1906 6 HP Massey-Harris

An engine worth saving

| February 2009

  • massey1
    David Ford's headless 1906 6 HP Massey-Harris.
    Christian Williams
  • massey2
    The timing gears on David Ford's 1906 6 HP Massey-Harris.
    Christian Williams
  • massey5
    The nameplate on David Ford's 1906 6 HP Massey-Harris.
    Christian Williams
  • massey4
    David memorialized his grandfather with this plaque on the battery box.
    Christian Williams
  • massey3
    The rocker arm on David Ford's 1906 6 HP headless Massey-Harris.
    Christian Williams

  • massey1
  • massey2
  • massey5
  • massey4
  • massey3

Manufacturer: Massey-Harris Co. Ltd., Toronto, ON, Canada
Year: 1906
Horsepower: 6
Bore: 6-inch
Stroke: 8-inch
Flywheel diameter: 33 inches
Flywheel width: 2-1/2 inches

Some engines require a lot more work than others, not just in restoration but also in rescue. 

Take David Ford’s 1906 6 HP Massey-Harris engine, for instance. David’s grandfather found the engine in a Canadian side yard in the early 1970s, and soon discovered this particular restoration was going to be a costly project, both in time and in money. “It was in bad shape, all busted to hell,” says David. “And when he got it to the border, they had to figure out how to tax it. He told them it was just an old, rusty engine but they figured out it was capable of producing power so they taxed it based on power units. That was almost enough to make him take the engine back.”

With his wallet a lot lighter than he’d anticipated, David’s grandfather got the engine into the United States and found out just how much work he was in for. “It took him years to restore the engine,” says David. “He had to fabricate a new connecting rod, which was the biggest challenge, but he did a nice job on it.”



Gas engine detective
Over the years, David’s grandfather found out where the engine came from. “He talked to enough people about it and found it ran a series of conveyer belts on a dock in Nova Scotia, where it unloaded fish from the fishing boats,” says David. “You can just picture it running those conveyers, unloading those fish that must have looked like gold to those fishermen. For that reason, we started calling it the fish pump.”

More love for the Massey
Eight years ago, the engine found its way into David’s collection. His grandfather’s restoration work had held up well but the Massey was in need of a little freshening up. “Two years ago, I took it apart and restored it again, though it was mostly a cosmetic restoration,” says David. “I also made a new cart out of oak.”

The engine has a 6-inch bore with an 8-inch stroke, and flywheels 33 inches in diameter with a 2-1/2-inch face. The engine stands out in a crowd with its headless design. “The valves are in their own cages,” says David. “It was a pricey way to go about designing an engine, but it made it easy for the guy in the field to service it without having to remove a head.”



SUBSCRIBE TO GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE TODAY!

Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.




Facebook YouTube

Classifieds