In the Beginning

Part One in a Five-Part Series: Restoring an Amanco 2-1/4 HP Hired Man

| January 2006

Editor’s note: This article is the first of a planned five-part series by British engine enthusiast Peter Rooke on restoring an Amanco 2-1/4 HP Hired Man stationary engine. 

I arrived home with my first stationary engine to be greeted by my wife’s unhelpful comments about a lump of rusty old metal and questions about my sanity. She found it difficult to visualize the mound on the garage floor could eventually become a restored, gleaming, working engine: It would take me almost a year to complete.

I have always been drawn to stationary engines at agricultural events and fancied the challenge of renovating one. I put out the word among farming friends that I was looking for a full-size engine and was soon introduced to an enthusiast at a local show that resulted in an offer of a Lister to restore.

A visit to “Aladdin’s Cave” revealed an amazing collection of over 30 engines. He dragged out a Lister D, and Wolsey WD2 for me to consider restoring. While I was drooling over these he mentioned he had an open crank engine, but it required a considerable amount of work. He then produced a rather tired and rusty Amanco Hired Man. This was it, just what I wanted, small enough for my workshop and a real challenge to get running again. However, the scale of the work required was not really apparent until I had it home.

The Amanco is a 2-1/4 HP Hired Man, serial no. 129028. Depending on which table you read, the engine was made between 1914 and 1916.

The steps I have taken to restore this engine are those of a “first timer” and more experienced enthusiasts might well have had a different approach. For some of the restoration I chose to make new components, as I enjoy working metal. However, time would have been saved and my life made easier if I had sourced the parts from shows and other enthusiasts.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.

Facebook YouTube


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265