Friends and Neighbors...The Gamo Marine Engine

| January/February 1993

Gasport Motor Company Building

Taken from an old, undated postcard, this photograph shows the main Gasport Motor Company building some years after the Company declared bankruptcy in 1911. Friend sprayers and engines dot the foreground. (Photo courtesy of Don Jerge, Royalton Town Histor

Don Jerge

6190 Keller Avenu Newfane, New York 14108-9508

After my story about a Friend engine appeared in GEM, several Friend owners wrote to me. Some needed parts, and some had pumps available, and some just wanted information about their Friend engine. All that talking and writing built a fire under me to see if I could locate, well-you know, more Friends. There's a little newspaper in our area called the Retailer. The Retailer is for people wanting to sell their surplus to somebody else or wanting to buy other people's cast-offs. I decided to advertise for Friend engines, pumps, or parts. In the advertisement, I even volunteered to fish the engines out of the hedgerow, if necessary.

Having taken the plunge of 'going public,' I sat back to see what developed. I remained seated for some time. The Retailer hit the streets, but not much happened. One fellow called for me to come help him with his Friend. Another young man called to ask if I souped up car engines! Finally, I did get a call from a fellow about two towns over to the east. He made mention of my advertisement and allowed as how he had a Friend pump and some spare parts for sale. In an offhand way, he also said that he had an old engine for sale.

'What kind of engine?' I asked fairly nonchalantly. I did not want to go too far afield from the Friend line, as I figured that I could go broke quickly enough just concentrating on Friend engines and sprayers.

'A Camel.' (Well, that's what I thought he said!) I am fairly new to this engine collecting hobby, but I know animal names are fairly common. You have the generic 'Donkey engine' and Pony engine. More specifically, there are Badgers, Bull Dogs, Wolverines, and Woodpeckers. However, this was the first time that I had heard of a Camel. Could this be one or two cylinder, I figured? 'A Camel?' I queried.

The response came back a little crisp. 'No!' (As in 'No, you idiot!') 'No! A GAMO. G-A-M-O. GAMO. Made in Gasport by the Gasport Motor Company. I've only seen one other like it and that one was in pieces. This GAMO is complete and runs.'