Parker Kingman entered the hobby with a Briggs & Stratton Model Y engine he bought for $1.
Take a quick glance at the exhibitors and attendees at gas engine shows, and it’s easy to think that this is an older person’s hobby. But take a closer look and you’ll find a growing number of younger enthusiasts. You’ll meet them here in Young Iron.
Parker Kingman, Age 15, Strawberry Point, IA; email: email@example.com
Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A. I have been collecting engines for seven years.
Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A. When I was 8, my grandma gave me $1 to buy an old Briggs & Stratton Model Y engine at a flea market. It was completely seized up, but I worked with my dad to get it running. That same year, I helped my dad in the shop rebuild and put back together a 1942 John Deere Model A. We have a lot of other old tractors that we keep running. I like to go to antique shows to see all of the old iron.
Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A. My dad has an Associated Chore Boy that he restored for FFA in high school. We have two John Deere hit-and-miss Model Es from my great-grandpa and great uncle that we keep running. Otherwise, it’s just me.
Q:How many engines do you have in your collection? Any rare or unusual ones?
A. I have 25 running engines. For the unusual ones, I have a 1914 Maytag upright with a type C carburetor, a 1930s Waterwitch 2-cycle and the hand crank air-cooled Stover model DVC1 with a deep 3-to-1 gear reduction crankcase. If anybody has any info on this engine, please email me; nobody really knows what it is.
Q: What is your favorite engine in your collection and why?
A. My 1938 Briggs Model WM. It’s the first engine I ever restored. All you have to do is fill it with gas and it runs like a top for three days straight at a show.
Q: Are you working on any restoration projects?
A. I am restoring a 1936 IHC Model LA engine and Little Wonder burr mill to mount on a cart as a display. My most recent project was my 1914 Maytag Type C upright hit-and-miss.
Q: Which shows do you normally attend each year?
A. Plagman’s Barn Show Days in Garber, Iowa, and Freolich Fall-der-All in Froelich, Iowa. I would really like to go to the Badger Steam and Gas Engine Show in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Q: What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?
A. The biggest obstacle is the cost of the engines. I would really like to add more hit-and-miss engines to my collection, but they are all so expensive.
Q: What are your favorite engines in general and why?
A. My favorites are engines that have lots of moving parts and run really slow. It’s fun to watch all of the parts do different things to make the engine run.
Q: If money weren’t an issue, what is your dream engine to own?
A. I would like a 10 hp hit-and-miss engine. I really like how slow and steady they run. I have a lot of smaller engines.
Young Iron is looking for gas engine collectors, age 35 and younger. If you or someone you know would like to be profiled, please contact us at (800) 682-4704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.