Decisions, Decisions

Hit the Show, or Run the Auction?

| January/February 2002

  • IHC Nonpareil 2 HP Famous
    Dale Nickerson's restored 1914 IHC Nonpareil 2 HP Famous. Nonpareil means 'without equal.'
    Dale Nickerson's

  • IHC Nonpareil 2 HP Famous

I had quite a decision to make on May 13, 2000. Do I attend my club's Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Association Spring Gas-up, or go to an auction, where the engine you see here and some other engines were up for bid - a 1914 IHC Nonpareil 2 HP Famous vertical with serial number KG 1906. The Nonpareil line was sold by Osborn dealers and was painted blue.

Thanks to a very good friend who took me to the auction site a few times before the auction was held, I had a chance to really look the engine over, and even though there were a lot of parts missing or clobbered up, I knew there was hope for it. Needless to say, I skipped the gas-up - the auction was more important.

There were a few engine collectors there, and even though I didn't know if I stood a chance in bidding against them, I sure was going to give it a try. I made sure to point out the missing parts to anyone who looked at it before it was actually auctioned, and in the end it was mine for $320. After getting it home I took it all apart, but as often happens other work got in the way, so I didn't get started on the engine right away.

First thing I made was the skid. I used red oak and gave it three coats of boiled linseed oil. Next up was the fuel tank, and then I rounded up the missing parts (mixer, fuel pump, intake valve lock, igniter trip finger and spring-trip finger roller assembly). The igniter had been bored out and a one-half-inch spark plug had been installed. I filled the holes in with large pieces of cast iron then made all the igniter parts.

At 7:15 p.m., May 26, 2001, it started - and on the first pull. Its first showing was at Cool spring.

The photograph shown here was taken in early June 2001, and since then I have added a cooling tower and tank, and I have made the water pump. Paint used is Rustoleum royal blue and gloss black, a good combination.