SPARK PLUG OF THE MONTH


| September/October 1967



Pandora Boxes

Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana

Joe Fahnestock

Dayton Daily News & Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

'OI' Needle-Eye', they call him. And little wonder, one muses, as he observes the tiny, intricately-detailed and perfectly-functioning gas engine models of stationary design which the man who has earned that honorary nonemclature has been showing; recently around some of the midwestern Gasoline Alley conclaves.

You'd hardly know he was around. There is no fanfare when James R. Maloney arrives from the capital city of Indiana, Indianapolis, parks his ear somewhere in the melee of popping prototype gas engines and tractors, and proceeds to methodically unpack his beautiful polished cases with brass handles, knurled knobs and engraved name-plates which signifies both the model and its maker.

Your eyes fairly bug out of your head, as the quiet little man with the cap strides across the grounds, dodging  internal combustion engines with whirling fly-wheel, his eye glancing now and then at the prototypes he hopes someday to model. But if your eyes haven't already popped out of your head at the mere sight of the beautiful cases 'OI' Needle-Eye' is non-chalantly lugging, one in each hand, they certainly will, once he begins loosening the machined brass knobs and reveals the treasures of his 'Pandora's Boxes' to the gaping gasoline gaffers who have already congregated to witness one of life's biggest, though tiniest surprises.

For out of one polished case 'OI' Needle-Eye' fetches forth a beautiful polished brass and red-enameled model of the Famous International 2-Horse-power vertical gas engine for you to see. But wait a minute - that's just the first surprise, in case your jaw is already dropping. For out of the second polished case, the craftsman's hand carefully lifts an even more intriguing piece of watch-like mechanism - an exact duplicate of the first model International vertical engine, only this one is even smaller. In fact so tiny it nestles comfortably in the palm of his hand.

You begin asking questions of the little man whose eyes are so sharp for details both small and intricate.