Cliff Collette's Rumsey Engine

| August/September 1986

  • Rumsey engine from back

  • Rumsey engine

  • Rumsey engine from up

  • Rumsey engine from back
  • Rumsey engine
  • Rumsey engine from up

Box 74, Guildhall, VT 05905

At the engine shows in this area, Cliff Collette of Hyde Park, Vermont is probably best known as the man with the rare Rumsey engine. Cliff has lived all of his 68 years in the Hyde Park area except for some time in the U.S. Navy and a defense plant in World War II. He farmed in his early years. In the late 1940's he started his small engine repair business and continued that until his retirement.

The Rumsey was obtained in 1974, the year in which he began to collect engines. The purchase of this engine was a classic example of 'old engine fever' that all of us seem to share. The engine had been retired many years before. It had been hauled out to the edge of the woods on a farm and left there. Cliff heard about the engine and contacted the owner. He went to take a look at it as soon as possible, which happened to be in the darkness of night. The headlights of his vehicle revealed that the skids were rotted away and the flywheels were resting on the ground. Amazingly, the piston was not stuck. He had to have it and a deal was made with the owner. Cliff had realized that this was a special engine.

It was eight years before Cliff got around to start restoration on the Rumsey. A 3 HP International Famous vertical tank cooled engine, a vertical Ellis engine and an air cooled New Way had taken precedence. In the winter of 1982-1983, the Rumsey underwent a restoration of about 300 hours of labor. The engine was disassembled and sandblasted. Hours and hours of time were spent in applying primer and sanding it down and applying more and sanding it down until the surface of the engine was as smooth as glass. The necessary mechanical work was done and the engine was reassembled and painted. Cliff had also made new kiln dried oak skids for the engine.

This Rumsey is a very rare and unique engine. The base, cylinder, cylinder head, hopper and valve chamber (or manifold) on this engine are a single casting. The engine also has two spark plugs in the head. It has a 5' bore and 8' stroke. The flywheels are 27/8' wide and 27' in diameter. The engine was built in

Friendship, New York around 1910 and is a 5 HP. The extensive restoration of the engine and the fine workmanship of the oak skids makes this a very popular engine at the shows.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.

Facebook YouTube