A Big Hit & Miss . . . and Another

| December/January 1991

1922 East Ivy Street, Mesa, Arizona 85203-2819.

The first time I saw and listened to a hit & miss engine was in California oilfields about 1951. The sound was more impressive to me than the sight of the old oily and dirty pumping unit. Never did I realize that someday I would be scraping and cleaning an old hit & miss engine.

After retiring in 1986, I visited my nephew in Pennsylvania and on our trips around Lancaster found the 'Rough and Tumble' show. I was hooked at first glance. Since then I have found and restored several engines.

My first hit & miss was obtained through an ad in Gas Engine Magazine. This magazine I could not live without. It has helped in many ways, many times. The 'for sale' ad was for an 8 HP hit 6k miss Stover in Austin, Texas. On a trip to east Texas to visit members of my family, I purchased this engine and transported it home in the back of my Ford van.

My wife and I rolled the engine onto a stack of pallets in a sideyard where I restored it. After painting and putting gas in the tank, it was ready for starting. I had invited family over for the big moment. The 'moment' was big-and fast-because it started on the first revolution of the flywheels. There was a loud combustion and then a big smoke ring went toward the sky. My grandson thought that was neat.

However, the governor was set to run fast and the engine began to leap forward off the pallets, so after running about 15 seconds it had to be shut off and restraint applied to keep the engine on the pallets. Everyone was shaking with delight.