She Ain't Pretty, But She's Mine!

| June/July 1997

  • IHC Engine

  • IHC Engine

1543 Laguna Lane, Lakewood, New Jersey 08701

Here is a story of my Mogul find. Having been an engine collector for some 10 years, I have developed an affinity for the older International Harvester Company (IHC) engines. I have been looking for a Mogul but they always seem to be out of reach: too far away, cost too much, in really poor shape or just not for sale. I got a lead to an upcoming auction where three engines were for sale, one being a 6 HP Mogul. I contacted the auctioneer, and after several telephone calls, I felt it might be worth the trip. He said he never saw the engine, but was told that it was running, on a wagon of sorts, rusty with some original green paint and mostly complete. I was scheduled to work that weekend but found a replacement for Saturday (auction day). The weather forecast was for lots of rain, wind, cold and generally miserable.

Well, Friday night it was like that when I went to sleep and when I got up on Saturday at 3:00 a.m., it was the same. The New Jersey Turnpike had a car-trailer ban and I had to detour to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. At 7:00 a.m. I got off at Harrisburg and found that after some 200 miles in the wind and rain I had another 50 miles to the auction.

I got there with no trouble and parked on the road for fear of getting stuck in the gently rolling Pennsylvania pasture. It was flat for about 30 feet then dropped off very quickly in a steep ravine all of which was clay and quite slippery. I looked around and found the engines in the rain. One of the local men said that they had the engine running earlier and would start it again later. It appeared to have had a rough life, as the original wheels and bolster were gone, the ignitor, lower valve cage and head had been welded, and water was leaking out through the ignitor bolt hole and seeping out through the valve cage weld.

I looked it over and decided that I wanted it, and set a price that I was willing to spend. A while later, several of the local men started it, and it ran okay. No strange noises, it seemed fairly tight, and had good compression. It started and ran on the original Accurate 'O' magneto, and had the Madison Kipp three-tube mechanical oiler. This was about 8:30 a.m., and the engines would be auctioned off at noon.

In the meantime I bought some good 'STUFF,' and only saw a few engine folks that I knew. I did not see any of the known dealers or high-priced collectors around. Was luck with me? The bidding went quickly and stopped well short of my anticipated price. I could hardly believe it. I mean it wasn't cheap, but on the other hand, it didn't cost a Mogul fortune.


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