| July/August 1987

Single cylinder gas engine

Single cylinder gas engine

514 Brown St., Jackson, Minnesota 56143

It all started when another old iron man in another part of the state and I decided to meet halfway and do a little horse trading. He suggested meeting at an interesting salvage yard (aren't they all?) halfway. I arrived first and to kill time I asked the owner if I could inspect his salvage yard (they need frequent inspection) and he said 'go ahead'. After a couple of hours of taking inventory and buying some magnetos that I just could not live without, the owner asked if I would like to see a single cylinder gas engine he had for sale (wasn't that a silly question?). The engine was under cover and looked to be in good shape. It was a small upright air cooled engine, the nameplate was missing and the man did not know what make it was. After looking it over I decided it was a Briggs & Stratton. I have worked on B&S engines since 1934 and been a dealer since 1958, but I had never seen one like this. A price was given and accepted in seconds.

My man arrived and we completed our trading and I headed home. I dug through my old Briggs shop manuals looking at the pictures of the old B&S engines and finally, there it was, just a few pages-it is a model Q. I tore it down to the last nut and bolt. It had the wrong air cleaner, no muffler, wrong gas cap, starter crank base broken and part missing, gas tank looked like a lace curtain and wouldn't hold hay. The inside of the engine was in real good shape for its age. After sandblasting, grinding valves, ordering special piston rings, repairing the gas tank, making a part for the crank base, assembling, etc. and painting, a fill of gas and oil, a couple turns of the crank and it came to life. The engine is 23' high and it takes a 'real man' to lift it.

I have shown it to quite a few gas engine collectors and none have seen any like it. I just know that somewhere out there someone has one just like it, and I will be haunting my mail box waiting for a letter from that someone. Do not keep me waiting!