Iron and Brass Honeymoon


| October/November 1992



Right view of the Petter engine

Right view of the Petter engine.

13813 Travois Trail, Parker, Colorado 80134

My love for antique engines really got started when my wife of two days, Tammy, and I were on our honeymoon in Victoria, British Columbia, in April of 1985. While there, we went through the Museum of Natural History and I noticed a small engine in the mining display. I immediately made my interest in this device known, and suggested to Tammy that we start looking around for an old engine to purchase.

A day later, we entered an antique shop south of Duncan, B.C. and inquired of the proprietor if he had any old engines. He led me outside and showed me a behemoth which I could see was a little impractical from a transportation aspect. Then he led me into one of his sheds and showed me a nice British made Petter 'S' type, 5 HP, oil engine. It was stuck but with minimal pressure on the flywheels, I was able to get it to turn. As we left, I was thinking furiously about it but Tammy and I had kind of agreed that it wouldn't do having a 400 pound engine in the back of our Datsun B-210 for the remainder of our honeymoon on Vancouver Island.

As our honeymoon wound down, we made a stop by my folks on the way home. Naturally, I had not forgotten about the Petter engine so I told my dad about it. His reaction was basically, if we weren't going to go pick it up, he was! After discussing the issue with Tammy, we found ourselves on the ferry back to Vancouver Island to go pick the Petter up.

We finally arrived back at Duncan and after a little negotiating with the store proprietor (which he won), we backed the B-210 back up to the shed. The proprietor and I lifted the engine into the back after I removed the hatchback. I was having a hard time even lifting my end of the engine off the ground, while he had hold of the other flywheel and was almost lifting the whole thing himself with one arm! I obviously didn't eat as much Wheaties as this guy did.

We then started for the border in our Datsun which looked like we had removed the rear wheels and which issued a few sparks from the rear end as we went down the road. After being grilled by the border police for about a half hour, and a bit more of a drive, we made it home to our brand new house in North Bend, Washington, with my new treasure (and bride).