Young Iron: Spenser Rynne

By Staff
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Spenser Rynne with two of his favorite engines.

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.

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