Worth The Wait


| June/July 2001



Unidentifed Engine

'Before' picture engine could be run in this condition.

12234 Harris Carleton, Michigan 48117

This story really starts back in 1995. For some reason the looks of upright engines had caught my eye. I don't know why, but they did. I had seen a Scott Ewing at the Findlay, Ohio, show. I really liked that steam engine type look. So I started thinking about a Bates & Edmonds. A Bates has that same look, plus I like the history behind the company, the Bates and Olds connection.

So I started asking all my engine buddies about Bates & Edmonds engines. They all said that they had seen them for sale at shows now and then, at a fair price. When talking to Bates collectors, I would ask if I could stop by to look over their engines and take some pictures. When the day came for me to buy a Bates I hoped to know what the engine should have on it.

Every month when GEM would arrive, I would go right to the classifieds hoping to find my Bates, but that would be too easy, wouldn't it? To raise money I sold a couple of engines, motorcycle and an ATV. I thought I had all the cash I would ever need.

The first year went by with no engine. The second year went by; the only Bates I found was a 5 HP, but that was just too large for me. I went to one auction that advertised a Bates, but it turned out to be a Bull Dog (not an upright) had a good time anyway. It's not like I didn't have anything to work on. It was a good time to restore my Grand Haven tractor that I had been putting off for about five years. I also picked up a nice Ideal upright, at a price I just could not pass up.

With no luck at all finding a Bates, I had decided I wanted a metal lathe. One of the club members had a nice 12 x 36 Clausing. When I paid him for it, something in the back of my mind told me the phone would ring the next day and someone would have a Bates engine for sale. After buying the lathe and some needed tooling, about half my engine money was gone.