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6419 West Main, Turlock, California 95380

Greetings from the far West and the Central Valley of
California. May we share with you a unified effort by a group of
seven experienced old iron collectors to restore this large engine
as pictured.

It is a 110 HP 2 cycle 2 cylinder hot head oil engine
manufactured by the Continental Gin Company in Birmingham, Alabama
around about 1920.

The Continental Gin Company was a large factory with impressive
facilities to fabricate power plants for cotton gins and also for
utility power companies.

Several years ago this engine was located in Yuma, Arizona, in a
state of disrepair when a local cotton gin was dismantled. The
period of service was from 1924 to 1949. It was located by Percy
Goesch of Hughson, California while on a winter vacation in that

To transport a 17? ton engine to the Turlock and Modesto area
was going to require lots of help with an ambitious effort to
restore it back to running order. After considerable negotiations
and planning, a group of seven members was formed to share the work
and expense. ‘Continental Seven One Ten’ was the name
chosen by members: PercyGoesch, Ivan Lowe, Harlan Segars, Jim
Johnson, Duane Johnson, David Lyons and Gary Crow. The initial
purchase was handled by Percy. The loan of a large diesel truck and
lowboy trailer was promoted by Duane. So, during a long holiday
weekend most of the group made the long trip and succeeded in
loading up the heavy machinery to bring back home, a distance of
650 miles.

In due course of time the engine was cleaned up and painted. All
component parts were overhauled, the massive flywheels had to be
installed. A complete hook-up of the cooling system and fuel supply
was accomplished. During this activity a 12 wheel low-boy trailer
was purchased on which this engine was mounted. As a show-piece
this portability was needed for pulling to local county fair for

It was a rewarding occasion and cause for celebration when we
started it for the first time. It took a cooperative effort of all
seven operational in time for the Fair. While at the Fair large
crowds gathered to see it start and run.

Starting procedure requires the use of compressed air. This
system had to be developed along with all the other functions. The
compressor is an all Fairbanks-Morse unit of similar vintage, the 3
HP engine burning kerosene. A 150 gallon receiving tank was
installed providing just enough air capacity for one revolution to
fire the big engine. While waiting for the build-up of air pressure
both of the hot heads are pre-heated by kerosene torches.

Because of its smooth running characteristics it runs well,
supported by four built-in house jacks. With no load to pull, it is
quiet running, however, the old timers say that when it was in
actual operation it could be heard for 12 miles.

It runs on a mixture of diesel and oil. Since we run it only
intermittently, we have no idea what the rate of consumption would

As to more technical specifics- total weight is over 22 tons. It
is a 2-cylinder, 2-cycle simple diesel, scavenging air from below
through flutter valves into the crankcase into the air ports. Both
cylinders are 14′ in diameter with a 20′ stroke. The
crankshaft is T in diameter with a length of nearly 10 feet. Each
flywheel weighs 4260 pounds. The muffler weighs 2200 pounds, and
the exhaust ports are 12′ in diameter. Rated horsepower is 110.
The original RPM was 225, but we cut it down some.

The entire venture had gratifying results. Total man hours put
in on this project are uncountable. Out-of-pocket money will exceed
$2000. As one can see, a thing of this magnitude requires a group

Published on Jan 1, 1979

Gas Engine Magazine

Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines