11 Haverhill Road, PO. Box 1 Chester, New Hampshire 03036-0001
May's issue of GEM arrived in the morning's mail and it wasn't long before I had retired to the overstuffed chair to begin my monthly ritual of reading it cover to cover! My wife says that I study each issue rather than read them and I guess that is probably closer to the truth.
Low and behold, well into the advertisement/auction section, I spot it, what appears to be a rather large auction of gas engines and machinery in Illinois. Now Illinois is halfway across the country and there is only one engine that has caught my interest out of the question don't give up just yet.
Three names and phone numbers are listed as contacts for the sale. Eeni-meeni-minee-moe. Let's try this name.
'Hello, Mr. Ronald Loos, my name is Kevin Scott and I'm, interested in an engine in your up-coming auction. Yes, I do have some questions, and a picture would be a lot of help, too. You would? A couple of days? Boy, that would be great. Thanks very much. I'll be watching the mail.'
Less than one week went by and Ron's letter and photos arrived. Now, here's the problem. This is definitely an engine that I would like to add to my collection. Chester, New Hampshire to Marine, Illinois is about 3,000 miles and five days round trip and I can't get the time off even if I could justify the expense. What to do? It seemed like a return letter to Ron was in order. After all, he did seem very nice on the phone.
'Dear Ron, Would you consider bidding on this engine for me? Here's a Postal Money Order for what I would like to bid. Please understand that if we get this engine, I would also ask you to crate it and put it on a truck and freight it to me. Thanks very much.'
Sunday evening, the day after the auction, Ron called with the good news. We had been the successful bidders for a sum less than anticipated, and he would be happy to crate and ship it to me if I wasn't in too big of a hurry. Well, that sounded like a fine plan to me.
Within two weeks I got a call from Consolidated Freight -ways to come and pick up my new engine. After settling up on the collect freight bill, I was on my way home to uncrate my new prize and take a real first look. Ron had crated it very well as it took three recharges of my little electric screw driver to set it free.
The rest of the story reads just like you would hope. Fresh gas a few cranks experiment with the throttle and choke a couple of more crank signition close choke set throttle, and runs great!
Now, what kind of exotic engine would be worth all this effort? For me it was a Fuller and Johnson, Model 'AB', 2 cylinder, 5-8 HP. the serial number is 400254 and it was built in 1926 according to 'The Fuller and Johnson Story' by Vern Kindishi. Fewer than 1,690 of this model were produced before the company went out of business. This one has the top water hopper rather than being radiator equipped, and really runs nice.
Now, I don't recommend this approach to buying an engine for everyone, but if you're lucky enough to know Ron Loos in Illinois, maybe he can help you out, too!