Spark Plug of the Month

| March/April 1974

Gas Engine

Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana 47390

Joe Fahnestock

Harry Truman once said, 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.' But our Spark Plug can both stay in the kitchen and stand the heat -- and still 'keep his cool' sufficient to get in a six-hour lick at working on his old gas engines as part of the daily grind.

For Lotus Alexander of 1448 Franklin St., Columbus, Ind., rising at the crack o' dawn and working at restoring his antiques gas poppers from 5 a.m. to eight o'clock is just the kind of appetizer a fellow needs to make those breakfast eggs 'n bacon all the tastier. Following which Lotus and wife, Lucille, manage their 'Kitchen Store' -- designing and selling kitchen cabinetry to make things easier for modern living. And, after that, from seven 'til ten Lotus again returns to his two-car 'engine shop' garage to spend three more hours at assembling, restoring, painting and/or fondling his long and impressive line of once-lonely, but now bright and perking internal-combustion antiquers.

'I have always been an early riser,' says Lotus. 'Many people miss the beauty of the early morning.'

Though some natural ecologists might disagree that rising early and wiping rags over greasy old gas engines and breathing the fumes thereof for three hours prior to breakfasting on bacon might be other than beautiful, our Spark Plug seems convinced it's 'just the way to start the day'. Besides, who's to argue with one Lotus Alexander that even he may perchance hear the call of the morning meadow lark across the field between the banging and barkings of his 'one-lung brigade?' And/or the soft night warblings of the lonely screech owl on yonder limb while quietly applying paint on an old fly-wheel into the wee hours, prior to retiring?

L. to r.: Engine buddy, 'Edison' Dale Robertson helps Spark Plug Lotus Alexander start his pet pride the 2-1/2 HP Reeves hit-and-miss gas engine. Lotus once worked at the Reeves plant that made this engine and he searched far and wide before locating one near his home. Note the square conduit enclosure which protects the public from whirring flywheels, etc. Shown here at The Pioneer Engineers Club, Rushville, Indiana 1973.

L. to r. That's old engine buddy, 'Edison' Dale Robertson helping Spark Plug Lotus Alexander prime the thirsty gas tank on the Model 800 Delco Light Plant at the Rushville, Indiana Pioneer Engineers Club Show, 1973. Dale rewired the old Delco generator while Lotus reworked the gas engine side. Together the two 'boys' get 'lit up' with enough 32-volt bulbs to make like 'Moonshine'. Lotus says he's got to look out or his engine business will overtake his Kitchen Business.