201 W. Findlay St. Carey, Ohio 43316
As a subscriber to Gas Engine Magazine for several years, and a
collector of gas engines, this is the story of ‘The Great
For the last six years, we have spent three months in Tucson,
Arizona. As a collector and owner of the Historical Museum of
Yesteryear, I am always on the look out.
Around the first of March 1986, a man told me of an Aermoter
engine for sale. I drove 100 miles south of Tucson, and located
him. He told me of another engine he tried to buy, three or four
years before, but no sale. He said ‘I will go with you and
introduce you to the two brothers who own it’.
On March 5, 1986, I picked up another collector that I had met
three years before in Tucson, Arizona. His name is Alex Reeves from
Edmonsen, Texas. Away we went to Wilcox, Arizona. We picked up the
man in Wilcox. He went with us to the home of G. L. Moore. I asked
him if he had a gas engine, he said yes, but it was out on a large
ranch of several thousand acres. He said his brother. W. R. Moore
and he owned it together. He called his brother and said he would
meet us at the ranch about one o’clock that afternoon. The
ranch was in the country, about twenty miles out. At noon, Mr.
Reeves and I picked up G. L. Moore, who was seventy-nine years
young, and headed out. We finally got out to the road that went
back to the ranch. What a road, about five miles and like an old
lane at the foot of the mountains. We finally made it out there.
Mr. W. R. Moore, age eighty three, was already there. The buildings
were in pretty rough shape.
They took Mr. Reeves and me to an old shed, and under a piece of
tin and rugs, there was an engine. We could hardly see, it was so
dark in there. They opened a door in the end of the shed. I started
to inspect the engine and to my surprise, it was a 4 HP Doak side
shaft. I was really excited for I have twenty-eight engines and no
side shaft. The water tank and gas tank were missing. I asked them
if it was for sale, and they said yes. After a while, we finally
arrived at a price. As we were in my car, I told them I would pay
now, but did not know when I would pick it up, for I had no way to
haul it. I am from Carey, Ohio which is about 2050 miles from
Mr. Reeves and I headed back to Tucson. As you know, I was
tickled to death. I could not believe our find, as I am
seventy-two. I had met a young man who restores automobiles, by the
name of George Anglin in Tucson. His father, M. K. Anglin, is a
part time carpenter and had a pickup truck. He said I could use it.
So a week later, out we went to get our find. We called the
Moore’s and they met us out there at the ranch. How would we
ever get it out of the old shed? There was an old tractor in
another shed, looked like it had not run for years. The oldest
Moore brother, who was eighty-three, got on the seat of the tractor
and said, ‘Give it a crank’. I said, ‘I don’t want
my arm broke’. He said, ‘Give it a quarter turn’. I
did, and away it went. He told his brother to get the chain. He
hooked the chain on it, and proceeded to pull it out of the shed.
He drug it to an old A frame, with a 1/4 inch
cable on it with a hand crank. He cranked it up, and I backed up
the truck under it, and he let it down.
Away we went to Tucson, now what am I going to do with it. Mr.
Anglin said he and George go to Warsaw, Indiana in June every
summer for six weeks and they would take it that far.
Well, we came home from Tucson, the 15th of April. All the time
wondering how bad it was to fix.
George called, and said he and his father would be in Warsaw,
July 6th. My brother, Dal and I met them there in my pickup truck,
and transferred the engine. Also, I got an old hand gas pump all
complete. When we arrived home and took a good look, we wondered if
it was possible to restore.
Dal and I are both retired and work in my shop. We started
tearing it down, never saw one before. Then came the huge task of
sand blasting, machine work, filling, sanding, priming, and
finishing. Dal made the gas and water tanks. Ivan Schmidt did the
machine work. We had trouble getting the flywheels off the crank.
We made a new side shaft and the cart to put it on. It was not
froze up, but had not run for fifty years. As near as we can tell
it was made around 1900.
About the 16th of December, was the big day. First turn of the
flywheel, she fired, and the second, it started. What a great
feeling to hear it hit and miss.
I am enclosing pictures of before and after, you be the judge.
So don’t give up, there is a lot of those old lungers out there
yet, if you look for them.
Wendel doesn’t say much about this engine, as they are very
scarce. Headless exhaust valve in the bottom and intake valve on
top. I have Gas Engine Magazines, since 1978 and never saw the name
I love all the old junk! Hope to see you all at the Engine Shows