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A Small Australian Collection Grows

| March/April 2001

  • 5 HP Bartram Engine
    5 HP Bartram.
  • Root & Vandervoort
    12 HP Root & Vandervoort.

  • 5 HP Bartram Engine
  • Root & Vandervoort

6 Hill Street Leichhardt NSW 2040 Australia e-mail

Some of you may remember my article in the July 2000 edition of GEM. Since that article was written a few more engines have followed me home, including two large and interesting ones.

First up is my 1915 Bartram. It was built by Kelly and Lewis in Victoria for J. Bartram & Son in Melbourne, who were large machinery merchants and distributors. Kelly & Lewis built engines for a number of different companies (including names such as Bartram, Hornsby and Triumph). My Bartram is a type A-K and is mounted on the original factory transport which has 'J. Bartram & Son Melbourne' cast into the wheel hubs. Cooling is via a large water tank with a screen for the water to run down. The water is circulated by a water pump driven off the camshaft, this eccentric also has the magneto flick attached. It is a vertical hit and miss engine, which is governed by not allowing the intake valve to open. The big end is splash lubricated, the piston has a drip oiler, and the main bearings have their own oiling points and also get some of the splash lubrication. The ignition is from a high tension flick type Dixie magneto. My parents (Michael and Gwen Livingstone) paid the deposit on this engine as my 30th birthday present. They also brought it up from the country for me after picking it up, a round trip of 1000 kilometers. It was seized when I got it home, but after about four hours work I had it running. This engine had won best original engine at a show in 1996, but had been stored outside for some time. The water tank has a small leak, which meant it would fill with water during the rain, then slowly leak out of the timber frame of the transport. This has resulted in very rotted timber under the tank. I now have two nice beams ready to go under the engine, and the fuel and water tanks are currently being repaired. I hope to soon have this engine ready to show. It is currently stored at my friends Ron and Liz Sullivan's place due to my lack of space.

The other large engine to come into my life just shows how badly this 'old iron' disease can take you. I was e-mailed about some engines for sale, which were not too far from Sydney, so I went up to have a look. I was after something small, as I have very limited space in my yard. Sitting out front, wrapped in a tarp was a large engine. I made a quick peek under the tarp, decided it was too big, and went to look at some smaller engines.

On my next trip up there (Ron had bought an engine, so I went up for another look) we took the tarp off the big engine for a proper look. It turned out to be a large, hopper cooled, Root and Vandervoort Triumph line engine in fairly good condition. I took a number of photos of the beautiful looking engine, but decided it was too big for me. Ron said 'One of us will eventually end up with that big engine.' It was thought that this engine was around 8HP or larger, but its true rating was unknown, as the tag is missing.

On the trip home, and in the following few days, I thought about the R&V. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and rang up and made an offer on it. So I am now the proud owner of a R&V. The next weekend I made a trip up to work out how to get it home. I had my (well it is my father's) 6x4 trailer with me, so I thought I might as well bring part of it home.


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!

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