It Didn't Take Much To Get Hooked!

| January/February 1997

Rt. 1, Box D Napoleon, Missouri 64074

Several years ago I moved to Napoleon, Missouri, unaware of the tractor and engine hobby that exists today. Not until I attended Napoleon's annual tractor and engine show did I find out about the numerous restored engines and tractors that were stashed in many of the garages and sheds throughout the neighborhood! Upon seeing my first open crank hit and miss engine, I was rather fascinated. In addition, it was easy to see how the sightseeing crowd was quickly drawn to the engine display area whenever another one was being fired up. I can honestly say these engines rekindle memories of me daydreaming in church when I was ten years old. It was then I would contemplate how pistons, valves and crankshafts worked.

Last year, I mentioned to my neighbor how I was kind of interested in getting an engine to play with. It wasn't long until I received a collect phone call from the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Three of the local engine experts who were attending the threshers reunion said they had found an engine in real good condition, on trucks, for a fair price and wanted to know if I was ready to take the plunge! I told them to bring it home! That night when they returned, my wife and I walked across the street to see it. In the midst of eight men standing in a circle was this beautiful sight! My own 1925, 2 HP, DeLaval Alpha engine that had an unforgettable sounding rhythm to it.

Restoration was limited to new paint and detailing. The rough old skids were replaced with white oak and finished with tung oil. I ordered a custom-made gas tank from Mike Green in Des Moines, Iowa, who did a good job. After doing a complete tear down, I couldn't rest until it was back together and running again.

Being new to the hobby, I can tell you that the Gas Engine Magazine provided me with excellent information about engines and enjoyable stories to read. I look forward to each issue. The night I found antique engines on the Internet in the World Wide Web, I stayed up all night looking at engines as well as other related articles. I considered purchasing a sound card for my computer to enable me to sample the tractor and engine sounds.

I am grateful for the people who have taken the time to help advise me about engines. It is obvious that this hobby is supported by a quality, down to earth group of people.