"Turmette"

The Last 1½ hp Model "T" Thermoil

Bright and early one Monday morning the phones were ringing simultaneously in Philly and Muncie.  Before even saying "Good Morning", it was "Are you going to bid on it?". My reply was "Is it for real?"  I had seen the engine pop up on Ebay the previous evening and was already pretty sure it was rare. Brian was thinking the same thing.  We talked for a while before I said I'd have to think about it as it would no doubt be a pretty steep monetary commitment.  I sent several emails to Glenn Karch, the Hercules Historian, to discuss what I was thinking: this might be the only known 1½ hp Model T Themoil in existance.  Glenn sent back several lengthy replies discussing the engine and confirmed that this was indeed the only one that has surfaced to date.  In his book, published in 1989, he commented that "...none were known to exist and perhaps none were made."  He held to that until this engine showed up two years ago.
The governor pushrods.
I exchanged several emails with the seller to determine its condition.  It was all there but the fuel tank was a bit rough.  It had been painted when he bought it and he was trying to remove the paint to get down to the original color.  No cracks, breaks or welds, this was in pretty fine shape for being a little green grenade from the past.  Glenn also confirmed that the serial number was also the second oldest Thermoil in his records.  This was the real deal alright.  The next task was trying to win the auction, no small feat.
The governor pushrods.
Well, after 11 days of emails, phone calls and general ranting and raving at Brian on the phone, I bought the engine.  My patience throughout this process was as rare as the engine!

I wanted to pick it up so I could have it at R&T for the show. So, I took an extra day of vacation and drove 8 hours out of my way to load it up. There was no way I was going to show up without the gem of the bunch on my trailer!

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