Looking Back

Celebrating our 40th anniversary: Faces from GEM 1966

| February 2006


Alan’s GEM 1966 photo with his 1-1/2 HP Stover

Throughout 2006, we'll be catching up with collectors whose engines and stories appeared during our first year of publication. We kick off with Alan New, whose engine appeared in the premier, January 1966 issue of GEM. - Editor

Alan New was just a boy when he first became interested in restoring gas engines. Forty years ago at age 11, he and his 6-year-old brother Jimmy were featured with their engines in Gas Engine Magazine. Alan owned a 1-1/2 HP Stover Model K and Jimmy owned a 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Model Z. Both engines were open crank and hopper-cooled. Though the photo was just a glimpse into Alan's life, it spoke volumes about his passion and what was to come. Now 51, Alan regrets selling his Stover engine while in high school, but he's made up for it over the years. Today, he owns more than 20 engines.

Alan grew up with engines. His father, who still very much enjoys the hobby, started collecting in the late 1940s and was always buying, selling and trading. Alan and his family made a list of the engines they remember growing up, and it amounted to around 50 steam engines, 100 tractors and nearly 500 gas engines. His first restoration, a 1-1/2 HP John Deere, was at age 12.

He loves this hobby so much that he has passed it on to his son. "Some families play sports together, my family collects antique engines," Alan says. "That is our sport." Alan and his son Andy are always working on each other's engines and tractors. "It's really neat when I'm in the house and I hear a gas engine popping in the distance or hear Dad's OilPull fire up out in the barn," he says. "I know Andy's up to something." Andy's girlfriend is also very interested in engines, owning a Stover herself and joining in on the engine work with Alan and Andy.

Alan said he couldn't imagine his life without this hobby. "For one thing, the antique machinery is wonderful," he said, "but the hobby is really about the people. Some of the most wonderful people in the world are in this hobby."

Contact engine enthusiast Alan New at: County Road 900 S., Pendleton, IN 46064; (765) 778-3163.