And the winner is …

By Staff
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Jeff Colwell (left) and Terry Black shine their engines in friendly competition. The pair have been friends since they met in 1999.
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Terry Black’s engine was praised for its flywheel design, paint and muffler.
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Terry Black’s engine was praised for its flywheel design, paint and muffler.
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Jeff Colwell’s engine was also praised for its flywheel design and Jeff was given a thumbs up for his work ethic.
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Jeff Colwell’s engine was also praised for its flywheel design and Jeff was given a thumbs up for his work ethic.

We met in August at the 1999 Punxsutawney (Pa.) Area Machine
Festival (not to be confused with Groundhog Day). Jeff had set up
his display and was proud of his firstengine, a 1919
Fairbanks-Morse, and his 1932 LeRoy. As the day progressed, Terry
set up with his Hercules(the best Jeff had ever seen).

Through the course of the day, trophies were awarded to both of
us for our displays. From that day on, our friendship grew. (Jeff
wanted to learn more from the man he thought was the best). Terry
also has other friends (Russ Sheasley and Larry Shearer) whowill
help anyone who wants to learn, and also became friends with Jeff.
They also have the same thought process of restoration – old iron
is a must and we should have fun doing it. Between Terry, Russ and
Larry, they probably have 55-plus years accumulated experience. The
four of us are in contact every week to figure out where we are
going for the weekend. We have a new friend, Mat Luther, and he
also has the lust for knowledge from the same mentors that Jeff has
and calls every week and asks where we are going. Some are mentors
and some students, but we all have the same desire – to restore old
iron.

The chase

At an invitational show in New Castle, Pa., we met a man from
Warren, Ohio, who had an Ideal not quite completed. He mentioned he
had anotherIdealin better shape that still needed work. Phone
numbers exchanged. Meanwhile, Jeff had talked to Mr. Hough from
Brookville, Pa., who had mentioned that he had an Ideal, which had
not run for approximately 15 years. Time passed, snow fell, phone
calls were made and away we went. We called Mat to go along, and on
the way home from Ohio we just had to stop and mess with Larryand
ask where his Ideal was. Now Terry had his Idealand Jeffcalled Mr.
Hough and made a connection to pick up his Ideal.

The restoration

We burned a lot of firewood to restore these Ideals and other
projects we found to restore. Terry restored a 1925 1-1/2 HP
Stover, a 1925 32-volt Westinghouse light plant generator and a
Model 92 Maytag. Jeff restored a 1948 Wisconsin AKDN generator
(220/110).

The parts missing from Terry’s engine were reproduced in-house,
and the parts on Jeff’s engine, of which werealmost all there,
needed a lot of “make it straight and hope it works.”

Milling and straightening, paint, woodwork and cart fabrication
were all done in-house. We thought a lot about what to do to make
them the same, but different and we made it all work. These engines
always get a second look. This way, we know that we have done
thejob to our satisfaction.

The satisfaction

We have made many friends while showing our Ideals. We are proud
to be part of the desire to pass on to the willing, younger
generation of our father’s-father’s-father’s to not throw away
America’s historical machinery.

Back to the chase

This adventure has been very rewarding and we are looking for
maybe another pair of engines or something – here we go again!

Terry Black and Jeff Colwell reside in Kittanning, Pa. To
contact them, please write Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St.,
Topeka, KS 66609; eshipps@ogdenpubs.com

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines