Experts Identify Mysterious Engine and Barn Rod Update

Mystery engine photos and an update on the unique vehicle from our June/July cover.

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by Barney Kedrowski

57/5/1: Experts weigh in on mysterious engine

My family is very curious about this thing. The stamp on what I would call the throttle assembly reads “Jean Keller Motor Co. Palsade NJ,” where my grandfather lived.

Chris, via email

It looks like a custom, one-off build, 2-cylinder model gas engine. It’s very nicely done!
— Marv Hedberg, master builder, restorer and historian

Yes, I agree this appears to be a fine and well-done model of a 2-cylinder engine. The device in question is the throttle valve and mixer, where the gasoline and air are mixed together and fed to the engine.
— Paul Harvey, founder of Coolspring Power Museum 

Readers, do you have anything you’d like to add regarding this mysterious family collectible? Do you have your own mystery to solve? Write us and send photos!
— Editor

57/5/2: Barn rod update

Upon completion of my parade truck, I was curious to find how much this contraption weighed. The previous year I weighed the 5hp John Lauson, which was 1,200 pounds. I also purchased the cab and bed from them [Nekoosa Auto Iron & Metal], so when the crew saw me roll in with the barn rod driving itself onto the scale, I had their full attention.

This was the first time I heard the comment, “You have too much time on your hands to build that!” I asked if they could take a photo of me in front of the crushed cars. Andy was selected (youngest and newest employee) and as he sat in the cab, he said he’d never seen an engine like that. I hit the electric start and pointed out through the windshield to the crank and piston. To his amazement, Andy said, “No way! It’s all out in the open!” So I thanked Andy for taking a great photo and Shane for weighing the barn rod in at 4,640 pounds.
— Barney Kedrowski

Thanks for the update, Barney! This unique vehicle graced the cover of the June/July 2022 issue of Gas Engine Magazine. The article originally appeared in the July 2021 issue of our sister publication Farm Collector. To see the barn rod in action, visit Barn Rod.
— Editor

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

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