Letters and Miscellanies:

By Staff
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I see in GEM that you displayed an ‘unknown’ 2-cylinder
air-cooled engine at Mt. Pleasant (see GEM, November 2001). More
snaps would help, but I’m rather positive this engine is a

They started building their Model E 2-cylinder air-cooled engine
in 1908. This unit was built to power their Motor Cars (railroad),
as Buda started as a railroad supply manufacturer. I do know of at
least one obscure automobile company that used this motor. I have
also heard that some early small trucks used it, but have no

Buda built this basic design for many years, and there were
quite a few small changes over the years with at least three sizes
of bore. I don’t think any were built after World War 11. I do
know some were still built in the late 1930s. Your motor is a later
version, probably late 1920s or 1930s. It has the crankcase that
has a mag drive, six spoke flywheel and curved intake.

I have all the existing Allis-Chalmers and Buda factory records,
photos and parts and operating books from the old Buda factory in
Harvey, Ill. These all came from my good friend Don Hum, who was a
long-time employee and the plant’s unofficial historian. I
found your name in his files from some Allis info you obtained from
him. Don retired when Deutz bought the A-C farm division and closed
the Harvey engine plant.

Don came up with cancer and lived a week or so after I picked up
his files – the new take-over was going to trash them when Don took
them home with their permission.

Chuck Rhodes thinks the ‘unidentified’ engine belonging
to Charles Wendel (see GEM, November 2001) is actually a Buda. The
picture above shows a 1910 Buda Model E

Figure shows a 1920 Buda Model ER. According to Rhodes, the Buda
name can be found cast into the crank throws on the engine. These
engines were used primarily for duty in rail yards.

Don was a great guy and helped me with info for rebuilding many
Buda engines for years, and I can furnish a lot of Buda info from
these files for hobbyists.

P.S. On some 2-cylinder Buda motors ‘Buda’ is forged in
the side of the crank throws.Chuck Rhodes, 150 Troy Rd.
Collinsville, IL 62234

Eclipse/Witte Mystery

My story is so unbelievable that I cannot believe it myself. My
partner, Mitchell Priola, and I bought an Eclipse engine from Cleo
Cannon, Cedar Bluff, Miss., on June 22, 2001. I asked Cleo if it
was made by Fairbanks-Morse (F-M), and he said no, he thought it
was made by Witte. Later, I noticed a Witte in a recent GEM and it
appeared to be the same engine. I then assumed that someone had
found this Eclipse tag and had put it on a Witte that had no tag.
This was July 24, 2001.

I went down and got the following information off the brass tag:
Eclipse, Geo. C. Christopher & Son, Wichita, Kansas, No B34441.
It is a 2 HP throttle-governed with a head. At this point I had no
idea how I was going to find out anything, and little did I know
the events about to unfold. I temporarily set this aside and
proceeded to order some manuals for several power units we have. I
mentioned to the salesman six different power units I was aware of
and asked him if he knew of any others. He replied,
‘Fairbanks-Morse made some, I believe.’ This reminded me of
the F-M power unit I had seen in a recent GEM. I began digging.
Shortly, I found the F-M power unit in Wendel’s Reflections,
question 36/7/16 (see GEM, July 2001, page 6). Immediately, my eyes
were drawn to the right, where I saw Geo. C. Christopher’s
question, 36/7/14. IfI had false teeth I would have lost them at
this point. I had looked at and read this July issue several times,
and this name had meant nothing to me until this very moment.
Hastily I read forward, and began saying over and over again,
‘this is our engine.’ I called Cleo and had him get out his
GEM. ‘I know what you are going to have me look at,’ he
said. ‘I saw it in the magazine, meant to tell you, but I
forgot.’ He said that he had gotten the ‘Eclipse’ from
a man in Arkansas, and that this engine might very well be the one
originally sold in Blackwell, Okla. I called Roy J. Hotz Jr. in
Martindale, Texas, that night and he was just as caught up in the
story as I was. Neither one of us could believe the history of this
engine had just possibly fallen into my lap. My question is: was
s/n B34441 the other engine sold to Geo. C. Christopher? Tom
Lawrence, PO Box 7991 Columbus, MS 39705.

Cover Wrap

I got the October issue recently, and I want to know,
where’s the big, white note-writing page that always preceded
the front cover? And what’s with the toxic-fume producing,
landfill filling plastic bag?

If you can’t take a hint, get rid of the plastic bag and
bring back the white cover. Mark Guba, 7582 N. 100E Lake Village,
IN 46349

(Yes, the old cover wrap did make a good note pad, but it’s
not coming back. The plastic bag really helps in making sure the
magazine mails without getting damaged, and so far most folks think
it’s a great addition – Editor)

John Deere 4-1/2 HP or R & V?

Reader Colt Edin of Askov, Minn., came across this letter from
Deere & Webber, as the Minneapolis, Minn., branch of Deere
& Company was then known. We wonder whether this engine
confusion was ever cleared up and just what engine the customer
actually had.

I found this interesting piece of correspondence in the basement
of a very old local building. I thought that it might interest you
as I suppose there is not much quite like it that has survived the
last 75 years.

I wonder what became of that engine, since Kerrick is only 12
miles from my home. Colt Edin ,7360 Pioneer Rd. Askov, MN 55704

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