Tullers Show Complete Set of Novo Gas Engines at '97 Old Threshers Reunion


| April/May 1998



Louis Tuller of Mt. Pleasant

Louis Tuller of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, is pictured with the line of single-cylinder Novo upright Model S gas engines he and his son, Barry, have collected and restored over the past 21 years.

Midwest Old Threshers, 1887 Threshers Road, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641

After 21 years, a father-son duo saw their complete set of one-cylinder Novo upright Model S gas engines fully restored and operating for the first time last summer at the Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Louis Tuller of Mt. Pleasant and his son Barry Tuller, now of Humboldt, Tennessee, collected the set of nine engines from 1976 to 1989. The first Novo to become a part of the Tullers collection was a 2 HP that they found in an Old Threshers Reunion swap tent. Next they discovered a rare 1 HP Novo Jr., under a workbench of a man living only a few blocks from the Old Threshers grounds. Those two finds were enough to prompt the Tullers to round out the complete line. Through swap meets, sales, and word-of-mouth, they built the collection from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. The line was completed with the 10 HP in 1988 from St. Louis and the 8 HP in 1989 from Pratt, Kansas.

Novo Model S gas engines range from the single-cylinder 1 HP Jr., 1.5 HP, 2 HP, 3 HP, 4 HP, 6 HP, 8 HP, and 10 HP, to the two-cylinder 12 HP and 15 HP.

Louis Tuller, who is a member of the Old Threshers Board of Directors, said he and Barry began the restoration work in 1989. They tore the engines completely apart and set about rebuilding them. The Tullers put their mechanical abilities to the test and, using Louis' shop, made all of the engine parts that were missing. 'That's the way it is with any old engine,' explained Louis. 'There just usually aren't any parts available. You can look at swap meets, but finding is difficult.'

Figuring out how to make the missing Novo parts wasn't as challenging a process as it is for rare engines, Tuller said. A restorer working on a rarity might need to check the public library archives in the city where the engine was manufactured to locate photographs of the engine. The photos can be enlarged and then copied to become a blueprint for the work ahead, Tuller explained. But since there is a series of Novo engines, the Tullers had ready examples as patterns.