Extraordinary Hit & Miss Engine Collection

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Extraordinary Hit & Miss Engine Collection

Online Auction Date: 7 pm on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023.

Remarkable collection of over 30 engines of various sizes and brands. These engines belong to a dedicated collector who’s is downsizing some of his treasures.

Note: All the engines had been restored by the owner and were running. Some had been run recently, while others had not been run for the past 5-6 years, and there were no welding or brazing repairs made during restoration.

Join us for preview Saturday, November 4th, from 10 am to 1 pm.

To attend the preview please call 610-799-0808 or email us at info@ tomhallauctions.com  to the preview the engines. This is to provide privacy to the family who still lives at the property located near Topton, PA.  The address will be shared via email with those attending the auction preview and the successful bidders.

Removal Dates: Friday, November 10th, from 9:30 am – 3pm

AND Saturday, November 11th, from 9:30 am – 12 pm.

Note: Buyers will receive an email containing a copy of their paid invoice along with pickup instructions. Please sign up for a pickup slot. While pickup times are in place to facilitate smooth traffic flow, if your preferred time slot is full, it doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot pick up at that time.

There is ample space available for pickup trucks and small trucks, but maneuvering vehicles with trailers may pose a slight challenges due to limited turning space.

Important Note: The items are NOT available for shipping. Kindly arrange for the pickup of your purchased items on the specified removal dates.

Online bidding Terms: Major Credit Cards, 15% Buyer’s Premium, No Sales Tax.


A hit-and-miss engine, also known as a hit-and-miss motor, is a type of internal combustion engine that was commonly used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterized by its distinctive firing mechanism, which operates on a “hit-and-miss” principle, hence the name.

Here’s how a hit-and-miss engine works:

  • Ignition: These engines typically run on gasoline or kerosene. They have a spark plug or ignition system to ignite the fuel-air mixture.
  • Governing Mechanism: The unique feature of a hit-and-miss engine is its governing mechanism, which controls the engine’s speed. Instead of running at a constant speed like modern engines, hit-and-miss engines only fire (or “hit”) when needed to maintain a set speed. When the engine’s speed drops below a certain threshold, it fires to bring the speed back up.
  • Flywheel: Hit-and-miss engines have a heavy flywheel that stores rotational energy. When the engine fires, it adds energy to the flywheel, which keeps the engine turning until the next firing event.
  • Speed Control: The speed control mechanism typically consists of a governor, which is a device that responds to changes in engine speed. As the engine speeds up, the governor reduces the flow of fuel to the engine. When the speed drops too low, it allows more fuel to enter, causing the engine to fire again.
  • Exhaust: Hit-and-miss engines have an exhaust system to expel the burned gases from the combustion process.

These engines were commonly used for various applications such as powering water pumps, generators, sawmills, and other stationary machinery during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially in rural areas where electricity was not readily available. They are known for their distinctive “pop-pop-pop” sound as they fire intermittently.

Hit-and-miss engines have largely been replaced by more efficient and versatile internal combustion engines in modern applications. However, they are still enjoyed by enthusiasts and collectors, and some are even preserved in working condition as historical artifacts.

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