P.O. Box 142 Kingman, Kansas 67068
Monday morning dawned dark and rainy; no matter, a little rain won't stop an engine hunting trip. Heading west on US 54 towards Pratt, Kansas the road was quite wet. It was a good thing it was springtime (May 1991) and no ice on the roads.
I must go back seven years, to March 1984, to tell the real beginning of this story. I had heard of a place just southwest of Pratt that had tractors, engines, etc. Being new to the hobby at the time (I was introduced to it in the fall of 1983), I was very excited about going to this place, even during an ice storm. Cars were in ditches, ice was hanging on everything, and here were my friend Erik and I going engine hunting! Anything for old engines, right?
Well, we made it to the place okay and found the owner, Glen. He drove us up on the 'hill,' in a pasture north of the house, and showed us his many tractors and other old relics of the past. I spotted a rough 1? IHC M. Glen said that he had one more just like it and would sell them both to me for one price. I decided to buy them, so Erik and I loaded them up and headed back to Glen's farmyard. Once there, Glen asked us if we would like to see his 'good' engines. He walked over behind some outbuildings and showed us three or four round stock tanks turned upside-down. Glen then told us to look under them. We did, of course, and found the usual LA's and LB's, FM, etc. Then under another tank, one engine caught my eye, a 1 HP Mogul. I still remember that first sight of the brass nameplate, mag, etc. I wouldn't even have known what a Mogul was if it wasn't for an article in my very first copy of GEM, November/December 1983. The article told of a collector who found a 1 HP Mogul in the dark corner of a barn. The engine was also pictured.
Anyway, having spent my money, I knew the Mogul was way out of reach. I also noticed two other engines that I never forgot: a Union Giant, manufactured in Ottawa, Kansas, and a Waterloo Boy. I went home happy that day though, with my old IHC M's.
Over the years that followed, I could never forget the sight of that little Mogul. It wasn't until my first show in Pawnee, Oklahoma in 1984 that I found out just how nice Mogul engines were. But for seven years I never did get back out to Glen's. It always seemed that I kept my money spent at a show or something.
Just after the 1991 Pawnee show, I gave Glen a call to see if he still had the engines. It seems I had a little bit of engine money burning a hole in my pocket. He said that we would be at the farm early in the morning and that I could come and look, which brings us back to Monday morning heading towards Pratt.
We (my wife, my friend Erik, and I) pulled into his farm and had to drive up to the 'hill' to find him. He had a tractor collector from out-of-state looking at some old iron. Anyway, we finally made it back to the farmyard where the old stock tanks were. My heart was really pounding as I raised a tank and saw the Mogul untouched, after seven years. I knew I had to have it and tried to remain calm (trying hard not to drool all over myself and the engine).
As I started to deal with him, my optimism turned into utter disappointment, as the price was way too high for me. My effort to strike a deal was futile.
We left his place and drove into Pratt to eat breakfast at McDonald's. As we ate, my heart ached at the thought of leaving that little Mogul under that tank.
Anyway, to make a long story short, my wallet loosened up a little, we inhaled our breakfast, and flew over the country roads back to Glen's. As soon as the money was in Glen's hand, Erik and I started over toward the Mogul; MY MOGUL! Glen offered to have his son get his tractor with the high loader to help. I said, 'No, thanks,' and the little engine was up out of its long resting place and in the back of my pickup within a minute. My wife said she had never seen an engine loaded so fast; Erik and I were almost running with it!
The trip home was great and I could not keep my eyes on the road for looking back in the pickup.
That same day we made another trip back to Glen's place, and Erik bought the Union Giant that we'd seen seven years ago. That's another story in itself.
As far as the Mogul, everything was 100% original, even most of the paint. The skids had been almost completely buried in sand, and after a coating of grease as hard as creosote had been cleaned off, they revealed their past as well.
The original factory stencil 'Mogul 1' is still clearly visible. The serial number is W1707, which dates it as a 1915 model.
Everything on the engine was free, except the fuel pump, which I had to heat red-hot with the 'Blue Wrench' to free up. After cleaning all parts, washing the engine down, etc., I only had to replace the wristpin and magneto bushings. The engine runs as good, if not better, than any I have ever had. Even the fuel tank was good.
You might be able to tell from the 'after' photo, that I am a firm believer in keeping the original finish on an engine. I think it would be a real shame to paint over something like this, it is part of the engine's history. If stripped and painted, you could never get it back. I realize if there's nothing but solid rust, then painting would be in order. I would rather preserve an original finish if there's anything at all to preserve.
The little Mogul made its first showing at the August 1991, Winfield, Kansas show. It is also looking forward to the May 1992 Pawnee, Oklahoma show where it can make more 'engine friends.'