Sparta Economy Model CX

By Staff
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A special Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog detailed the 4 HP Model CX engines.
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For the first time, in 1912, a 1 HP, 3-1/4-by-5-inch bore and stroke engine was being produced. This basic engine, with modifications and new horsepower ratings, would continue in production until 1929.

In mid-1912, a new Economy engine model was being produced by the Holm Machine Mfg. Co. at Sparta, Mich. The new Model CX would take on characteristics that would be later continued into the Hercules line of engines. Later in 1912, the Holm company would be acquired by the Hercules Buggy Co. of Evansville, Ind. Serial numbers for the Model CX fall between 23,000 and about 40,000.

The 4, 6, 8 and 10 HP size engines had design changes including a wet head with the exhaust now on the off side and the intake on the ignition side of the engine. The governor, less speed control, now took on the look of the future Hercules governor.

By 1913 the Elkhart magneto would become an option at extra cost that could provide electrical current to the igniter. The igniter remained the same, but a new blade-type trip was introduced.

Currently, there are 224 of the CX models on my list of engines known to still exist. The breakdown of those with known HP size is as follows:

There were no 2 HP Model CX engines simply because they were not revised, but remained as the Model CA.

Except for the 2 HP size, the rest of the line bears a lot of similarities and some interchange-ability of parts with the Hercules line to come in 1914. Production of all engines at Sparta ceased in the early fall of 1913 at about number 36,000. The move of machinery, parts, supplies and personnel to Evansville, Ind., began. Sometime during the winter of 1913-1914, assembly of 4,000 more Sparta-type Economy engines began at Evansville.

In all, about 36,000 of the Sparta Economy engines were built. Five hundred fifty-nine of them are known to still be around. That is 1-1/2 percent of the total production. Who knows how many more are still lurking out there.

Glenn Karch is a noted authority on Hercules engines. Contact him at: 20601 Old State Road, Haubstadt, IN 47639; glenn.karch@gte.net

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