An 80-Year-Old Go-Cart

| December/January 1997

  • Maytags Engine

  • Maytags Engine

  • Maytags Engine
  • Maytags Engine

10509 Highway 71 N.E. Spicer, Minnesota 56288

As a recently retired band director I thought I needed something to occupy my spare time, in addition to playing trumpet with three different groups, ham radio (KAOKHJ), woodworking, hunting and fishing, old cars, and collecting everything from cameras to guns! Since I have always liked engines, I decided that was to be next on the list of things to do. Besides being a lot less expensive, they take up less space than old cars, and are much more economical to restore. Plus, they appear to be going up in value while still being available.

My first Maytags were acquired when I discovered that the father of the tuba player in our brass group had a hardware store that sold Maytag washing machines. It turned out that Marlyn's storage shed contained 21/2 (counting one stuck and various parts) Model 72D's. These had found their way to the kids' 'go-cart' when the electric motor was discovered to start all the time and smelled better than the old two-cycle Maytag on Mom's washing machine! The go-cart soon lost its charm and the engines went to the shed. It took only an hour or so to get the first of these running, and I was hooked on Maytags! They were a new kind of music to my ears!

Next came a nice looking 92M acquired from a friend in our car club. It looks better than it runs, but with some tinkering, it soon will be 'hitting and missing' on all its one cylinder!

In the fall of 1995, when orchestra rehearsals resumed in Willmar, Minnesota, my friend Wes, from Atwater, asked what I was doing to keep busy in retirement. When I told him I was into Maytags he invited me to see one he had in the upstairs of the root cellar. He said it had been on a small child's car which was made a long time ago. I had no idea what kind of Maytag this might be, and secretly hoped that the 'car' might also be around somewhere. (I had heard of the Maytag 'Toy Racer' and knew that they were nearly as pricy as our '66 Mustang convertible, and had decided that one of those cars would probably never become part of our collection.) After arranging a meeting to see the homemade car, and a long coffee session, we finally went to look at it.

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that this was not your average Maytag, and did not even have a kick starter! I later discovered from our local Maytag experts, the Martis, that this was an upright 1/2 HP with a type E carburetor! After finding out that the 1/2 HP engine could become part of the Johnson collection, I asked Wes if there was a possibility of acquiring the car also. He thoughtfully cocked his head, rested his chin with the neatly trimmed 'Colonel Sanders' goatee on his hand, and stated, 'Looks to me like they are securely hitched together, and, if you get one you get the other, too!' I could hardly wait to get home and start work on my newest treasure!


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