Letters and Miscellanies:

To the Reflector:


| January/February 2002


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














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