Posted by: JimW. TITLE: AGE / VALUE: A Slave To eBay!
I couldn~t help myself. I found an old ORLINE bike engine conversion on eBay, and bid on it. I got it, even though I really didn~t need it, and there are plenty of other bike bits on my current shopping list. But, I got it, for about $80 including shipping. Not bad, especially compared to the prices new bike engines are going for.
It showed up a couple of days ago. (Every day is Christmas, to an eBay Junkie!) When I got it out of the box, I spent several hours admiring it, and cleaning it off with a rag and mineral spirits. What a sweet little setup! The painted parts are Caterpillar yellow, and it~s very well made. The engine is tiny and jewel-like. The round cylinder barrel has the thinnest and closest-spaced cooling fins I~ve ever seen. All the castings which make up the cylinder, block, and associated gearbox are very nicely made; much nicer than most modern weed-whacker engines. I could polish this thing up so it looks like chrome, I~m sure, without a great deal of imperfection-fixing, because it doesn~t have imperfections. Yes, Americans once made manufactured goods, and they made them well.
The engine and kit was made by Ohlsson and Rice, a pioneer in engines for model aircraft. This engine is from the ~40s, I presume, since O&R had dissolved by the early ~50s. The model aircraft heritage is pretty obvious in this engine. It looks just like a scaled-up model airplane engine. I~m really looking forward to getting the engine and mount perfect and tricked-out, and mounting it on my 24" Hawthorn from the ~40s. This will be a very fun project.
Posted by JimW.
Hey Roger, That~s a fabulous collection there. I had to tear myself away, but I~ll be back to look at all the stuff I missed. Until I went away to college, I had the beginnings of such a collection, including one of those Maytag twins, a B&S from the same period, an ancient outboard, a Harley Hummer, all sorts of mopeds, etc. Unfortunately, while I was away, my parents had the barn it was all in torn down. What they didn~t give away ended up buried in the same gully as my ~53 Oldsmobile.
My O&R is definitely older than the Chicken Power example you show. It matches the military engine you show, much more than the Chicken Power. It has exactly the same flywheel shroud, for example, as well as the cylinder shrouding panels and pull rope handle. The mounting bracket is similar to that of the Chicken Power, though. Just based on such design details, I~d date mine no later than the ~50s.
Posted by Roger DiRuscio
The O&R bike motors date from the 1960s to 1970s before they went out off business, I repaired them at the dealer I worked at until 1977. They look cute, but never ran as good as they looked. I have 2 of the chicken power bike motors myself. They were used as incentives for paperboys, go out and sell a bazillion subscriptions and we will give you this wizzbang motor to help you out. my collection is posted at roger1.cjb.net just schroll down to O&R. I also have the power drill, hedge trimmer, tiny tiger generator, and a military spec. motor used for who know what. You $80 purchase was a good buy in my book.
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