Sandwich Engine Collection Spans Three Generations

Three generations of the Soukup family have accumulated an impressive line-up of Sandwich engines.

| April/May 2013

Sandwich collection

The Soukup family has a large Sandwich engine collection.

Photo By Bill Vossler

Like many collectors, Ed Soukup got started collecting antique gas engines in an innocent way. “My dad, Henry, grew up with a 4 HP Stover engine on the farm, and after we went to a 1972 threshing show, he said, ‘You know, it would be nice just to have just one engine,’” Ed laughs. Today, three generations of Soukups – Henry, Ed and Ed’s son Jay – have amassed a collection of 75 engines. Though Henry passed away in March 2012, he was involved until the last couple of months and was instrumental in getting the younger Soukups interested in the hobby.

Ed’s first taste of owning his own engines was as a teenager when he spotted a 1-1/2 HP McCormick-Deering engine. “At that time I thought anything with two flywheels was neat and would have bought every double flywheel at the time, but I couldn’t afford much, so I settled for that McCormick-Deering.”

He fixed it up and in 1977 decided he wanted another engine. His dad said he would have to sell the McCormick-Deering to get something else. That something else turned out to be an 8 HP Cushman, still at the farm where it worked its entire life. “Dad said it only had one flywheel, but I pestered him, so the next day we went back and bought it for $75. The guy had bought the engine new. That doesn’t happen nowadays because the people who bought them new back in the 1920s and 1930s aren’t alive any more. This one hadn’t been used in many years, and the cart wheels had sunk a foot deep.”

Years later, Henry said he wished he would have let Ed keep that very first McCormick-Deering.

The Soukup Sandwich Engines

The Soukup’s collection of Sandwich engines came about by accident, after Ed bought a 1-1/2 HP Cub Sandwich at an Isanti, Minn., auction in 1978, and he and his father restored it.

Ed bought his favorite Sandwich engine, a 1916 6 HP, in 1982 at a huge Rice Lake, Wis., auction featuring more than a hundred engines, including many large ones.