Small Engines Big Fun

Small engine collection makes popular show display

William Jenkins stands with three of his favorite show display pieces

William Jenkins stands with three of his favorite show display pieces. The engine in the middle is the Briggs & Stratton Model 8 that he modified to look like a Model N, which he ran for one hour, 16 minutes on one pint of gas. At right is a Western Auto Supply Co. lawnpower with a Power Products engine.

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I love old engines, big and small. I also love to hear them run and see them in use.

Each year there are several car and engine shows around my area. My wife, Judy, drives our 1957 Chevy to the shows and I take my small engines. Sometimes, I will run some wherever they won’t disturb anyone.

At one show, they ask me to bring an engine with no gasoline in the tank, and the staff of the show checks the tank to verify that it is empty. I then put in one pint of gas and the person who guesses how long the engine will run wins a wonderful door prize.

Last year, I took a Briggs Model 8 and modified it to look like a Model N with a kick pedal start. I also put a pulley on it and reworked the throttle assembly. With one pint of gas, it just ran and ran. After about one hour, people began to gather around it and it received a lot of attention. It just didn’t want to stop! It ended up running one hour, 16 minutes. I wish my truck would run like that!

This year, I plan to display some things that these engines powered, such as a water pump, small saw, air compressor and some grinders. I also want to take a collection of old spark plugs and some old tools.

Contact William Jenkins, 160 Windmill Lane, Moorefield, WV 26836.