What Got You Started?

| April/May 2002

  • Smokstak

  • Smokstak

A recent topic on SmokStak, which can be found at, concerned how people got started in the engine hobby.

I got this idea while I was shoveling snow and I said to myself, 'I wonder what got you guys started in engine collecting?' I guess I could tell you my story about how I got started (I'm only 13 years old).

Ever since I can remember, I've been interested in old farm equipment. My grandpa used to take me to tractor shows when I was old enough to walk. My first engine was a Maytag, then some model steam engines and now hit-and-miss engines. I collect a lot of other things, like blowtorches, barn and railroad lanterns. So what's your story? Chase

I've been fascinated by these engines ever since I was a kid, but never had a chance to get one. Two years ago I took a new job and a group of guys there were in this hobby. A good friend of mine gave me a 1 HP Sattley that was a basket-case. I made some parts, ordered some parts, put it together and cranked until I almost broke my arm. Ordered a manual, set the timing etc., and got the first POP! I was hooked! Two years later and I now have nine engines. The Sattley is painted, decaled and will probably always be my favorite. I enjoy going to shows and having a blast being around great people. - Vern

For me, it all started when I was very young. We would go to the local farmers fair and there were these very interesting engines that ran on water (hey, cut me a break, I was young and that's all you saw, the water in the hopper). These engines fascinated me and I thought how neat it would be to have one. As time went on I kind of forgot about it.

I ended up becoming friends with an old farmer who had an interest in older John Deere tractors, which in turn interested me. I told a friend at work that I was looking for older tractors and to keep an eye out for me.


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!

Facebook YouTube


click me