My Son's WITTE

| October/November 1994

  • Witte Type B Engine

  • Witte Type B Engine

R. D. #4, Box 145, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

Last summer the 'old iron bug' bit me. I acquired a 5 HP Hercules, refurbished it, and started going to shows. To my surprise and pleasure, my ten year old son Danny went to most of the shows with me. He seemed to be as interested in the other engines at the shows as I was. By the end of the summer, thanks to his grandfather, he was even a dues paying member of The Fort Allen Antique Farm Equipment Association!

At our club's 'Apple and Arts' show (August 1993) in Delmont, Pennsylvania, I met an individual who told me that he had a Hercules engine that was 'just like (mine) only smaller.' When he said that he wanted to trade it for Maytag parts, I became more than a bit interested! After telling him that he might want to simply sell his engine and buy whatever Maytag parts he wanted, I got his name and phone number just in case.

As September passed into October and October into November, my son went through each issue of GEM page by page. I began to think that perhaps he was old enough to have some old iron of his own. Christmas was coming and if the man I had met at Apple and Arts still had the engine, maybe it would be a good Christmas present for Dan.

In mid-November I called the owner of the engine and couldn't believe my ears when he told me that he still had the engine and what he wanted for it! The next day my father-in-law and I went to see (read that 'buy') the Hercules that was 'just like (mine) only smaller.' The engine was under a workbench which was covered with some of the most beautiful Maytags that anyone would ever want to see. After admiring the Maytags, we moved parts off the engine we had come to look at and moved it out into the center of the garage. It was dirty, greasy, and red. Definitely not a Hercules but who knew what? The owner said he hadn't started it for 14 years. After putting gas in the carb and priming the engine, he spun the flywheels only twice and it started! I gave him what he was asking for the engine, quickly loaded it into my truck and started home. We were only about a half block down the road when my father-in-law turned to me and said in almost a whisper, 'You thief!'

After arriving home, I spent several hours searching through Wendel's American Gasoline Engines. I determined that what I had in the back of my truck was a Witte Type B, 2 HP throttling governor engine. Would Danny like it? I hoped so but neither his mother nor I were sure!


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