Take a quick glance at the exhibitors and attendees at gas engine shows, and it’s easy to think that this is an older person’s hobby. But take a closer look and you’ll find a growing number of younger enthusiasts. You'll meet them in Young Iron.
Location: Delhi, ON, Canada
Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A: I have been collecting gas engines for about 2 years now, but I have been active in the hobby for quite some time.
Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A: I have always been fascinated with mechanical things as long as I can remember. When I was younger I couldn’t wait to go to my grandpa’s house to see what new engine or related project he was working on.
Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A: My grandpa is the only other person in my family who collects engines. I am trying to get my dad involved in the hobby – he likes to help me out.
Q: How many engines do you have in your collection?
A: I have a 1-1/2 HP Stover KE hit-and-miss that is double-tagged T. Eaton Co., a 1-1/2 HP Massey-Harris Type 2 throttle-governed, and a 3/4 HP Ideal air-cooled from one of the Ideal lawnmowers. I am always looking for more to add to the collection.
Q: What’s your favorite engine in your collection?
A: My favorite would have to be the Ideal. It is lighter than most engines and it usually starts on the first or second crank of the flywheels. Also, it will run all day without missing a beat.
Q: Are you working on any restoration projects?
A: The last project I did was the Ideal, which I purchased from a good friend of my grandpa’s who is no longer with us. I built the skid in wood shop, built the battery box at my grandpa’s friend’s house, cleaned it up in the auto shop at school, and assembled it at home. I’d like to thank Bob Cole, my dad, my grandpa, Mr. Kawamura and Mr. Vandermeer for helping me complete this project.
Q: As a young collector, what are some obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?
A: Most definitely the prices and space. My family only has a 2-car garage and it can get pretty tight in there. The prices are my biggest obstacle. It would be nice to own a rarer engine such as an Otto or a Callahan camstopper, but I only work part time and still go to high school so cash flow is limited. The older collectors in my area have been extremely helpful to me, and they are my grandpa and my good friends.
Q: If money weren’t an issue, what is your dream engine to own?
A: A Goold, Shapley & Muir twin-cylinder opposed. It was made about 30 to 45 minutes down the road in Brantford, Ontario, and it is one of the rarer Canadian-built engines around.
Q: What are your favorite engines and why?
A: My favorite engines are the big slow-running engines and the sideshafts. With the slow-running engines you can hear them “breathe” with each stroke of the piston. With the sideshafts there is a lot of intriguing motion that can captivate you.