Gas Engine Magazine

That Once In A Lifetime Find

By Staff

R 2, Box 84 Sorento, Illinois 62086

It all started at a routine stop of mine to pick up a load of
old chain saws. I’ve been collecting old saws for about eight
years now and got the antique engine fever about three years ago. I
try to collect chain saws, log saws, or just about anything that
will saw or cut wood. I’ve strayed from that a time or two and
ended up with some old garden tractors and a Caterpillar 20.

While in Hamilton, Missouri to pick up the load of old saws, the
junkman, who everybody calls ‘Twitch’, told me he knew
where there was an old log saw that he could take me to see. It was
only about fifteen minutes away, so we headed out. On the way
there, I was dreaming of the ‘BIG FIND’, but kept telling
myself not to get my hopes up.

When we arrived at the farm, we went to the door, only to be
disappointed. The lady of the house said that her husband was too
ill to get out of bed. Instantly my balloon burst. Then she said
her son, Larry, was down at the barn and we should go talk to him.
We rounded the barn and I couldn’t believe my eyes! There,
surrounding one of the buildings, was a line of old engines and
iron. My heart started pounding. There were all shapes and sizes of
old one lunger engines. The best thing was that they were original
and complete. There were Associated, Novo, Monitors, John Deeres,
Ottawas, Fairbanks, Wittes, Cushman, Internationals, Fuller &
Johnson, and a Campbell.

After talking to Larry I pointed out four engines I was
interested in and asked him the price. He went in the house to talk
it over with his father. When he came out, he gave me a price per
engine I couldn’t believe! At that price, I said I would take
them all, and started counting. We figured a total and my wife paid
for them.

I still couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I ended up
purchasing seventeen engines including three log saws. I had no way
of taking any of the engines home with me because my pickup was
already full of chain saw stuff. It was difficult, but I had to go
home with only memories until I could come back to load up my

After many phone calls, I lined up a 16 foot trailer to pull
with my truck and another truck and trailer that a friend would
drive. A long two weeks passed before we went back to Missouri to
load up my treasures. We visited with Larry awhile and looked over
his other collectibles, which included an old Cat 20. We came up
with four more engines that my friend Kenny bought. It was 104°
that day and we were tired and drenched with sweat after loading
both trucks and trailers. We decided to spend the night at a local
motel and head for home the following morning.

After a cool shower, supper, engine talk, and a good night’s
rest, we started for home on a beautiful morning, with the high
that day in the lower 90’s. We had a trouble-free trip and lots
of good memories.

About two months later, I also ended up buying the
before-mentioned 1930 Caterpillar 20. But, that’s another

  • Published on Sep 1, 1989
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