Letters and Miscellanies:

To the Reflector:

| January/February 2002

  • Buda Model E

  • Deere & Webber Letter

  • Buda Model ER

  • Buda Model E
  • Deere & Webber Letter
  • Buda Model ER

I see in GEM that you displayed an 'unknown' 2-cylinder air-cooled engine at Mt. Pleasant (see GEM, November 2001). More snaps would help, but I'm rather positive this engine is a Buda.

They started building their Model E 2-cylinder air-cooled engine in 1908. This unit was built to power their Motor Cars (railroad), as Buda started as a railroad supply manufacturer. I do know of at least one obscure automobile company that used this motor. I have also heard that some early small trucks used it, but have no specifics.

Buda built this basic design for many years, and there were quite a few small changes over the years with at least three sizes of bore. I don't think any were built after World War 11. I do know some were still built in the late 1930s. Your motor is a later version, probably late 1920s or 1930s. It has the crankcase that has a mag drive, six spoke flywheel and curved intake.

I have all the existing Allis-Chalmers and Buda factory records, photos and parts and operating books from the old Buda factory in Harvey, Ill. These all came from my good friend Don Hum, who was a long-time employee and the plant's unofficial historian. I found your name in his files from some Allis info you obtained from him. Don retired when Deutz bought the A-C farm division and closed the Harvey engine plant.

Don came up with cancer and lived a week or so after I picked up his files - the new take-over was going to trash them when Don took them home with their permission.

Chuck Rhodes thinks the 'unidentified' engine belonging to Charles Wendel (see GEM, November 2001) is actually a Buda. The picture above shows a 1910 Buda Model E

Figure shows a 1920 Buda Model ER. According to Rhodes, the Buda name can be found cast into the crank throws on the engine. These engines were used primarily for duty in rail yards.

Don was a great guy and helped me with info for rebuilding many Buda engines for years, and I can furnish a lot of Buda info from these files for hobbyists.

P.S. On some 2-cylinder Buda motors 'Buda' is forged in the side of the crank throws.Chuck Rhodes, 150 Troy Rd. Collinsville, IL 62234

Eclipse/Witte Mystery

My story is so unbelievable that I cannot believe it myself. My partner, Mitchell Priola, and I bought an Eclipse engine from Cleo Cannon, Cedar Bluff, Miss., on June 22, 2001. I asked Cleo if it was made by Fairbanks-Morse (F-M), and he said no, he thought it was made by Witte. Later, I noticed a Witte in a recent GEM and it appeared to be the same engine. I then assumed that someone had found this Eclipse tag and had put it on a Witte that had no tag. This was July 24, 2001.

I went down and got the following information off the brass tag: Eclipse, Geo. C. Christopher & Son, Wichita, Kansas, No B34441. It is a 2 HP throttle-governed with a head. At this point I had no idea how I was going to find out anything, and little did I know the events about to unfold. I temporarily set this aside and proceeded to order some manuals for several power units we have. I mentioned to the salesman six different power units I was aware of and asked him if he knew of any others. He replied, 'Fairbanks-Morse made some, I believe.' This reminded me of the F-M power unit I had seen in a recent GEM. I began digging. Shortly, I found the F-M power unit in Wendel's Reflections, question 36/7/16 (see GEM, July 2001, page 6). Immediately, my eyes were drawn to the right, where I saw Geo. C. Christopher's question, 36/7/14. IfI had false teeth I would have lost them at this point. I had looked at and read this July issue several times, and this name had meant nothing to me until this very moment. Hastily I read forward, and began saying over and over again, 'this is our engine.' I called Cleo and had him get out his GEM. 'I know what you are going to have me look at,' he said. 'I saw it in the magazine, meant to tell you, but I forgot.' He said that he had gotten the 'Eclipse' from a man in Arkansas, and that this engine might very well be the one originally sold in Blackwell, Okla. I called Roy J. Hotz Jr. in Martindale, Texas, that night and he was just as caught up in the story as I was. Neither one of us could believe the history of this engine had just possibly fallen into my lap. My question is: was s/n B34441 the other engine sold to Geo. C. Christopher? Tom Lawrence, PO Box 7991 Columbus, MS 39705.

Cover Wrap

I got the October issue recently, and I want to know, where's the big, white note-writing page that always preceded the front cover? And what's with the toxic-fume producing, landfill filling plastic bag?

If you can't take a hint, get rid of the plastic bag and bring back the white cover. Mark Guba, 7582 N. 100E Lake Village, IN 46349

(Yes, the old cover wrap did make a good note pad, but it's not coming back. The plastic bag really helps in making sure the magazine mails without getting damaged, and so far most folks think it's a great addition - Editor)

John Deere 4-1/2 HP or R & V?

Reader Colt Edin of Askov, Minn., came across this letter from Deere & Webber, as the Minneapolis, Minn., branch of Deere & Company was then known. We wonder whether this engine confusion was ever cleared up and just what engine the customer actually had.

I found this interesting piece of correspondence in the basement of a very old local building. I thought that it might interest you as I suppose there is not much quite like it that has survived the last 75 years.

I wonder what became of that engine, since Kerrick is only 12 miles from my home. Colt Edin ,7360 Pioneer Rd. Askov, MN 55704

Send letters to: Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265, or e-mail: rbackus@ogdenpubs.com


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