Letters & Miscellanies

Notes and Responses From Readers

Custer Car

Content Tools

German Tractor is a Kramer

6302 Rockbridge Rd. Stone Mountain, GA 30087

Thank you very much for running the picture of the tractor I took in Germany (see GEM, November 2001).

I received five letters regarding it, two from the U.S., one from England, and from Germany and one from Denmark. I had no idea that Gas Engine Magazine was sent to other countries. Editor's Note: Three of the letters Bill received identified the tractor as a Kramer K18 Allesschaffer, built by Maschinenfabrik Gebr. Kramer GmbH, Uberlingen and Gutmadingen, Germany. Readers Aage Bak-Mikkelsen, Solbjer, Denmark, Robert Moor house, Leicestershire, England, and Gottfried Boehm, Munich, Germany, spotted it and provided Bill with specific information. The K18 Allesschaffer (literally, 'do everything') was powered by a 20 HP Guldner stationary diesel with chain-drive to its gearbox, another chain delivering power to the rear axle. These tractors were built from 1937 to 1942, then reintroduced after WW II in 1948 for a short while. Thanks to everyone for helping Bill identify this machine.)

Custer Car

The first time I saw this car I thought I had found one of those Maytag Racers. After inspecting the car I found a small plate, which reads: Custer Specialty Company, Dayton, Ohio, Type 42, s/n #2308.

Stan Matlowski wonders if anyone knows anything about this car or the company that built it, Custer Specialty Company of Dayton, Ohio. Power comes from a Briggs Model K.

The engine is a Briggs Model K with square gas tank made in mid-1934. The engine is started with an outside kick-start. There is a friction clutch in the rear controlled by a lever on the side. The rear is driven by a gear drive. There are headlights, which were operated by a dry cell. The hood ornament resembles a greyhound dog, and the total length of the car is 71/2 feet.

A search on the Internet turned up very little. In the fall Carlisle show I saw another from an amusement park in Ohio. The car had very heavy metal construction and was probably a child's ride. The motor was missing but it was probably electric. I also met a fellow who said his father had an amusement car with an electric motor. My car is light-gauge metal, and being gas powered possibly a competitor to the Maytag Racer.

I would like to hear from fellow owners with information and literature.Stan Matlowski, 118 Hunlcock-Harveyville Rd. Hunlock Creek, PA 18621 (570) 256-7422

Fuller & Johnson Allis-Chalmers

After reading the November and December issues of GEM, I would like to make comments regarding two questions sent in by readers.

Referring to the November issue, a Fuller & Johnson Model AH (see page 2, GEM, November 2001). I'm especially interested in this, as I own the original Fuller & Johnson Mfg. Co. records and have researched the shipping information for many collectors for over 25 years, during which time I have looked up more than 3,000 engines.

The Model AH was one of six radiator-cooled engines built by F&J during their last years of manufacturing, and were basically used to power cement mixers. The radiator-cooled models were: AH, 1-cylinder, 6 HP; AB, 2-cylinder, 6-8 HP; BB, 2-cylinder, 3-5 HP; BC, 4-cylinder, 6-10 HP; BD, 4-cylinder, 8-12 HP; and BE, 4-cylinder, 35 HP.

The AH was built in consecutive serial numbers 410000-410581. So, 582 of these engines were built from 1929 until the end of F&J in 1932. To date I have looked up 17 of the Model AH engines that are in the hands of collectors.

The old company records make it possible to use the serial number to find when the engine was shipped originally, and to whom. I do charge $1 per engine for this service to cover my costs. The books are very old, and to prevent excessive handling I usually look engines up about once a month. Thus, it sometimes takes a few weeks to get out the data.

In the December issue one letter referred to the Allis-Chalmers front-unload spreaders (see page 3, GEM, December 2001). I'm not aware that they were sold under the A-C name, but I do remember my father bought a Galloway spreader that looked just like this in the late 1940s or early 1950s. It was built in Iowa, so I assume it was the old Galloway Engine Co.

Here in the snow belt there was a problem using the rear unloading spreaders, as the tractors were smaller and as the manure moved to the rear it would actually lift up the rear of the tractor. This made traction a real problem.

However, with the Galloway spreader the load moved to the front, and this helped with the traction problem. The idea was good, but the spreader itself left much to be desired mechanically, and we had frequent breakdowns.Verne W. Kindschi, S9008B U.S. Hwy. 12 Prairie du Sac, WI 53578 vernefj@chorus.net

MacBeth 300 HP

Ethan Lehman sends this photo of a 1911 Bruce-Mac Beth he acquired last July. Of 4-cylinder, 4-stroke design with overhead camshaft, this engine has a bore and stroke of 18 inches resulting in a total displacement of 18,000 cubic inches! It's rated at 300 HP at 200 rpm, runs on natural gas and without the flywheel it weighs 28-1/2 tons. The crankshaft is 18 feet long. Made by the Bruce-Mac Beth Engine Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, it was originally installed in a water plant in Clarksburg, W.V., and taken out of service in 1969. Ethan says he hopes to have it running this year.Ethan Lehman, 13958 Goudy Rd. Dalton, OH 44618

Ethan Lehman's 1911 Bruce-Mac Beth 300 HP, 4-cylinder, 4-stroke engine. He hopes to have it running this year.

Woodpecker and Miami

In a past issue of GEM there was a gentleman who wanted info on the Woodpecker and Miami engines manufactured by the Middletown Machine Co. in Middletown, Ohio.

I have information and pictures of the Middletown plant and company history until their closing year. Carl L. Fry, 12028 Harris Rd. Germantown, OH 45327

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