8912 N. Rasmussen, Tucson, Arizona 85741-9620
I would like to tell you how I went to a yard sale in town and
bought this 2 HP Aermotor for $25.00. I took it home, oiled it up,
and with a fresh battery, it was up and running in just under 45
minutes, humming like your granny’s Singer sewing machine. I
really would like to tell you that. Really!
Actually, I first saw this engine six years ago. A fourteen year
old friend of my son was over and he told me he saw an old engine
on Grant Road, right in town! In describing it, he noted the hopper
was tin and shaped like an accordion. Out came the yellow book and
opened to Aermotor. ‘Yup, that’s it!’ he said, so off
To make a long story short, Manny the owner didn’t want to
sell at all. He just enjoyed the way it looked and even quite a lot
of money did not interest him. I went home in an empty truck. I
went back about every six months and tried every way I could think
of to trade for it or buy it.
After three years, Manny had a yard sale, and when my friend Ron
Upham happened by, he believed Manny was ready to sell it. The two
men knew each other and during their conversation, Manny mentioned
a fireman had been trying for three years to buy it from him. Ron
said, ‘If that fireman is Everett Hayden, I will buy it only if
he turns down your offer to sell first.’
Ron, thank you. My friend called me at home and told me what had
happened. Well, since another fireman friend had told me about the
sale, I showed up and bought the Aermotor just after Ron left. I
was just unloading it when Ron called and we had a good laugh
The engine, as it many times happens, was in really sad shape,
with lots of wear and some missing parts. Between finding parts and
buying machine shop time, it was three more years until the engine
was ready to run. The most difficult part to locate was the
During the three years of restoring I wrote to and called about
a dozen different guys who might have one. One man had an Aermotor
and it came with FIVE ‘extra’ ignitors. He would not sell
me one because, he said, ‘I want to keep the best one for
myself and I don’t know which one is best.’ For what I
would have paid, he could have had three rebuilt. Oh well!
I finally learned of Calvin Brook over in Kansas City, Missouri.
When he learned I had the original ignitor flange he offered to
repair that. Understand that the flange had had everything sawed
off, then drilled and threaded for sparkplug. Mr. Brook over
usually machines ignitor replicas from solid stock, but let me tell
you, he did an absolutely perfect job on this flange, just so I
could have the casting part number on my ignitor.
One interesting thing about hopper cooled Armotors is that under
the galvanizing on the tin is nickel plate. I had the hopper
stripped and re-galvanized because of some bad sections. The whole
thing is plated inside and out, iron flange and all.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this story. I just wanted to
thank a few folks who made it possible for me to have such a prized
engine and to contribute a little bit to GEM. I really love this
hobby. It is good clean fun.
About the paint, it is Ace Hardware Vermillion with one overcoat
of urethane spray. It is oil based and a perfect color match of a
couple of patches of paint I found hidden on the engine. Pretty
close to stop sign red, she was!
The only truth in my opening paragraph is this: I bought my
Aermotor at a yard sale and it now runs like your granny’s
Singer. Good hunting!