Better Late than Never
Ever had someone look at your engine, take a bunch of photos of
it and promise to write an article about it? And then have nothing
happen for ages? Bill Winkler has, and the person taking the photos
was none other than yours truly.
I first met Bill at the 2003 Portland show, where Bill was
showing off his immaculately restored 1902 12 HP Badger. Dresssed
in its beautiful new coat of paint and riding on a new cart made by
Bill (the trucks are original), the Badger was hard to miss.
I was drawn to it immediately, of course, and just as
immediately started snapping photos and pestering Bill for more
information about the engine.
I returned from the 2003 show fully intending on putting
together an article on the Badger, but other promises and duties
pushed the story back. And back. And back.
And then early last summer I ran into Bill at a farm auction
here in Kansas. Bill and a pal had driven all the way from
Wisconsin for a chance to bid on a collection of engines that was
Seeing Bill reminded me of his Badger and the photos I’d taken
that were still sitting in a file, and after the auction I promised
myself I’d pull the article together in the next month or so.
Well, a month turned into five months, but this issue, thanks to
help from assistant editor Jason Denney, Bill’s Badger is finally
getting its due.
One of only two 12 HP tank-cooled, igniter-fired Badger engines
known (the other is in parts and incomplete), Bill’s engine is
living testimony to both the quality of the Lauson line of engines
and the passion engine collectors put into their restorations.
The Badger was remarkably complete, but its condition demanded a
full restoration to get it back into operating condition. A
restoration Bill pulled off in a short six months. Not
surprisingly, I feel a little sheepish; it took me over a year to
finally bring Bill’s Badger to these pages. Turn to page 22 to see
the Badger in its full glory.
So what’s the moral to this story? I’d say it’s pretty clear:
Bill’s fast and I’m slow, and good things come to those who
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