Nathan DeVore caught the collecting bug when he was 14 and had been invited to the Old Thresher's Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
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.
Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A. I’ve been collecting them for 17 years.
Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A. One of my friends invited me to go to the annual Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, when I was 14. I watched the old engines running, some running machinery. With the moving parts, I thought they were very interesting. I have been interested and intrigued by engines ever since that first show I attended.
Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A. Currently, just my dad. I hope to one day pass my enthusiasm/hobby along to my children, and I hope they have as much fun with them as I do.
Q: How many engines do you have in your collection? Any rare or unusual ones?
A. Right now 30, but I’m always looking to collect more. My rarest engines would be my 1919 2-1/2 HP Economy and my 1924 2 HP Witte; they are both sharp looking engines.
Q: What is your favorite in your collection?
A. My 1919 2-1/2 HP Economy. It is my oldest and most unique engine. I love the way it sounds.
Q: What projects are you currently working on?
A. This winter I plan on reworking the running boards on my Economy and Witte.
Q: Which shows do you normally attend each year? What show haven’t you been to yet that you’d like to see one day?
A. I currently attend the annual Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. I also attend local shows that my IA-MO [Iowa-Missouri] Gas Engine club hosts and are a part of. I would like to go to the Coolspring Expo in Coolspring, Pennsylvania.
Q: What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve come across in the hobby?
A. Mostly money. I see a lot of engines at swap meets I would like to add to my collection that are all well out of my price range. Also, finding time to work on my engines can be challenging, as I currently work full time.
Q: If money weren’t an issue, what is your dream engine to own?
A. I would like to have a vertical and I would love to get a vertical water-cooled engine like a Monitor. I have found them to be older and more unique than some of the engines I currently have in my collection.
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.