HIT OR MISS?


| November/December 1985



The'57 Ranchero

The'57 Ranchero.

Rt 1, Box 62 Petersburg, IN 47567

Picture is a 2 HP Jaeger hit and miss engine I just recently completed. Being new to the antique engine hobby, this was my first effort in anything like this.

I bought the engine from a fellow enthusiast, Bob Freeman of Bedford, Indiana. I had been looking around for a couple of years at the engine meets for something I thought was a good one to start on. Mostly, what I had found had been completely restored engines or 'junk'. Since I didn't know anything about these engines, I wanted to find a complete one that was a common enough make that I could get parts for easily. I wasn't looking for the 'one of a kind' made in 18 whatever. I also didn't want something I would have had to mortgage the house to buy or have it delivered by flatbed rail car. As everyone knows, it doesn't take much cast iron to weigh a lot.

One day at work Bob asked me if I was looking for an old engine. He said he might have one to sell. That was all of the encouragement I needed (and it didn't take much)! Bob travels in his work and as I had several things to do, it was a month or so before we could get together. We finally arranged a Saturday meeting at his house.

After looking around at various engines and talking, he showed me the Jaeger. I didn't know what it was worth or what to look for as far as wear and general condition. The engine was complete with original decals, striping, a broken rocker arm, stuck valve, years of grease but free. It looked like the original shims were there. Even the cast iron muffler was there. I somehow figured it was worth the price and I couldn't possibly live without it.

The next thing, after all of the negotiations were over, was to load it up. I had a Citation hatchback. We measured and thought it would go in after removing the oiler. It wasn't a bad fit except for the rear of the car was noticeably lower than GM had in mind.