Three Generations, One Hobby

| May/June 2001

  • Fairbanks Morse Engine

  • Fairbanks Morse Engine

R R #1, Site 8,Comp 27, Fort St. John, British Columia, V1J 4M6

I am a first-time writer to GEM (or any other magazine, for that matter).

My father, Bill, has been collecting and restoring engines for several years now, and has a very nice collection. A few years ago, he and my uncle in California conspired to get me bitten by the infamous 'one cylinder engine bug.' Boy, did I get bitten! My first engine was a 1929 John Deere Type E 3 HP, sold to me dirt-cheap by my uncle. Since then, I have been on the hunt for more, as you readers can relate to. My son, Will, who was twelve when I got the John Deere, also managed to get bitten. A good friend of mine, Gary Triebner, of Fort St. John, gave Will his first engine, an Iron Horse. Will has been a great help fixing up some of these old engines, including finding a 1 HP Judson (made by Stover) on his way from school. That engine was eventually purchased from its owner, and is now a valued part of our collection.

I have found GEM to be a valuable resource in finding suppliers for parts, and information regarding our engines.

The photo pictures my father Bill (right), my son Will (center), and me on the left, with just a small part of our collection. In the background are my father's 1936 John Deere AR, and Ford 8N. Center engine is a 6 HP Fairbanks-Morse (Dad's), and various other engines of ours including an International Titan 1 HP, a Stover style 'V' (blue) and a Judson (green), both 1 HP. Notice the similarities? They are both made by Stover, both style V's, but one has a Judson tag. Also pictured from the left, a Maytag twin, an Iron Horse (this is a military motor, there is still some O.D. paint on it in places), and another more conventional Iron Horse. These engines and tractors represent just a small portion of our collection.

I have met some very interesting and knowledgeable people at shows across the country, ranging from Chowchilla, California, to Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada. I am proud to be a part of a family that has three generations actively involved in the collection and restoration of fine antique gas engines and tractors. Even my 17-year-old daughter, Amanda, is interested in things old and rusty. She has her eyes on a stylized John Deere D, and has been bugging me to go and talk to its present owner. Guess I'll have to do that and see if the collection grows by one more.


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