Crazy Engines, BIG AND SMALL

By Staff
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The Atkinson Cycle engine I built.
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The Polo engine, made by General Mfg. of Elkhart, IN.

9056 Riverside Drive Brighton, Michigan 48116

I enjoy going to shows more and more each year and looking over
what’s new in old engines. Crazy looking or crazy running
engines seem to attract my attention most. (I guess I’m a
little crazy too. I’ve heard others mention this often!)

Last spring I ran into a fellow at a swap meet who asked me if I
had ever seen a Polo. (I was displaying my Webster inverted model.)
I told him I hadn’t even heard of one and he related he had a 2
HP one and a 4 HP one and knew of another gentleman who had

Well, I never thought much more about it because we all know
that finding something this rare is just about impossible!

Then, at National Threshers Show held in Wauseon, Ohio, of all
things to show up was a nicely restored Polo-fan and all. Wow! I
got a couple of pictures of it and I was really pleased just to see

A few months later my good friend, Kenny Wolf, called to ask me
if I’d like to work on a ‘problem child’, as his wife
Wendy called it, a Polo.

Well it needed a lot of work. Lots and lots of parts missing.
But I couldn’t resist the challenge! We had to resort to using
parts from other engines and a lot of machine work but finally got
everything made and it looks real good! I’m taking it to the
Zolfo Springs Show for its unpainted inauguration!

I did a 1? HP Webster inverted for Kenny last year that was just
about the same way as the Polo, but worse, and it came out real
good too. I made new valve boxes and installed a spark plug instead
of the more common hot tube and a lot simpler (no bottled gas,
valves, regulators or lines).

Mr. Wendel once mentioned the Atkinson cycle engine, there’s
a crazy one! I’ve seen the one at the Edison Institute and
never really understood just how it worked. But now I know, or at
least I think I do!

I contacted Tom Terning who I learned had made good sized
castings (14′ flywheel) of a scale model of an Atkinson and
promptly got hold of a set! I’ve got to tell you the truth!
Right up until it fired off I wouldn’t have believed it! Every
time I run it I get to laughing because it looks so funny running!
How anyone ever came up with this idea way back in 1885 is beyond
me, but I guess it served to show what wouldn’t work or at
least not too well!!

I enjoy building models but have been resorting to building a
lot of duplicates for lack of quality examples. (I’m not into
patternwork for my own castings.) I’m looking forward to
building the Perkins engine that Bill DeBolt recently came out with
and maybe one of the Type A Domestics that Starbolt has. (Remember,
I made a Type A Stovepipe out of a Type F last winter.)

I’d like to see more of the unusual or oddball engines
scaled instead of the common engines.

We seldom see examples of these rare beasts and if models were
available, everyone could see them as more of the models would
exist than the real thing. The Hagen would be a good example,
it’s really crazy with that chain driven carb, or maybe a
Temple or United States inverted! Come on patternmakers, let’s
get with it!

Well I’d better get back to work, I’ve got to make a
couple parts for my IHC Titan Sideshaft engines. (I have two of the
4 HP.) I need to make a complete carb assembly and governor
assembly. These are not models either! Ever seen one?

They’re crazy too and complicated!

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