It Was Worth The Wait!

Old engines in barn

As found, in 1991.

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26 Pineview Drive Henrico, North Carolina 27842

In the spring of 1991, while sitting and talking with a friend, the upcoming season of grass cutting and summer activities brought to mind the subject of old iron. My friend told me about another friend, who had one of those old engines in his barn. I asked if we might go look at it, so he made arrangements for this visit.

When we arrived at the location it was the old family home, which was unoccupied. We went around the old house to the back where the barn was, and sure enough, there under old bushel baskets, grass bags and boards was an 8 HP Hercules engine with saw attachment. We uncovered it, and he suggested it might still run, so he found a can of very smelly gasoline, poured some in the primer, and rocked it back and forth a few times. On the third or fourth crank, it hit and continued running.

I asked if he would like to sell it. 'Not really,' he said. 'I remember when I was a boy, Dad used to cut wood for people and it is just another family memory.'

We continued to visit and talk about the engine occasionally. In December 1995, while I was out of state, he passed away. When I returned, I tried to find who inherited the property.

While discussing the 8 HP Hercules with a relative of the family, he informed me he had one in his shed, a 1 HP Hercules, which I purchased on the spot.

I discovered that a younger brother had inherited the farm. In January 1996, I approached him about selling the engine, but he was undecided. We visited throughout the year, and our conversation centered around the 8 HP Hercules engine.

When I returned from the Florida Flywheelers Annual Swap Meet, I received a message that he would sell the engine. I bought it immediately and made arrangements to pick up this PRIZE.

This old engine is in excellent mechanical condition. The blade is sharp with proper set, also as good as new flat belt and grease cups full. It appears that the engine was left properly serviced, as if the original owner were ready to go out and saw some firewood.

With a friend who owns a nursery and with help from my son who was visiting, we loaded the prize on the nursery flat bed trailer and brought it home on January 29, 1997. Restoration story will come later, I hope.

The engine is free, has very good compression and good spark. I might just give it a good run before I make the decision to repaint it, or show it off as is.