1908 DETAMblE

By Staff
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17444 South Canaan Rd. Athens, Ohio 45701

I bought an air compressor at auction. There it laid in the old
barn, half buried in the hay. It looked like two cylinders and a
flywheel. I brought it home, stored it in the garage for six months
or so, and gave it only a passing glance now and then. Several
people looked at it. They admitted they had never seen anything
like it and all agreed it was a real ‘stranger.’ I
discovered a broken spark plug in each cylinder, so it was plainly
an engine.

The cylinders are directly opposed with a dogleg in each rod. I
sent a picture to GEM and they identified it as a DeTamble auto
buggy engine of 1908 vintage. A picture in C.H. Wendel’s
American Gasoline Engines Since 1872 showed not much more
information than I had, except for the intake manifold.

I made a manifold from copper pipe, installed a carburetor with
a 1908 patent date. The engine did have what was left of a model T
Ford ignitor, the back plate and part of a rotor. A new rotor and
cap was installed , wired with two model T coils, and a new oiler
was put in each cylinder. It was decided that it’s a dry sump
engine. On the first start oil was added to the crankcase. That was
a mistake! Oil came out of every joint, bearing and crack in the
engine. So it was drained and that solved the problem. After that
it ran fairly well for short periods of time; not being baffled
caused it to heat up. It apparently was only used on the 1908 car.
The picture of the 1913 car during its last year of production
shows an inline engine. The car was manufactured from 1908 to 1913
in Anderson, Indiana.

I have taken it to several shows including Athens, Barlow and
Chillicothe, Ohio; Sistersville and Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
It generated a considerable amount of interest at all these shows.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone with a DeTamble and in
finding literature on same so I could see the original
configuration.

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