The Model Engine Building Section

of the Internet Craftsmanship Museum

The late Dan Lutz was a collector and restorer of old model gas engines. He worked as a purchasing agent for one of the larger engine manufacturers and knew many of the builders personally.  Dan's collection specializes in Ohlsson and Rice engines and represents the development of the model airplane and race car engines starting with the first ones built in the early 1930's. Here he is seen holding a rare four-cylinder model. However, as impressive as it is, this collection represents only a small portion of the many hundreds of different engines developed over the years. Some of the men who designed and manufactured these engines for the hobby industry are featured in this section. (Click on photo to see a larger version of the image.)

Model gas engines—a special kind of model engineering

Though the Internet Craftsmanship Museum does not normally honor products that are mass produced, the history of model gas engine development is based on the individual cleverness and achievement of a small group of builders who were first and foremost hobbyists and craftsmen and secondly manufacturers. Their designs were driven by making improvements so that their own planes or race cars and those of their friends would fly better, run faster and be more powerful and reliable. Many also had the business sense to meet the demand these engines had in the growing model airplane, boat and car markets, but the development was driven primarily by the love for the sport and the love of building things. For this reason, we are including a brief description of some of the people and engines that formed the basis of the powered model hobbies, both before and after the advent of radio control. Click on the underlined names of any of the craftsmen listed below to learn more about them and their lives and their engines.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics also has a historical section on their web site that features the biographies of over 645 people who helped shape the hobby of model aircraft flying. You can visit their archives at

A note to those seeking parts or values on old model engines

Though we publish photos of the engines and the men who invented them, we are not experts on all old model engines nor do we have any access to repair parts. In most cases the companies are no longer in business or do not have parts for older engines. For those seeking more information about old engines, we would like to provide a few possible sources for information:

GROUPS: Model Engine Collector's Association (M.E.C.A.), 3007 Travis Street, West Lake, LA 70669 (They publish the M.E.C.A. Swap Sheet with announcements for swap meets and meetings around the country. There are also ads for engines and parts wanted or for sale by individuals. Their web site is


bulletWoody Bartelt (also current president of M.E.C.A.), 3706 N. 33rd Street, Galesburg, MI 49053, (616) 665-9693, E-mail:

PUBLICATIONS: Engine Collector's Journal, Tim Dannels, Editor, 28795 County Road 331, Buena Vista, CO 81211, E-mail:  Web site: Also available from Tim is his American Model Engine Encyclopedia, a great resource for those seeking to learn about old engines.

Model engine innovators represented in this section are:

 (Click photo for larger image)

Craftsman (Click name to visit the page on this craftsman)

Typical Project (Click photo for larger image)

(No known photo)

Mel Anderson

(Spitfire Engines)

Ray Arden

(Arden Engines and Inventor of the Glow Plug)

John W. Brodbeck

(K&B Engines)

Bill Brown

(Brown Junior Motor Co.)

Gary Conley

(Conley V-8, Viper V-10 and Stinger 609 V-8)

Leroy M. Cox

(L.M. Cox Manufacturing Company, Inc.)

Duke Fox

(Fox Engines)

Jaures Garofali

(OSAM and Supertigre Engines)

Clarence F. Lee

(Engine designer, super-tuner and technical writer, Lee and VECO engines)

Dick McCoy

(McCoy Engines)

Shigeo Ogawa

(O.S. Engines)

Irwin G. "Irv" Ohlsson

(Ohlsson & Rice Engines)

Henry Orwick

(Orwick Engines)

Other Model Airplane Engines


· You can find a listing of engines plus CAD drawings done by Dick Bradford and photos of some of the model airplane, car and boat engines at the Engineland Museum at

· Those interested in learning more about collecting model engines can contact The Engine Collector's Journal at P.O. Box 243, Buena Vista, CO 81211-0243. Phone (719) 395-8421 or e-mail

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New Submissions Welcomed

If you have additional information on a project or builder shown on this site that your would like to contribute, please e-mail We also welcome new contributions. Please see our page at newsubmit.htm for a submission form and guidelines for submitting descriptive copy and photos for a new project.

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This section is sponsored by The Engine Collectors' Journal, a publication for collectors of the small gas engines used for model aircraft, boats and racecars. Published since 1963 by the Model Museum at 28795 County Road 331, Buena Vista, CO 81211 (Mailing address P.O. Box 243, Buena Vista, CO 81211).

Our special thanks to Tim Dannels at The Engine Collectors' Journal for his contributions to this section.

To learn how your company or organization can sponsor a section in the Craftsmanship Museum, please contact


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