Mogul Engines: The Whole Line

It took some work, and three decades, but one dedicated collector amassed the entire Mogul engine line.

| April/May 2014

When Lyle Dumont does something, he does it in a big way. Like the time in 1969 when he bought more than 400 antique gas engines in one fell swoop.

“I was born and raised on a farm,” the retired Sigourney, Iowa, collector says. “I worked as a mechanic for a while and always had an interest in that old iron, because when I was a little boy my uncle would say, ‘Lyle, you’ve got to get a hobby, you’ve got to get a hobby.’ And that’s what happened.”

During high school, Lyle started collecting antique cars, and then after three years in the Army he began collecting tractors. He was attracted to the tractors his dad had on the farm and he had driven when he was younger, but then his collection expanded to engines even older than that.

During the 1960s, the now 75-year-old bought and sold more than a thousand tractors (and still has a hundred or so in his Dumont Museum near Sigourney) “I really went crazy, buying and selling tractors and fixing them up and selling them at auctions,” Lyle says. “The most I had at one time was over 300 tractors in my collection.”

Natural step

Moving from tractors to gasoline engines seemed like a natural next step. Lyle remembers his first engine being a small IHC or John Deere. “After that, pretty soon, away you go,” he says. “I had a few more by the time I got acquainted with a real character who found the estate of a collector who had died in Joplin, Mo. The estate had three engines that this character wanted, but he couldn’t afford to buy them,” and he wanted Lyle to buy them for him.

It turned out those were three of more than 400 engines, so Lyle decided to buy not just those three, but all 400-plus gasoline engines from the estate. Included in the trove were a number of very rare engines, including an entire set of the square-tank headless Witte engines, a Falk, a couple of rare screen-cooled International Harvester Moguls, an upright Monitor that stood over 6 feet high and many others.


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