The DeLongs' United

| October/November 1991

  • The United Engine
    Mr. and Mrs. Marrion DeLong, original owners of the United.

  • The United Engine

3064 Lincoln Road Ludington, Michigan 49431

June 1989 was the beginning of the J DeLong story. A friend of mine, Tom McCumber, mentioned to me that he knew of an old engine in Rothbury, Michigan. Tom told me that the engine was very rusty and that the engine skids were rotting into the ground. Tom had no real interest in the engine but knew that I did. So, he told me the engine looked real heavy and that he thought it was frozen up.

This information made my enthusiasm go right through the ceiling! My first question to Tom was, 'Will he sell the engine?' Tom replied, 'I think so.' Tom gave me the man's name and telephone number. I immediately made my way to a telephone and called Mr. Marrion DeLong. 'Yes,' he replied, 'I will sell the engine.' So, we set a date for me to see the engine.

I had to wait until the following weekend. What a long week that proved to be. I was anxious to see the engine. Saturday finally came, it was a very cold day. Cold or not, my wife and I loaded up the ramps, hand winch, and finally-old engine here I come! I had no information on the size, the condition, or even what kind of engine I was going to see. We drove for about 45 minutes, but it seemed like hours. Know what I mean?

When we arrived, my eyes quickly scanned the area. There they were, two rusty flywheels sticking out of two foot high quack grass. No paint to be seen, just rust. I hoped I wasn't too late to save the engine, because Mother Nature can surely raise havoc with old iron. Being that the engine wasn't covered, I thought Jack Frost might have been there and left a big crack in the head or the hopper.

I anxiously knocked at the door and introduced myself, then Mr. DeLong and I walked out to the engine. Mr. DeLong stated that the cover blew off the engine several years ago. The engine is a 4? HP United, throttle governed, Type H, serial number #402666. Luckily, the crank guard was still in place, and Mr. DeLong had occasionally squirted a little oil here and there to keep the piston, cylinder and other vital parts from becoming rusted together. The only part that was frozen up was the ignitor, and there was a small crack in the bottom of the hopper.


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