Gas Engine Magazine

My Wife’s Witte

By Staff

No. 1, Honeymoon Hill, Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738

One-Buy an old engine and convince her that it is hers.

Two-Let her paint it any color she likes.

Three-Explain to all that it is not original.

My wife had only a passing interest in the old engines, like:
How much did it cost? What do you do with it? Will it ever run?

I started out with a throttle engine; it took two years to get
it and me to the first engine show (GEM Oct. ’86, page 9). That
is when the bug started to bite. As it bit deeper I had to have a
Hit-and-Miss. I found this 2 HP headless Witte at a show and it
followed me home. Like the chain saw that I bought for her birthday
a few years ago, I told her that it was for her. After a year of
answering the question, ‘Will it ever run?,’ I was able to
say, ‘Yes, but it needs paint and it is your engine, so start
painting.’ It took her at least 30 seconds to decide on the
exact color and shade of pink.

Now it is on a trailer with a farm display: a DeLaval separator,
an ice cream freezer, and we have added a 1910 Dasher and 1917
paddle butter churns, 1926 McCormick Deering milking machine and a
man milking a cow, all running with belts from the ‘Little Pink

This is not about a spectacular find or an extensive rebuild.
But the engine does get a lot of attention in and around the Great
Smoky Mountains at engine shows. I added a sign as my total
disclaimer. At engine shows my wife will start her engine and stand
proudly by, claiming to the world that it is her engine.

  • Published on Apr 1, 1990
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