singer sewing machine; (2) gears-from an old lawn mower engine; (3) valve-from an old lawn mower engine; (4) bearings-all STD ball-type bearings; (5) oiler, sparkplug, coil-STD items; (6) all other parts were machined from scrap iron found around the shop.

Engine specifications: 1?' bore and 2?' stroke; approximately % HP; singe 12?' flywheel; ignition-high tension coil and sparkplug, RPM - variable by changing fuel flow from 250 RPM to 600 RPM.

The following diagram shows the sequence of cycles that takes places during the operation of this engine.

The engine runs by first compressing the air-gas mixture. As the piston reaches the end of the compression stroke, the mixture is ignited causing the power stroke. About ?' before the end of the power stroke, the valve opens to release combustion pressure. The piston now pushed the burned gases through the open valve on the exhaust stroke.

Up to this point, the engine operates as a conventional 4-stroke, 4-cycle engine, but the final stroke is different in that it is divided into two distinct cycles (air intake and fuel intake). The final stroke begins as the piston completes the exhaust stroke. At this point, with the valve still completely open, the piston begins the final stroke pulling in fresh air. When the piston reaches midpoint, the valve closes. The piston continues causing a vacuum to build in the cylinder. As the piston reaches the end of the intake stroke, the carburetor point is uncovered and the vacuum in the cylinder causes an air-gas mixture to be pulled into the cylinder. The piston then starts the compression stroke and the entire operation is repeated.

Bob has rebuilt several engines but this one is sort of special in that a number of people expressed doubt that it would ever run during the six months he spent working on it. He would enjoy hearing from other readers and can be reached by mail as follows: Robert Borcharst, P. O. Box 25, Ringwood, Illinois 60072.

Keep up your excellent publication.

Courtesy of Paul Borchard, 137 N. Center Street, Naperville, Illinois 60540.

A nice Otto engine, as you can see -it is running.