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
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
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.
I also included a couple of shots of my ‘conglomeration
engine’ that I made out of old junk four years ago to win a
Here are two views of T. J. Shipman’s collections,
‘Bug Chasing Conglomeration Engine,’ which burns kerosene.
‘So durn ugly it’s almost purty’ is what they say about
I started with a skunked out B&S block; used a piston from
an old air compressor; the flywheel came from a water pump. A
modified Briggs carb delivers the fuel (kero-oil cut with 10%
regular gas) and a Crosley coil and six-volt emergency light
battery fires it. Sure has an interesting sound! Sounds like a
cross between a Maytag single and a John Deere idling on one
cylinder. It runs very well at between about 200 and 600 rpm.
Chases all the bugs away. I push dirt and snow and do all kinds of
tugging and nudging with it. It has run faithfully for four years
An expensive hobby? Nah! It doesn’t have to be. Heck, even
poor ol’ junk-pickers like me can have a ball with it. A fun
hobby? You bet! All you young folks out there, don’t be afraid
to get your feet wet! Take it from the ol’ junk-man, you’ll
not regret it!
To all who helped, no matter how much or how little, a great big
‘much obliged!’ The Good Lord sure has been kind to me.