| September/October 1996

R.R. #1, Ayr, Ontario, Canada NOB 1E0

It all started one Sunday afternoon when Rich Mosher (a good friend of mine) and I were thinking of an engine he saw at a local show about 14 years ago. From bits and pieces of his memory of this Marshall diesel, he thought he could recall the owner's name. This hunch was quite accurate and we soon had an address and we were on our way. About an hour and a half later we were there, viewing another collection that was new to us. We carefully looked over about 50 engines including the Marshall diesel, and a 60 HP Fairbanks Morse 'Y' diesel. Just as we were ready to leave he thought that, as long as we were in the area, we should pay a visit to another collector just a few concessions away. So off we went again, with a few directions and a slight boost to our enthusiasm. The next stop, a farm where we were cheerfully greeted and given a guided tour of several buildings very well stocked with iron. This tour included small to medium sized farm engines, tractors, and steam traction engines. During our visit, I mentioned that I was interested in the 'BIG ONES' which caused our guide to steer us in the direction of a group of trees and tall grass behind an implement shed. From 100 feet away I could see two flywheels about 5-6 feet in diameter quite narrow for their size and still on the crankshaft. Lying on the ground next to the flywheels were two cylinders and two crankshaft halves. The heads were still on the cylinders and the pistons and rods had never been removed from their respective cylinders. Once the others in the party caught up to me, I was told it was a Fairbanks Morse 100 HP model RE. It was supposed to be all complete and by the serial number it was made in 1915.

We walked over to a small building where all the smaller parts were stored, such as bearing caps, lubricators, gears, piping, shafts, rockers, bolts, extra pistons, extra ignitors, the manifold, etc. It appeared like everything was there, the obvious parts anyway. Because I'd never seen an engine like this before, I had to take his word on the smaller pieces. After viewing a few more pieces, I got up the nerve to ask him what he wanted for the F-M which he mentioned earlier was for sale. The price, being more than I ever paid for any other engine, didn't seem too far out of reach so I let him know I was interested, got his telephone number and headed for home. On the drive home the conversation pretty much was centered around the big F-M.

By the time we were pulling in my driveway, I had convinced myself that this engine was one of my necessities of life, and I should get it at any cost. I'm sure you know how that is.

My wife, Carol, is always very understanding about my hobby; however, she had to remind me that food and the mortgage would have to come first. I'm glad she is so logical about these things or I may have had another engine with nowhere to put it.

After realizing I needed to sell a few engines to finance this next purchase, I made a few well placed phone calls and was well on the way. In a very short time I was ready to get serious about it, so I made a call to do the usual haggling. The price was not open for discussion so I agreed to it and set up the pick-up date.


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