Rare 12 HP Badger Engine Rescued from Harsh Wisconsin Weather and Brought Back to Life
There's no disputing sideshaft,
flyball-governed engines are hot these days, and for good reason:
All the moving parts working together are constantly keeping your
eyes busy, almost leaving you in a trance. That, and everybody
One guy fortunate enough to get his hands on one of these
increasingly unattainable engines is Bill Winkler of St. Anna, Wis.
His 12 HP Badger engine, made by the C.P.&J. Lauson Co.,
Milwaukee, Wis., was found nestled outside next to a barn.
Another collector had found the engine on a farm near Alcorn,
Wis., in fairly good, complete condition. Even so, 100 years of
harsh Wisconsin winters had taken their toll on the poor old
Badger. The collector approached Bill at the 2003 Badger Steam and
Gas Engine Show in Baraboo, Wis., and told him about the engine and
his plans to attain it. Bill showed interest and asked if he could
have the first chance at buying it. Obviously his wish was
Some Badger Background
A feature unique to the Badger engine is that there is no base.
However, there is a short bedplate bolted directly to the cart's
channels. Other features of note are the intricate pinstriping and
the stout connecting rod. According to C.H. Wendel's American
Gasoline Engines Since 1872, the rod was machined from a solid
steel billet, and "… remained as an identifying mark of high
quality design for many years."
Bill purchased the engine in 2003 in the same condition it was
found just a few months prior, and spent the next six months
restoring it. When discovered, the engine had been converted to
spark plug ignition, and Bill intended to find the necessary parts
and convert it back to its original igniter-type ignition.
Amazingly enough, a few weeks after Bill made his purchase, some
friends of his came across an original C.P.&J. battery box in
that very same barn the engine had been sitting next to all those
years. Although the box is not original to this particular engine,
it did contain the Badger's original igniter.
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