The Hercules Engine News

11/2 HP Sparta Economy Engine

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20601 Old State Road Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

In every business, and hobby as well, there are trends. The gas engine hobby is no different. When the first old time machinery shows began many years ago, engines were often displayed as they were found. Over the past 25 years or so many people have cleaned up, repaired and refinished the engines so that very few originals are shown. There now seems to be a trend toward showing engines as originals so that the various colors decorations and imperfections can be seen. At the recent Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Show at Portland, Indiana several Hercules and Economy engines were on display in their original attire.

Following are four examples. The first picture is that of a very nice original 11/2 HP Sparta Economy number 37417 belonging to Bill Pricer.

The second picture is that of a 1 HP Sparta Economy number 28089. This one came to Portland in pieces and with the help of parts acquired there, it was assembled and running by day two. This engine originally had the cam gear governor, but it had been replaced with the flyball type. It belongs to Rick Kibler.

The third picture is that of a very nice original 11/2 HP model N Hercules number 315335 belonging to John Raney.

The fourth picture is that of a somewhat unique engine. It is a 3 HP model FW number 305582. It has a Hercules decal on each side of the hopper, but on the off side it is covered with a decal that reads 'Donahue Steel Products Co.' The engine appears to have been blue like the Jaegers are. It has the typical Economy shape hopper and is equipped with a crank guard. This is a unique combination typical of some engines sold by Hercules to jobbers and industry. It belongs to Bob Wampler.

Several years ago I reacquired my grandfather's 13/4 HP Hercules engine. It was still in pretty good shape. Now, much to my regret, it was repainted and the original historic look that I remember from my childhood days is gone forever.