1913 3-6 HP Ellis

Swap meet Ellis goes from junker to jewel

| December/January 2004

Paul's Ellis

Paul Frasier's restored 3-6 HP circa-1913 Ellis. Compare this with the photographs and you get an idea of just how much work went into restoring this rare engine. Paul does all of the welding, machining and painting of his engines. The Ellis' cooling tank is patterned off an original, and Paul painstakingly copied the original lettering and design for an accurate restoratio

Company: Ellis Engine Co., Detroit, Mich.
Year: Circa 1913
Horsepower: 3 at 300 RPM; 6 at 1,000 RPM
Serial number: 968
Weight: 455 pounds
Bore: 4-1/2-inch
Stroke: 4-1/2-inch
Flywheel diameter: 18 inches
Ignition: Spark plug and buzz coil with swipe
Additional info: Tank-cooled, two-stroke; reversible

In 2002, I finished rebuilding my storage shed, taking it from a 14-by-12-foot shed to a 20-by-21-foot shed with 56 feet of 2-foot wide shelving and a 9-foot garage door. Certainly that would be all the extra storage I would ever need. I soon found out it was not big enough.

For five or six years I had been wanting to attend the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Assn. swap meet at the club grounds in Portland, Ind. But for every reason in the book, I always ended up missing it. But 2003 was going to be different, and in the end, I had a beautifully restored circa 1913 3-6 HP Ellis engine to show for it.

The Push
While moving all my things to the shed, I came to realize I had a lot of small lawn mower-type engines I would never do anything with. I decided it would be better to put those engines in the hands of collectors who would do something with them, and if I was to make some extra money doing it, that would be even better.

My first plan was to take what would be a pickup load from the shed to the garage, and Friday night after work load everything up and be ready to go Saturday morning. It soon became obvious I had more than one pickup load to take. Plan B was to use my enclosed trailer, as it is larger and I would not have to worry about the weather.

I arrived at the swap meet grounds early - a little before 7 a.m. There wasn't much movement at that time of day, but that was about to change. I could smell coffee perking and bacon frying. So before things really got going, I took a quick look around to see what was there. I saw a nice 1 -1/2 HP Sandwich, and if it would've had the correct ignition system, this would be a whole different story.

Leo Zugner_2
7/19/2009 1:33:26 PM

Does anyone have or know of a starting procedure for a 1-3HP Ellis two stroke engine?