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The Cultivator

Thoughts from the editor.


Stories of Dedication: Keeping the Hobby Alive

This issue of Gas Engine Magazine is filled with stories of dedication. Collectors willing to wait. Collectors willing to travel. Collectors willing to spend time, energy, effort and emotion to keep the hobby alive.

Take Joe Schneider, a Minnesota collector who saw something he wanted (a rare, non-running National Engineering Co. New Model engine) only to be told no. But as any dedicated engine collector will tell you, they won’t let a “no” stop them. So Joe persisted, asking to buy it every time he saw it over the next several years and always getting the same answer: no.

Joe’s patience eventually paid off ... 20 years after he originally saw the engine. Now the New Model is the star of Joe’s impressive collection. Read the article to see the engine that was worth the fight.

Or what about Don Oberholtzer’s 1905 2 HP Stover Type A vertical? He found the mess of an engine — which was missing its fuel pump, igniter and trip arms, and was sporting a significant crack in one flywheel — at the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Assn. Swap & Sell. He knew fixing it up would be an uphill battle, but Don dove in, tackled the project, sourced parts, made parts and stitched small cracks. You have to see the results on page 16 to believe them.

In Rock Island Engine Spawns Friendship, Charles Hargreaves shares his story of acquiring a 1923 5 HP Rock Island. Charles knows more than a thing or two about Rock Islands, so a collector contacted him for assistance back in 2001. When Charles followed up eight years later, he found out the engine was still in need of some help. Charles’ solution? Drive from his home in Michigan to North Carolina to rescue the engine, more than 800 miles away!

Jim Hilgartner spent his early working life tinkering with Murphy Diesel engines. So recently he decided he’d like to find one and fix it up. In Murphy Diesel Engine Restored, Jim shares his story of finding, rescuing and restoring an engine that holds a special place in his heart. His wife, Rose, even chimes in to give a different perspective of how special the Murphy Diesel rescue and restoration was to Jim.

These are just a few of the stories in this issue that show the dedication of antique gas engine collectors. But what drives them to go to such lengths for these pieces of equipment?

I guess what it comes down to is if you want something bad enough you fight for it. Luckily, the old iron community is filled with passionate people who are willing to fight – be that through persistence, time or effort — to keep very important pieces of history alive.

Rescue stories like these are my favorite. If you’ve rescued anything recently, I’d love to hear about it.

Beth Beavers
Associate Editor
bbeavers@gasenginemagazine.com