Write Restoration

| July/August 1990

4307 5th Street Riverside, California 92501

I live in Riverside, California but was raised on the farm in Minnesota. About four years ago, my brother-in-law in northern Minnesota told me he had been given an engine that I could have if I came and got it. Two years ago I went and got it, a 3? HP Witte, Serial #B-39693. It was first sold to Mr. Tom Griffiths in Ashland, Wisconsin in 1926 (as per National Oilwell's T.G. Johnston). It has already been restored and runs fine.

Now, the real kick-in-the-pants. The first day back at work after picking up the engine, I was talking about it at the 'coffee clatch' before starting work and a co-worker, Bob Arroyo, says 'You want another one?' Seems his dad had one that had been sitting 'out back' for at least twenty years. Even he didn't remember when he parked it back there.

Fortunately, it doesn't freeze around here, only rains in the winter, and in that area where 'Pop' lives it blows sand pretty regularly. This engine was (would you believe) another Witte, 2 HP, Serial #B-38325, manufactured February, 1927 (as per Mr. Johnston again).

Also, it was mounted on a framework of angle iron and was a walk-behind garden tractor, and the entire assembly was absolutely frozen solid! ('Stuck' wasn't the word for it!)

To reinforce R.W. Doss's article in February, 1990 issue, page 5, and his statement, 'toys are still out there and closer to home than you think,' this tractor was within the city limits of Riverside, two miles from where I live and one mile from where I've worked for 35 years and not over 200 feet from a busy four-lane street and visible from the street!


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