A 4 HP Associated Farm Hand Stuck in the Muck

An engine shines after years deteriorating in the dirt

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My love for anything mechanical started way back when I was barely old enough to hold a wrench; I’ve been turning wrenches since I was very young, taking things apart just to see how they worked, then putting them back together. My mom used to call me a junk collector and said she felt sorry for the woman I would end up marrying because of all of my collectibles. Now my wife says I’m the only person she knows who will go to a junkyard and come back with more than I hauled off. Luckily for me, I usually find a use for what I bring home.

I am relatively new at old engine collecting. I have several friends who collect engines; I have been hanging out with them for years. Three years ago after attending our local show sponsored by the Eastern Antique Power Assn. in Chocowinity, N.C., the bug finally bit me, too. I purchased my first engine, a 1916 Associated 2-1/2 HP Hired Man from Stan Hudson, just after the show. It was not much of a challenge since Stan is the resident expert on all things engine related in this area. It already ran perfectly, so all I had to do was build a cart and battery box. At least I had my first engine.

Excerpted from the December/January 2007 issue of Gas Engine Magazine. Subscribe today to read the full article and more!