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More Vincent Engine Information

vincent engine

vincent engine

vincent engine

A few months back (Flywheel Forum, October/November 2015) I sent you some information about a Vincent “sailboat” engine (see photo, top). In addition, I had a few questions about a 2 hp Witte hit-and-miss. The Witte is now running and will soon be mounted on a cart. The Vincent turns out to be somewhat of an interesting story. It was made by Vincent, the British motorcycle manufacturer, but not for sail boats. It was an attempt to revive the company after it quit making motorcycles in 1955, and the engine was developed for lawn mowers and the first personal watercraft. My engine was used in the Amanda Water Scooter. It is a 100cc 2.1 hp Vincent 75. Neither the lawn mower nor the Scooter managed to save Vincent. The lawn mower had too much torque and the Scooter engine generated such high heat that it melted the fiberglass used in the Scooter and caused them to sink. Both are rumored to have caused the final demise of Vincent. There are numerous videos on the internet.

Robert Lundberg,

We had a suspicion your engine was related to the Vincent Amanda, a fact borne out by your research and further supported by photographs from the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama, which has in its collection both an Amanda Water Scooter (middle) and a Vincent lawn mower (bottom). Looking at other photos, we think your engine was originally installed in an Amanda Water Scooter owing to its fan-cooling cowling. The lawn mowers don't appear to have utilized this feature, only the Water Scooters. – GEM

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email

Beetle Tractors, Take 2

Beetle tractor

Marv Hedberg's Beetle dozer and his prototype Beetle grader

After reading our report on the Beetle tractor GEM regular Marv Hedberg immediately reached for the phone to let us know of his interest in the materials. Marv, a prolific collector, restorer and scale engine builder, is no stranger in the old engine hobby, having been featured in Gas Engine Magazine and Farm Collector several times over the years, and he’s partner with Roland Morrison at Morrison & Marvin Engine Works, which designs and sells quarter-scale casting sets. As it turns out, Marv has not one, but two Beetle tractors; a circa-1946-47 dozer and a prototype grader made in 1952 by U.S. Forest Service employee Ted Flynn, who headed up the Forest Service’s shop. The prototype grader was based on a standard Beetle, but turned around so the engine was at the rear and the grader up front. An intriguing machine, it never went into production. The original Beetle tractor from Western Gear Works, Seattle, Washington, was manufactured for only a few years (1946-1948). Following that, Laurentide Equipment Co. in Montreal, Canada, secured rights to the design and marketed it for a few years as the Laurentide Beetle tractor, with actual manufacture carried about by Canadian Vickers Ltd. Laurentide apparently quit making the tractor in the very early 1950s. A revised version was then built in Massachusetts. Marketed as the Mity Kat, it featured a Hercules 4-cylinder engine in place of the originally used Waukesha.

Our thanks to Marv for the added information on this interesting little tractor: We can’t think of a better person to maintain the materials so kindly provided by Robert.

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email

Beetle Tractors, Take 1



Last issue we mentioned some Beetle tractor literature and photos donated to us by Robert Janyk. Robert came across the materials during his work dealing with unclaimed estate property and contacted us, hoping we might find a suitable home for the materials, which included factory photographs and a complete mimeographed copy of a Beetle tractor owner’s manual.

We received several replies to our report, including one from Farm Collector reader Allen Crooker, who learned of the Beetle materials through our weekly email newsletter, Old Iron News, which features stories and articles from both Gas Engine Magazine and sister publication Farm Collector. Allen writes:

“I noted a report in the electronic newsletter of Beetle tractor materials. As a collector of the mini-crawlers and their literature, I would certainly provide a good home for the materials. In full disclosure, I do not have a Beetle in my collection. However, the literature would be a fantastic addition to my literature collection on mini-crawlers – a resource used by me and other collectors. I have some digital information on the Beetle, but no hard copy information, and would be happy to share the Beetle information with other collectors.

“The Beetle is a sought-after mini-crawler. About three years ago I made arrangements for the purchase of a Beetle, but through some unfortunate circumstances the deal did not go through, so I am still looking for a Beetle. I currently own a Mity Kat, an Agricat, a couple of Speedcats, a Mighty Mouse and an Alligator – most are restored and all are working.”

Allen Crooker

We also heard from Quinn J. Murk, who, like Allen, doesn’t own a Beetle, but is likewise interested in the Beetle tractor. Quinn writes:

“If you haven’t found a home for the Beetle tractor items, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring. There aren’t too many of these little girls left, and I know of only one that is original. They had a mill chain track that did not last too long, so most of these machines died young or were cobbled up to keep going. I’m a timber historian who loves this stuff. As a retired logger, I am amazed at what I have collected. I’m looking at willing my collection to the Forest History Society or Roots of Motive Power. I would like to get copies of the pictures, if possible. I only have a couple of Beetle photos and the little machine really fascinates me. Regardless of who ends up with those items, I do hope that you find a good home for them. Thanks for a great magazine.”

Quinn J. Murk/Total Tree Logging, P.O. Box 319 Siletz, OR 97380

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email

Steve DeCosta’s Bessemer Gaso-Kero

Bessemer Gaso-Kero

Bessemer Gaso-Kero

In response to Bill Gingerich’s letter about the 2 hp Bessemer Gaso-Kero he bought (February/March 2017), reader Steve DeCosta sent in photos of his 4 hp Bessemer Gaso-Kero. “I bought it from a guy awhile back, about two years ago,” Steve says, adding, “It runs real good and it’s all original. I did a little work to it. I had to clean it and get it to spark, but I straightened it out and it runs real good now. I like to collect and go to shows. I’m a retired mechanic and welder; I’ve been collecting 10 years. The Bessemer was a pretty complete engine. Its serial number is 12833, but I’m not sure of the year. It’s rated 4 hp at 650rpm and the flywheels are 18 inches with a 2-inch face. The muffler is from an International, a Famous. It just had a straight pipe on it. It starts in a heartbeat, and you can reverse it while it’s running; you pull the lever and it all but stops, and then goes the other way. I did have to do some work on the governor, but I didn’t touch anything but fuel and sparks, just a couple little things to get it running, and it runs good. The drip oiler has two lines; one feeds the rod bearings and the other the cylinder, and there are grease cups on the crank. It drips to lubricate, it doesn’t atomize the oil with the gas. It runs straight gas and has a fuel pump that pumps with vacuum.”

