John Banta writes in about some engines he noticed working the Texas oil fields back in the 1970s. “I was in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1971 and took a drive out in the country and saw an engine running an oil well. A line was coming out of the ground, apparently supplying natural gas to the carburetor. I don’t remember the engine brand. No one was around, but it was running 24 hours a day. Was there someone building these for the oil industry, or were these remnants of earlier engines?”
The engine you saw was most certainly an Arrow, likely a 9 hp C46 or 13 hp C66 made by Arrow Engine Co. in Tulsa, Oklahoma (www.arrowengine.com). I was also unaware of them until I happened across an oil field populated with Arrow engines many years ago. The C46 and C66 appear to have been based on the Fairbanks-Morse ZC radiator-equipped engines that were introduced in 1944. F-M quit making these engines in 1953, and then sold the rights, apparently to Arrow. Arrow’s website says the company has been making engines since 1955, so that lines out about right. Arrow is still in business and apparently still makes these engines.
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