The BIG Find


| September/October 2001



Fairbanks-Morse Engine

14218 Third Street Arcadia, Texas 77517 lntheLt@aol.com

It all started about two years ago. I went to a swap meet two hours from my house. I live about 20 miles south of Houston, Texas, and this swap meet was out in the country, about two hours away. I have a few old cars and I thought that this place might be a good spot for those hard to find parts. While there, I noticed a club had set up a display of hit-and-miss and other old engines. I stood there hypnotized. The sound of the pop, then the huffing as it free wheeled, watching the crank and rod in motion did something to me and I was hooked. Up to this point I didn't even know these engines existed. I decided right then I wanted one of these engines!

Well, I walked around to the rest of the swap meet and found someone selling an IHC LB, not a hit-n-miss. (I didn't know the difference at the time), and I couldn't watch the rod and crank. It was missing some parts, but it was a start and it was cheap, so I bought it.

It didn't take me long to learn that there was hit-n-miss, and then there was throttle-governed. So I ordered some parts and put the LB on the back burner, hoping to find a hit-n-miss.

For two years I went to swap meets and never saw anything at all. My job requires me to do a lot of driving in the Houston area, and still I never saw any out in fields or anywhere else. I was beginning to think I was going to have to drive to another state to find what I wanted.

I live in a small town that was a dairy community years ago. The odds of my finding any engines here in town are about as good as a Liberal voting for a tax cut.