Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Watch a 105-Year-Old Engine that You Start with a Blowtorch Do Its Thing

You start this engine with a blowtorch
The more we change, the more we stay the same. You're looking at a Blackstone oil engine. The 10-horsepower monstrosity was built in 1909 and spent most of its days pumping water from a river to a small garden before some devious soul detonated some explosives in the cylinder in the 1920s. It was repaired and put back into service, but a number of floods eventually left the machine buried in silt. It was recovered in the early '90s and restored in 1997. Now it's back to its old ways.

This is about as simple as an internal combustion engine gets, and yet, all of the same components are still present in under the hood of the full-modern 2015 Mustang GT sitting in my driveway. There's a fuel system, lubrication, cam-driven valves, a piston, connecting rod, and crank.

Getting the thing started is as simple as preheating the combustion chamber with the aforementioned blowtorch in order to vaporize the fuel. From there, it's as simple as suck, squish, bang, blow. I could watch this all day.

This story originally appeared on

from Car and Driver Blog


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