How I Became the Proud Owner of MY LITTLE ‘M’

By Staff

R.R. 2, Box 3S5, Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

In the 1940s my granddad did small carpenter jobs, which I
sometimes helped him with. When he did jobs of cement I would help
him move the little 1 HP International model ‘M’ to the
job. I had no idea at the time that someday that little ‘M’
would be mine.

My granddad passed away in the 1960s and the family had a tool
sale. That is when I became the proud owner of the little
‘M.’ According to the serial numbers, the engine was built
about 1920, with a trip ignitor on the side of the head. I took the
little International home with me and put it out in back of the
house, where it sat for the next 10-15 years.

When I built my new house out in the country, I put the little
‘M’ in the backyard with the magneto off of it. Ground
squirrels had built a nest in it out of pignuts, hazel nuts, and
all kinds of leaves. I had to unscrew the wing nut on the crankcase
to get it off in order to clean the squirrels’ nest out of

Then I moved the little engine into my shop, out of the weather,
to begin restoring it. I oiled all the working parts so I could
disassemble it. I removed all grease caps and pipes and plugged
those holes, so sand would not get in it when it was

After it had been sandblasted and cleaned, I put a base primer
on it. Then I had Dupont Delux 776700 paint mixed a shade lighter,
as the original mix was too dark, almost black. The International
Green, I felt, was also too dark.

My granddad ran the engine on a 9-volt dry cell battery and
coil. He ran the negative wire from the battery to ground the
engine and the positive wire from the coil to the clip on the trip

I later found the original magneto, and it still had the gear on
it, which was a surprise to me. During this part of the
restoration, I put new wrist pin bushings and piston rings in

When the restoration was complete, I enjoyed taking my little
‘M’ to the 4-H Fair in Montgomery County and to the
‘Old Fashion Day’ exhibits.

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