'OTTO'


| June/July 1999



OTTO

6 Williamson Lane, Chester, New Jersey 07930-2311

One fine spring Sunday in early June 1998, I went for a drive in my model A Ford up to Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, to see the antique boat show.

This was the third year in a row I was going, and it's only 20 miles one way. The boats, restored or original, are beautiful. Most are pleasure combo speed boats. Always having boats since I was a kid in the 40's, and owning and being around them all my life, brings fond memories while I'm wandering on the docks by myself, looking at the many boats. While admiring one of the many, with the motor compartment cover lifted, the owner said to me, 'Sure is a monster, isn't it?' and I responded, 'It's a handsome masterpiece of the 20's.' I spoke of the powerful big bore and long stroke engines. After our five minute conversation, I went to walk on but a fellow tapped me on the arm and said, 'You seem to know a lot about old motors.' I said, 'Some, because I collect old gas engines, hit and miss type. You may see them at county fairs, and you remember seeing one because of the big flywheels. They are usually called farm engines. I like to restore them.'

He asked, 'How many do you have?' I said, '25 or so, probably more. Most are done.'

He said, 'My name is Jerry and I know what they are, I have one. It's an upright. It's been in the family since new. Would you be interested in it?'

I said, 'Sure, always.' He said, 'It's an Otto' and I said, 'You mean Novo.' He said, 'No, Otto.' (I'm thinking) Wow I never saw an Otto upright (other than the first at Kinzer) and I have done shows and gone to many, many, many shows over the years. Saw a picture of Roy Apgar's 25 HP horizontal that he restored and sold. That's as close to an Otto as I've ever been. Never saw one for auction or sale in Gas Engine Magazine.