Harry Harris and the Harris Engine

A man named Harris restoring a Harris engine had to happen sooner or later.


| October/November 2015



Harris engine

Harry Harris' Harris engine.

Photo by Ted Domeney

When Warren Harris was looking for another interesting engine project and found a Harris engine, well, he had to go for it. And why not – a man named Harris restoring a Harris engine – it had to happen!

Warren is known as Harry to all his mates, and he runs his own engineering business at Ballarat, a regional town in the state of Victoria in southern Australia. Harry found the engine at Dalby in Queensland, about 800 miles north from him. It had been part of a container load of engines a guy had bought in the U.S., but the guy had done nothing with it.

Harry got it back to Ballarat and gave it a full strip down and nut and bolt restoration. It had done a lot of work and was worn enough that it would not run.

The original KW magneto was missing, but some serious searching uncovered the correct one, again in the U.S.

Sometimes you can get very lucky. At a rally, a man asked about the Harris engine, thinking it was a Massey-Harris. “No,” Harry said, “just Harris, from California.” Two weeks later they talked by phone, and the man said “Well, I have a complete manual on that engine. It can be yours if you want.” So Harry most likely has not only the only Harris engine in Australia, but the only manual in the country for it, as well.

Since restoration, Harry has had the Harris engine on display at his shed at Lake Goldsmith, has shown it at the national rally at Mudgee (in the state of New South Wales) and at the recent national rally in the state of Tasmania. He has also displayed it at other smaller rallies in his home state of Victoria.