Rare Engines at Gas-Up 2002

A unique selection of rare engines converges in Western New York.

| January/February 2003

Craig Prucha's 12 HP Field

Craig Prucha's 12 HP Field, made by Field-Brundage Co., Jackson, Mich., sometime in the teens. Note the sideshaft 'cam stopper' design, in which the intake valve cam actually stops turning as soon as the governor latches, at the same time keeping the magneto from tripping. Very neat stuff, and only employed by a few engine builders.

Jeff Park's 12 HP Rumsey, built by G.B. Rumsey Machine Co., Friendship, N.Y. Rumsey supposedly built these sideshaft engines in both air-cooled and water-cooled versions up to 30 HP. This is a rare survivor from a company that is said to have built engines first in Ripley, N. Y., then for a time in Johnsville, N.Y., and finally in Friendship, N.Y.

I always enjoy the occasional gas-ups sponsored by Craig Prucha on the western side of New York state in Pavillion, N.Y. So when I heard he was having another gas-up on Labor Day weekend, I looked forward to it eagerly - and I was not disappointed. Even though this year's gas-up was more laid back than previous ones, there were engines there that could put all but the largest gas engine shows to shame.

Rare Engines

Of course, the fact that Craig has some fine, unusual engines in residence helps. His latest acquisition is a 12 HP Field made by Field-Brundage Co., Jackson, Mich. This engine, which was probably made some time in the late teens, runs on natural gas and was originally used on an oil field lease. It is known as a 'cam stopper' engine, because when the governor locks the exhaust valve open a clutch in the end of the camshaft disengages the intake valve cam, at the same time preventing the magneto from tripping. The Field has a rare, aftermarket Webster magneto, making the engine all the more interesting.

A trio of Boviard & Seyfang hot tube oil field engines belonging to Craig Prucha (10 HP on left and 20 HP on right) and Stiles Bradley (15 HP at center).

A trio of Boviard & Seyfang single valve, hot tube oil field engines made by Boviard & Seyfang Manufacturing Co., Bradford, Pa., were on hand. Restoring these engines is a specialty of Craig's, and the unique sound of these engines could be heard throughout the day. The 10 HP and 20 HP engines on either end are Craig's, and the 15 HP engine between them belongs to Stiles Bradley, Pavillion, N.Y.