R. 3, Box 266A, Mount Vernon, Washington 98273.
In the Jan-Feb 1971 issue of GEM your column carried a letter from Norman Mullings pointing out that Fairbanks-Morse was still producing engines in Mexico City and giving an address for their operations there. I wrote to FBM at that address the next month and received the enclosed brochure. I think this brochure might be of interest to GEM readers and it is yours.
Last summer we vacationed in the Southwest. We drove south of Tucson, Arizona and entered Mexico at Nogales, Sonora. At each large town I checked the local telephone book for a FBM distributor. Finally at Cuidad Obregon (about 400 miles from the border) we found one. The dealership was housed in a large, bright store on a busy street. Besides FBM engines they sold FBM scales and farm tools of other manufacturers. The manager was able to to speak fairly good English. He had two FBM engines on hand, both 9 hp models. Me also had another brand of two flywheel, hopper cooled engine--I didn't get the name.
The new 9 hp Model 'Z' is about the size of the older 3 hp 'Z'--maybe a little larger. The brochure says 487 pounds. The new 'Z' develops its power at 700 RPM and that higher speed combined with an increased compression ratio (I suspect) accounts for the rather high power rating. Except for roller bearings on the crankshaft the new model is very much like its ancestors. They appeared to be well constructed. The price for the 9 hp is $800 (that's right 800 American greenbacks), I did not buy one. When I questioned the manager he said he had never sold one. He had small air cooled models of the Briggs and Stratton and Wisconsin type (not FBM made) for less than $100 so its obvious why the FBM are not selling.
I did a little 'engine hunting' in Mexico but had no luck. That's not to say they are not around but we only went 550 miles and didn't have much time -- maybe someone else will have better luck.
Keep up the good work--we all enjoy your publication.
These are snapshots of my 8-16 International Tractor. This tractor had been in this same spot for 24 years. The man I got it from said that his Dad bought it new in 1916. The tractor was used mostly at saw mill belt work. I have it running, and might add, it runs very well.
The tree in the front wheel is a wild locust. It had the tractor staked down pretty well. My Uncle and myself used two axes, a power chain saw, and another tractor, and after working for two hours solid, freed it enough from the tree to load.
You have a very fine magazine and I enjoy it very much. Keep up the good work.