Does History Repeat Itself? You Bet It Does!


| December/January 1996



1915 Economy.

1915 Economy.

Rt 2, Box 371-13 Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201

Awhile back I submitted an article about collecting old iron in the '60s in the Midwest, starting with air cooleds. Now, here I am, doing it all over again!

Is this an expensive hobby? It can be. It's how you go about it. I'm on a limited budget, so I can't plunk down half-a-grand for an engine. I live mostly by barter. That's trading, to the uninitiated. I usually pick up the 'don't want 'ems,' the incomplete, the broken and the rusted. I usually have a lot more time and sweat equity tied up than initial outlay. To me, that's the fun of it! The scrounging, the cleaning and making of unobtainable (or too expensive for my budget) parts.

In the photos are my two 1 HP Herculean cousins; a 1 HP Hercules of 1918 and a 1915 1 HP Economy, both E series. (Finally found out what the 'E' meant. It doesn't mean Economy, it means 'E' series.)

I have people who visit every other week or two just to look through my junk piles. Not interested in buying, they just like to look. They say I have the most interesting and classiest junk in the county. They are always welcome, the newcomers and old timers alike. There's always time for 'iron talk.' There's also the chance to work up a trade now and then.

I have a couple of pieces nearly done and only lack a few small parts. They may not be 100% true restos, so the purists out there please forgive me, okay? I just like to pretty 'em up as well as make 'em run. I have several engines in 'as-found' condition. As can be noted in the photos accompanying this article, they certainly ain't cherry! Given time, they one day will be standing tall and running. Also, I have a very nice Elto twin of the mid-'20's. It will be an easy resto.