Boy Meets Engine


| January/February 1995



Top view of 1933 Fairbanks

Ed Brushac

P.O. Box 1026 Leeds, Alabama 35094

Photos by Ed Brushac

Christinas, 1975. Clarksville, Arkansas. Driving out to the in-laws for the festivities. Driving along Highway 64, I see a junkyard. Junkyards always deserve a 'look-see' for something of interest. This time it pays off. There, atop a neatly piled stack of scrap iron, are several spoked wheels of some sort. We pull in and I find the owner of the junkyard. 1 ask him what those wheels and Dig castings are. He is not sure, so I take a closer look. They look like some kind of old engine or compressor. There are two of them, and we agree on a price of $60 for the lot. Well, here I am, 500 miles from home and, as luck would have it, we are in the Honda Civic! He agrees to save them for me until I can get hack out to Arkansas with my trailer.

That is how I found a 1933 Fairbanks and a C.H.&E. of unknown vintage. Keep in mind that, at this time in my life, I knew absolutely nothing about antique engines or the hobby. All I knew was that I had found something interesting to play with.

The C.H.&E. was fairly complete, so I gave it to a friend to fix up, as he did not have machine shop facilities at his disposal. He could get his fixed up and running with little 'remanufacturing.'

Mine was an absolute basket case. I had by this time figured out that it was indeed some kind of very old engine, but still had not a clue as to what it was used for, or where to get help or parts or anything. All I knew was it was a four stroke, the fuel system was gone, and there was no timing mechanism or gearing whatsoever. Boy, this was going to take some work to make it into an engine!