| October/November 1991

  • A single luxury van

  • The 5 & 6S engines

  • Briggs & Stratton

  • A single luxury van
  • The 5 & 6S engines
  • Briggs & Stratton

547 31st Ave., East Moline, Illinois 61244

I was lucky enough to pick up a rare find, a 1954 Bantam, 8 HP, in excellent condition. I was in training school in Davenport, Iowa. I showed the instructor a picture of the six engine garden tractor I had built. He asked me if I would be interested in another tractor, and if I would restore it as well as I had my Power Ram. Being curious, I said I wouldn't mind trying, and he gave me his phone number and address.

Approximately three months went by since I had seen him. I was talking to Norm Davis of Cable, Illinois about the unknown tractor which I considered not worth picking up in Chicago. I thought Norm was going to explode: 'Let's go get it. If you don't want it I will take it.' So, off we went to Chicago through an ice and snow storm, getting lost. When we finally found the location, there was the little Bantam sitting, all rusty and on three wheels. You might call that 'love at first sight. ' Anyway it shows you that one should check on every lead he has.

I made a little two wheel rider, with a single luxury van seat I picked up at a yard sale for two dollars, and set of fenders I'd bought for five dollars. I had a set of wheels and made the frame, which is my wife's command seat. We get many compliments on the rig.

I like flywheels, especially big ones, but now I can't afford any, being retired. Now I have taken an interest in old Briggs &. Stratton engines. They also seem to make a good showing, especially the open valve. Being a little low on cash, I decided to start making something out of the 5 & 6S engines. I have finished one model, and to my amazement it runs well.

I cut the valve assembly off the block of one old engine, plugged the two inch hole, ported and relieved the head. Then I inverted the head on a 6S engine. I installed a Maytag spark plug in the exhaust port, made an overhead cam with the timing chain and two rocker arms. I also installed two carburetors, a timing guard and a brass gas tank.


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