Brothers in Otto's
It seems only fitting that two engine collecting pals like Tom Voellm, East Moriches, N.Y., and Dieter Lund, Port Jefferson, N.Y., should have a pair of like engines to show side-by-side. And since they both seem like good guys, it shouldn’t bother anyone if those two like engines are 1911 8 HP Deutz Otto gas engines built just 1-1/2 months apart.
“Both engines were sitting in the woods in Argentina for 20 years,” says Tom. “They were both bought from an importer in Connecticut.” Tom’s engine, stamped with the date 5/8/11, was purchased first. Though Dieter bought his engine after Tom, his engine turned out to be the older of the two, stamped with the date 4/26/11. They had no idea how close the two serial numbers were until they began restoring the engines.
As one might expect from an engine laying in the woods for 20 years, both engines needed a lot of work. But while igniters, springs and many other parts needed to be replaced, something important managed to stand the test of time. “We were surprised the mags were in good enough shape that we could work on them,” says Tom.
The restoration also revealed some hints as to where the engines spent their working days. “Mine must have been on a beach somewhere because we found sand and small sea shells in it,” says Dieter. “Tom’s was probably near a river because it had large rust pits in the sleeve.”
In addition to his 1911 8 HP engine, Dieter also managed to buy a 1919 6 HP Deutz Otto from the same Connecticut importer. That engine also came from Argentina and needed significant work to get it running including a new magneto, igniter and new babbitt for the bearings. It also took a lot of work for Dieter to see the engine’s original red color. “I couldn’t tell what color it was when I got it because it was caked with oil and dirt,” says Dieter.
Contact Dieter Lund at 107 High St., Port Jefferson, NY 11777-1805 and Tom Voellm at 18 Thompson Ave., East Moriches, NY 11940-1133