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. The future of the hobby rests in their hands, and you'll meet many of them in "Young Iron."
First up is Tom Winland. This 35-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, boasts a collection spanning several manufacturers and even an engine made almost entirely of wood.
Q How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A I've been into engines as long as I can remember. I was kind of born into the hobby because my grandfather Henry Winland was a collector of sorts and so are a lot of other relatives.
Q How many engines do you have in your collection? Any rare or unusual ones?
A Not real sure how many I actually have but it's a lot. Here is a partial list: Ohio, Otto, Abenaque, Foos, New Holland, Jacobson, Alamo, Emerson & Brantingham, Ruston Hornsby, Christensen, Rayner Field side-shaft, Schramm, and several oilfield engines and steam engines.
Q What's your favorite engine in your collection?
A 4 HP International Famous. It has most of its original paint and decals, runs at 34 RPM all day, and makes no noise while running.
Q Are you working on any restoration projects or have you completed any recently?
A I have several restorations in progress right now but just no time to spend on them. I'm working on an 8 HP Olds along with several different oilfield engines.
Q Which shows are you planning to attend this season?
A I always make a point to attend the Portland, Ind., swap and show, and the Cool-spring show in June. I am also on the board of directors for the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Assn. in Plain City, Ohio. I also attend several smaller shows around Ohio and W.Va.
Q What are your favorite kinds of engines?
A I don't have any particular engines that are my favorite but anything that is unusual, rare and has a lot of moving parts. I tend to lean toward side-shafts though.
Q If money weren't an issue, what is your dream engine to own?
A My dream engine would be a slide-valve Otto because of the rarity and the complexity of running on hydrogen, and the fact they were built before 1900 and among the first internal combustion engines.
"Young Iron" is looking for gas engine collectors, age 35 and younger. If you or someone you know would like to be profiled, contact Associate Editor Christian Williams: (800) 682-4704 or email@example.com