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.
Trevor Yerges, age 12, Jefferson, WI
Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A: I got my first engine when I was 5 years old, from my grandpa and grandma.
Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A: My grandma and grandpa have a collection of engines, cream separators and tractors, and they encouraged me to get involved with them. They have helped me immensely with my obsession with “old iron” by guiding me to get my things running and back to original.
Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A: My grandma and grandpa, as stated before, and my mom, dad and sister.
Q: How many engines do you have in your collection? Any rare or unusual ones?
A: I currently have five engines in my collection. I have a 1922 Fuller & Johnson 1-1/2 hp, a 1936 International LA 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hp, a 1929 92 Maytag single cylinder, a 1948 72 Maytag twin cylinder, and a Cushman Cub 3 hp that we cannot find any information about because the place that contained a lot of the information about these engines burned. I also have a Bunton Duzmore 18 push mower and a Ride King 3 wheel riding mower.
Q: What is your favorite engine in your collection and why?
A: My Maytag 92 single cylinder because it was my very first engine. It was given to me by my grandma and grandpa Schroedl to “start my collection.”
Q: Are you working on any restoration projects?
A: In the last year I have completed two projects. One was my Maytag 72 twin cylinder and the other was my Fuller & Johnson. The Maytag we (Grandpa and I) took apart and cleaned everything, then put it back together. The Fuller had no compression when I got it, so we oiled all the moving parts for a few days, and then let them sit for a couple days. When we came back to it we had compression, and it did not take much else to get it up and running like a charm!
Q: Which shows do you normally attend each year?
A: I belong to the Dodge County Antique Power Club along with my family and grandparents, in Burnett, Wisconsin, where we go every year. We also try to attend the Badger Steam & Gas Engine Show in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and the Pickett Steam and Gas Engine Show in Pickett, Wisconsin. The one show that I would like to attend that my family talks about being a really neat place is The Northern Illinois Steam Power Show in Sycamore, Illinois.
Q: As a younger collector, what are some of the obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?
A: The obstacles I have run into have been money, obviously, because I am only 12 and don’t have a steady job yet. Time is also something that hinders me because I sometimes need help from my family on some things and if they are busy I have to wait. Also, sometimes it is difficult to find parts for some of the engines that I have.
Q: What are your favorite engines in general and why?
A: The Lister diesel engines. My grandparents have three of these, which intrigued me when I was little. They have a 3-1/2 hp, a 7 hp, and the big 40 hp Lister. I have always loved the sound of the diesel engines; they run so smoothly and sound cool! Another engine that I like is a Witte, which is another diesel engine.
Q: If money weren’t an issue, what is your dream engine?
A: My dream engine is a Ruston & Hornsby 25 hp diesel. This engine is huge in size! When it is running it is super quiet and runs extremely smooth. It is so cool to watch and be around!
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