Steve DeCosta, Auburn, Pennsylvania

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email

Square-Cylinder Quijada Engine Update

engine decal
A drawing by Tyler Daniels showing the general design of the Quijada engine decal. The decal was green, yellow and white.

The December/January 2017 issue of GEM included a letter and photos from Al Matheson about a single-cylinder, air-cooled engine featuring a square cylinder. The only identifiers, “Quijada” and “Los Angeles, California,” were cast into the rim of the magneto flywheel. Al has since received several notes from GEM readers, including from reader Tyler Daniels, whose great-uncle worked at the Quijada company. Tyler writes:

“The Quijada engines (pronounced we-sha-da) were built starting in 1936. Only 180 engines were made for the Westmoreland Glass Co. in Grapeville, Pennsylvania. What the engines were for is unknown. The engines were bought from Quijada Motor Mfg. Co., Inc. The engine in question is Type 125. I’ve seen photos of this engine, but I never thought I’d see it in a magazine. Each engine was slightly different. This engine looks to be missing the blower housing and decal. The engine runs on a 32:1 oil/fuel mixture. The decal is 2-3/4 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide. It is a circle with a triangle at top and bottom; one pointing up, the other down. The symbol stands for some spirit of Native American origin. This particular engine was built in 1939.

“In 1932, John Peetles and Robert Dalston founded the JP & RD Motor Mfg. Co. In 1933 the company was failing. With the death of Mr. Peetles’ grandfather, they renamed the company after Quijada, the goddess of life. Mr. Peetles’ grandfather left him a considerable sum of money, today’s equivalent of $800,000, which they used to open a new shop. In 1935 they came out with their first engine design, an upright 2-stroke, which they sold the design of to Maytag Co. In 1936, 120 engines were made, the first ones with the Quijada name on them. In 1940 the company was once again in trouble. They tried many different engine designs. Each design only had about 20 made before disappearing forever. Nothing worked, so in 1946 the company was sold to Jacobson. It was secretly sold so the original owners were not embarrassed. For some reason history forgot, there is no proof that this engine, its makers or the two friends ever existed. Mr. Peetles died in 1951, and Mr. Dalston in 1959. This was the end of the Quijada!

“My great-grandfather worked at the Westmoreland Glass factory. His was the office assistant manager, and it is from him that I learned about these engines. The engine’s original color is slate blue/gray, the decal was green, yellow and white. The parts it is connected to (spring/yoke) are not original to this engine. It was designed to bolt onto something like a shock-absorbing leather pad on a platform. The square cooling fins were designed so there was more ‘fin’ for cooling. Not a great design. Do not bother looking for the type number, as none of the engines built by Quijada had them on them. However, if you remove the flywheel, on either the inside top or side you should find this engine’s old model number. I believe that the serial number is on the flywheel, as well. My great-uncle Thomas worked at the Quijada Motor Mfg. Co. He was a machinist there. I enjoy talking about the Quijada, the last to remember! By the way, that doesn't look to be the right fuel tank. The original was made of stainless steel, painted white. This tank is the same shape, though. The gas cap should have three vent hoods on it, as well. The exhaust outlet should be round, not rectangle.”

Tyler Daniels

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email

Beetle Tractor Materials

beetle tractor
A factory photo of a Beetle tractor. Twenty-five were built for the U.S. Forest Service in 1946, with another 90 production tractors built in 1947-1948.

We received a call recently from Robert Janyk, whose work involves dispersing unclaimed estate property. While working on the estate of a gentleman in Oregon, Robert came across an old inter-office envelope containing correspondence about a Beetle tractor, a miniature tracked tractor built in Seattle, Washington, in the late 1940s. Apparently, the deceased once worked for Western Gear Works of Seattle, builder of the Beetle tractor. A quick Internet search by Robert turned up several old GEM articles on the Beetle, prompting him to contact us. Among the items in the envelope were original factory photographs of the Beetle, along with a complete mimeographed copy of a Beetle tractor owner’s manual and parts list, and a Waukesha engine manual. Originally designed for the U.S. Forest Service in 1946, Beetle tractors were small enough to be transported in the back of a full-size pickup. Weighing around 2,000 pounds, they were powered by a 61-cubic-inch, 15 hp 4-cylinder Waukesha ICK engine. Briefly marketed to the public in 1947-1948, it’s estimated only 90 production Beetle tractors were made. Robert kindly sent us the materials he found in hopes we might find a good home for them. If you have a Beetle tractor and would like to have these materials, please contact GEM.

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email

Fuller & Johnson Double Efficiency Correction

Fuller and Johnson Double Efficiency 

The Fuller & Johnson Double Efficiency shown on Page 5 of the February/March 2017 issue is a 5 hp engine, not a 3 hp as stated, as the smallest size did not have a sight glass on the hopper, used a different style muffler and, based on the flywheel size, does not scale properly when compared to the gentleman standing next to the engine. Feel free to add my email and website to your GEM Experts list.

Nick Lozzi

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email