One of a Kind: Engine and Tractor

| January/February 1998

  • Tractor

  • Hit and Miss Engine

  • Tractor
  • Hit and Miss Engine

By Richard Eisenreich,

6807 24th Street, Rio Linda, California 95673-2801

Fourteen years ago, I received a small hit and miss engine from an uncle for whom I had done a favor 49 years ago. My uncle had passed away and I flew to Wisconsin from California to pick up the engine in 1983.

I didn't have any history of the engine but enjoyed running it with a pump that came with it.

I had only observed stationary engines pumping water by windmills at the county and state fairs when I was then working on a dairy farm fifty years ago.

A year after I received this engine I decided to build a small tractor to put it on, so my grandchildren could drive around our place. I am not one for drawing plans to build items but make a sketch on a board and what turns out is what I get.

The hardest part of this project was to determine the horsepower I could get out of this small engine. The engine had a 1' bore, 2' stroke and 8' flywheels. After much trial and error with three shafts and pulleys, I was able to drive the tractor using belt tighteners as a clutch.

The grandchildren really enjoyed the ride but became afraid of the noise. The engine under power would hit on every compression stroke and with small ' exhaust pipe it would really POP!

Since I became interested in rebuilding old engines and tractors, three years ago, I decided to restore Little Red Engine and to locate a background of engine makes. After some research, it is assumed that this engine is a one-of-a-kind and was built by my uncle.

Presently, I have modified the tractor to battery powered electric drive, and now the grandchildren like it much more as the noise is gone.

I really am enthused about old engines and tractors since I first started to get Gas Engine Magazine, and now have subscribed to eight other magazines about vintage equipment. I am 69 years old and look forward to reading about other projects.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Facebook YouTube


click me