Goes Like Sixty 1 HP By Gilson

By Staff
1 / 4
2 / 4
3 / 4
4 / 4

4171 Cedar Ave. S.E., Rochester, Minnesota 55904.

During the month of July 1990, while helping a friend haul some
tractors he had purchased at an auction in Nerstrand, we stopped at
a Dairy Queen for lunch in Dodge Center on our returning to
Rochester, Minnesota. One of the tractors, a 1923 Fordson on the
trailer, caused some of the customers in the Dairy Queen to inquire
about them. While my friend spoke with a farmer from Iowa about the
Fordson, an elderly couple from Owatonna asked me about the other
tractor. I told them that I was just helping move the tractors, but
that I did collect old gas engines. The husband told me they had an
old engine in the barn on their farm. I asked them to call me
should they decide to sell the engine, and gave them my name and
phone number at Rochester. In the first part of August the lady
called to say they had decided to sell the engine. She mentioned
that they could not find a model or serial number, nor did they
know what horsepower it was. The only thing they could find for
identification on the engine was ‘Gilson, made in Port
Washington, Wisconsin’ on the base casting.

It was not until later the next month that I contacted the
couple again and learned that they still had the engine. The lady
told me a collector from their hometown had looked at the engine,
made them an offer, but had not returned to purchase it. The next
day my wife and I left for Owatonna to look over the engine. We
located the farm where we met the friendly couple and were told the
Gilson engine was on the second floor of their granary.

We all headed for the granary to look at the ‘Gilson’.
The engine was covered with grease of many years and the crankcase
and battery box were full of oats, beans, and debris of all kinds.
The engine was an air cooled, ‘hit & miss’ mounted on
skids. A price was quickly negotiated and the engine was lowered
from the second floor of the granary and loaded on a trailer.
Checking the engine over after securing it on the trailer, I
noticed there was no cooling fan and asked if they knew where it
might be. The lady said she knew the engine had been on the farm
for over 65 years and it had never had a fan. After the couple
related a few stories about what they remembered the engine was
used for, my wife and I headed for home.

Later, checking through some of my reference books at home I
found in American Gas Engines Since 1872 that Gilson manufactured a
‘Goes Like Sixty’ 1? HP engine in 1907. They also made a 1
HP model, and the only difference was that the 1 HP did not have a
fan. While again looking the engine over I found ‘Goes Like
Sixty’ was painted on the front of the battery box. Still
later, while cleaning the engine, I found a brass plate on the
cylinder below the oiler. On the name plate was ‘Goes Like
Sixty, made by Gilson Mfg. Co., Style E, HP 1, No 4134, Port
Washington, Wisconsin.’ Close inspection revealed the only
things missing from the engine were the filler plug on the oiler
and the cover for the connecting rod grease cup. When I cleaned the
crankcase and the battery box, I located the filler plug. Also
found were three extra spark plugs, the crank, two extra pulleys of
different sizes along with miscellaneous tools and parts.

Two evenings were spent dismantling, cleaning, and reassembling
the Gilson. It then was time to see if the old engine would run.
After only a few minutes adjusting the spark timing, it fired up
and ran as good as the day Gilson manufactured it.

If anyone knows anything about Gilson, has a serial number list,
or has literature on these ‘Goes Like Sixty Engines’ please
contact me at the above address or call 507-289-5161.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines