Young Iron: Spenser Rynne

Hit-and-miss kid

| October/November 2010

  • young iron spenser rynne
    Spenser Rynne with two of his favorite engines.

  • young iron spenser rynne

Spenser Rynne

Location: Kennebunk, ME 


Q: How long have you been collecting gas engines?
A: I purchased my first hit-and-miss engine, a 1929 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Dishpan Model Z in July 2009. I started my collection of engines in 2006 with a 1930s Empire B30 steam engine.

Q: What attracted you to the hobby?
A: My grandfather owns a 1968 Wheel Horse tractor and when I was 3 years old I would ride around the yard on it with him. Soon after, I started driving the Wheel Horse on my own. I have loved mechanical items for as long as I can remember. I started collecting antiques such as cameras, fans and tube radios when I was about 6 years old. I learned how to use the Internet and started doing research on all sorts of engines and farm equipment. I found the hit-and-miss engines and watched the videos of how they ran and listened to the sounds they made. The creativity and the craftsmanship have always amazed me.

Q: Who else in your family collects engines?
A: I am the first person in my family to start collecting these engines. Luckily, I have the support of my family to help me get all of this accomplished.

Q: What is your favorite engine in your collection?
The 1929 2 HP Fairbanks-Morse Dishpan Model Z because it is the first engine I purchased with money I saved from mowing lawns in the summer.

Q: Are you working on any restoration projects?
A: My father and I are restoring a 1924 Fairbanks-Morse Dishpan throttle-governed engine.

Q: What are your favorite engines?
A: Small gas engines like the Clinton and Reo because I can easily work on them by myself and you are still able to find parts for them. I also enjoy toy steam engines like my Empire B30. I like to create models out of Legos, wood and metal and attach them to the Empire to make them run.

Q: As a young collector what are some of the obstacles you’ve come across?
I have found that collecting these engines requires both money and the help and information of more experienced collectors to find parts or get a question answered. I work during the summer mowing lawns and in the winter I snow blow our driveway so that I have money saved up when a part is needed or I come across an engine I would like to buy. I am also a member of the Maine Antique Power Association and the other members I live near have been so helpful to my family and myself.

Q: What is your dream engine to own?
A: Farrar & Trefts / Clark & Norton 15 HP half-breed. These are rare engines and very mechanical. I just love the look of them.

Q: What is your dream engine to own?
A: A large, single-cylinder Miller engine because they are smooth and quiet runners, and the design is really well-built and unique.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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