McCormick-Deering Model M Hot Rod Special

1930 1-1/2 HP McCormick-Deering Model M gets special treatment

| June/July 2012

  • McCormick-Deering Model M
    McCormick-Deering Model M "Hot Rod Special"
  • Hot Rod Special
    Don Kelly modified a McCormick-Deering Model M to make this hot rod special engine.
  • Hot Rod Flywheels
    One of the "backward running" flywheels
  • Hot Rod
    A backside view of Don Kelly's "Hot Rod Special."
  • Pinstriped Check Valve
    The hot rod special's valves turned upside down, showcasing the pinstriped check valve.
  • Exhaust
    The exhaust coming out of the mixer hole with the mixer coming out of the exhaust pipe (barely visable at bottom).
  • The Governor Arm
    The governor arm

  • McCormick-Deering Model M
  • Hot Rod Special
  • Hot Rod Flywheels
  • Hot Rod
  • Pinstriped Check Valve
  • Exhaust
  • The Governor Arm

This engine could have been rebuilt in the backyard shop of a young country mechanic who was thinking about winning the next race at the local drag strip in about 1955.

But no, the way it was heard as the little boy ran in the back door after getting full instructions on how the Hot Rod Special works was, “Mama! Come quick and see what Don has went and done to his engine. The exhaust comes out of the mixer hole and the mixer goes in the exhaust pipe hole. The valves are turned upside down and the exhaust lever has a dog leg in it.

“The fuel pump is gone, replaced with a check valve. It’s painted red and got them pinstripes on it. The EK magneto is gone, and it’s got an aluminum oiler on it. Don said it was a hit-and-miss, but even I know that McCormick-Deering Model M 1-1/2 HPs were throttle governed engines — not the case here.

“And, Mom,” the little boy said, “the flywheels are on the wrong sides and the big old gas tank in the base has been replaced with a small one between the skid rails to make room for a buzz coil and battery in the engine base, and a micro switch is used for ignition. The flywheels turn the wrong way — it runs backwards, counter-clockwise, just a timing adjustment on the exhaust and ignition cam and gear is all that was needed.



“I told Don it was the wrong color and he assured me that it was the right color, that he had to go to four stores before he found the Regal Red Rust-Oleum he had in mind. And, Mom, it sure is slick. Don did all the work on this engine and made all the hit-and-miss parts in his shop and he sent this photo to show you how it looks.”

I think this story would have gone on for hours if the little boy’s mom had not just removed a pan of homemade biscuits from the oven. Melted butter and homemade jam on a hot biscuit is one thing that will get a young mechanic to wash his hands and stop talking.

TOM KINDEL
4/17/2013 11:12:07 PM

My first time with your on line subscription. I am very interested in learning about the stationary engines,since I have inherited my father-in-laws McCormick International ? 1 1/2 HP engine. I had seen it run many years ago and now I need information on how to get it started and running. I have turned the flywheel too many times and not got it to run. It has spark,but there is an issue with the carburator keeping gas in it,something about a check valve somewhere? Anyone knowing about please send info to me. My name is Tom In Mountaindale, Oregon




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