Hit-and-Miss

By Staff
article image

rbackus@ogdenpubs.com

It’s late January as I write, and here in the Midwest
we’re deep in the throes of winter. Until this week the
weather’s been pretty mild, but yesterday’s ice storm and
today’s snow and falling temperature have combined to end any
hopes of escaping winter’s wrath.

It’s not exactly engine weather, to be sure, and this is
exactly the time of year when most of us start looking warmly
toward spring and summer. Last year’s engine shows are a
memory, but the promise of another round rings loudly.

There is, however, a good side to the off-season most of us
suffer through, and that’s the completion of newly acquired
engine projects. If you can’t show, at least you can get ready
– as two glorious engines featured in this month’s issue
attest.

Both Bruce Lawson and Craig Prucha live in western New York, an
area of the country that sees more than its fair share of inclement
weather. Over the course of several seasons, Bruce lovingly
restored his 21 HP Otto into the jewel it is now (turn to page 5
for the story), taking it from a worn-out relic to a properly
functioning engine. And Craig’s fever to restore his rare 25 HP
Swan was so strong it pushed him to get the engine running in less
than a year. A long winter season and the promise of shows to come
helped both of them bring their engines back into the old-iron
fold.

On another note, we have a follow-up article from air-cooled
engine fan Kenneth Scales. In the February 2004 issue, Ken
documented the sale of Hummer engines by Montgomery Ward & Co.
This month, Ken’s documentation of air-cooled offerings from
Montgomery Ward goes a step farther, as Ken lays out who built what
and when for Montgomery Ward in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Curiously, the University of Wyoming in Laramie is the
repository of Montgomery Ward records and catalogs, and Ken asks
anyone in that part of the country interested in helping him
research Montgomery Ward catalog engines to give him a call. Look
for Ken’s contact information at the end of his article on page
28.

Finally, readers will want to note a change starting with this
issue. To wit, our two Internet columns, the Stationary Engine
List
and SmokStak, now fall under one unifying
heading, Community Shop Talk. The Stationary Engine
List’s Helen French and SmokStak’s Harry Matthews will
continue entertaining GEM readers with snapshots of online
discussions routinely taking place in engine cyberspace.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines