Persistence Pays Off


| June/July 1998



2 HP Witte engine

308 Lind Street McMinnville, Tennessee 37110

In the summer of 1995, my good friend Jimmy Priestly stopped by the shop to say hello. Now it was not Jimmy's thing to stop by often, but here lately he seemed to be stopping by more and more often. Something must be up! Jimmy is a gas engine man and I am a steam engine man. In fact, I have built a 1' scale model of a Climax steam locomotive engine which lets me run at the track of the Mid South Live Steamers in Columbia, Tennessee, of which I'm a member.

He said, 'You know you need a gas engine to go with that steam engine,' and I replied, 'I don't think so because they make a lot of noise, and they just sit still, running around in circles and they don't use coal.'

Well, after his persistence and many visits later, I began to look for some kind of engine to restore.

Not knowing what brand to look for, nor where to search, I enlisted Jimmy's help. Should it be an Associated, Novo, Stover, Galloway, Economy, I really didn't have any idea. Then one day, while visiting another friend, Novan Pedigo, the subject of gas engines came up and he suggested we go down to the barn and look around.

Well, sitting on the back of a wagon was a rusty piece of iron which had two big flywheels and a cylinder housing with a big hole in it. He said it was for water, who knows, I surely didn't. To make this short, we agreed on a price and I loaded it up and headed home feeling maybe this would keep Jimmy calmed down for awhile.