Economy Engines

Economy engines were built by Hercules and sold by Sears & Roebuck.  They were originally built by the Holms Machine Works in Sparta, Michigan.  They were built in Sparta from 1910 until late 1913.   The Hercules Company purchased all the equipment, patients, and unfinished engines and moved the facilities to Evansville, Indiana.  This is how Hercules got into the business of building engines.  Hercules's claim to fame before this time was in the building of buggies.  They began production of engines in Evansville in late 1913 or early 1914.  The engines built by Holms in Sparta are referred to as "Sparta" Economy Engines.

Click on the thumbnail picture to see the full size view.

2 H.P. Sparta Economy, Model C

2 HP Sparta S.N. 10562 Model C

John Hodgdon
 Gorham, ME

4 H.P. Sparta Economy S.N. 3028
SPARTA2_JSherman2.jpg (5195 bytes) SPARTA2_JSherman1.jpg (7365 bytes)
Here are a couple of photo's of Jim Sherman's 4hp Sparta Economy
S.N. 3028. The pictures were taken right after he got it home.
It was only missing the intake valve spring and required a little clean up
and sleaving of the valve guides and igniter. It now runs very well.

2 H.P. Sparta Economy S.N. 20921
Sparta3_jSherman.jpg (12319 bytes)

Jim Sherman

1 1/2 H.P. Model CX Sparta Economy
1 1/2 HP model CX Sparta Economy. 
It has a Hercules cone muffler, has been converted to Webster magneto ignition
from an igniter and has the fuel fill modified. The serial number of such an engine
would likely be in the 33,XXX and up range.


Murray Lofthouse
Berrien Springs, MI

6 H.P. Sparta Economy Model CX
DougCoughenour_Sparta.jpg (17833 bytes)

1912 model CX 6 HP Sparta Economy

Doug Coughenour
New Salisbury, IN.

2 1/2 H.P. Model D Economy

The S.N. on most model D engines is located on the end of the crank shaft.

Owned by John Glassford, Indiana

 Sparta built Economy's.

All are present except the 10 H.P.
I took these pictures at the 2001 Portland, Indiana show.
Unfortunately I didn't get the H.P. and S.N.'s written down.

Owned by John Glassford, Indiana

Economy Model D
Jpatitucci_economy2.5HP.jpg (21847 bytes) Jpatitucci_economy1.jpg (16075 bytes)   Jpatitucci_economy2.jpg (18194 bytes)

These three pictures are of a very nice. Model D Economy built in 1914. and

The first picture
is very good at showing the seldom seen Elkhart Magneto.
If you look between the flywheels on the far side of the engine in front of the
crankshaft you can see the Elkhart Magneto. These were sold as an option
on the early Hercules and Economy engines and eliminated the need for a battery
to power the igniter. They were replaced with Webster magnetos in 1915 or 16
as standard equipment.

The second picture shows the igniter and trip mechanism.  It also shows the
very early mixer.  Not as much of a "J" shape as the later mixers.

The third picture shows the early governor mechanism with the brass thumb
screw adjustment.

All three pictures show the very early style water hopper with the rounded over
rectangle opening.  The S.N. for model D engines are sometimes stamped on the end
of the crankshaft.

James Patitucci
Warren, Ohio.

4 H.P. Economy Model D
George Szymczak Model D.jpg (80039 bytes)

George A Szymczak wrote:
"This is my model D  Economy that my dad left to me.  I haven't been able to do any
restoration on it yet, but it runs great.  The only markings on the engine
(Dad and I tore it all apart in 1966) is "D3037" and "4HP" stamped on one end of
the crankshaft. We couldn't even find a trace of another color paint, only red, and we
scraped and wire brushed the whole thing."

George A Szymczak

2 1/2 H.P. Economy, Model D

Notice the original very early "J" style mixer.

It has some original black pin striping on the engine.

The original hook type hand crank is shown here.

Notice the rolled edge opening of the water hopper that is typical of the very early engines.

Notice the muffler. It is slightly different than the later model engines.

Elkhart Magneto with bevel gear back by the crank shaft on the pulley side.

SN 3855 2 1/2 D T Stamped on the ignitor end of the crankshaft.

A very nice early Model D Economy engine.

Doug Kimball
Southern Maine, USA

Economy 7 H.P. Model D

Notice the Elkhart magneto, the rolled water hopper opening, and the priming cup location.
All typical of Model D engines

Gary Morgan
Savannah, Tennessee

Economy Model D
Not sure of H.P.
34" Flywheels, 5.5" Piston

Engine has been sold and I don't know who the current owner is.

1 H.P. Economy, Model E

 S.N. 27967
Pictures gotten from an E-bay auction.

7 H.P. Economy runs again
S.N. 39054

Reprinted with permission from

Posted By: Don C. Wiley  to WWW.ENGINADS.COM SmokStak board.
Date: Saturday, 26 April 2003, at 11:55 p.m.

Hi all;

I just spent the day on a farm here in Sunny Southern Illinois.

This farm has been standing in suspended animation for the past 40 years. The farm has been owned by the same family since 1840. The last adult male died about 40 years ago and one daughter is still living on the place. She is 99 years + and is still able to converse intelligently with folks who will talk slow and clearly. She is somewhat hard of hearing but at that age she should be allowed that.

She has no relatives still living to take care of her so a group has hired a young lady to take care of her. Until three years ago she was still drawing water up from a well with a chain, pulley and a bucket. She had no telephone or electricity.

They have put a phone in and added electricity to the house and a couple of the out buildings. They would like to make a State Historic Site out of the whole farm but Illinois, like a lot of other states are having money problems and that won't happen for a while.

Once a year they have a day for the public to visit the place to see what a unique setting it is and to try to raise awareness of the farm.

I visited there last year and the first thing I saw sitting back in an old barn was this 7 HP Economy engine on an original truck. The first thing I checked out was the engine. The flywheels would turn but it looked like the rocker arm and exhaust valve were stuck. I found a piece of chain and tied the flywheel to the truck so some one wouldn't try to spin the flywheel and maybe break the rocker arm.

I went to the young lady in charge and told her to not let any one turn the engine over until some one who knew how to work on it could check it out. She said: "Do you know how to work on those". I said: "Of course". She said: "Would you please get it running for us". "Why yes I would enjoy getting it running for you", I said.

A little PB blaster and a few taps with a hammer and the valve was operating freely. After removing the fuel lines, check valve, running a wire through the fuel line into the fuel tank and blowing through the lines I had gas running to the mixer.

I wandered if the "mag" would run it but after priming it, a few pulls on the flywheel and the Economy fired and with a few tweeks on the needle valve it was running as it had 40 years earlier.

My brother-in-law Dave and I had it running about 10:00 this morning and it ran perfectly all day. We sat there with it and explained the engine and its uses to a quite a few people who stopped by. Around 4:30 I shut it off so I could go participate with a Blue Grass group. They appeared to be having too much fun by them selves so I joined in with my guitar for four or five tunes.

We left the old farm feeling pretty good about the day spent helping to interpret farming of the era and how the old engine was used.

Sorry for rambling on, but I thought at least one or two of you might be interested in my story. Here's a picture of the engine running today, and no you couldn't buy it even if you wanted to.

I think next year we will belt it to a buzz saw that is sitting in one the sheds and demonstrate cutting fire wood.

"DELCO DON" :) :O :L :R Southern Illinois


5 H.P. Economy Model E

5 H.P. S.N. 54031

 Jeff Leggett


1 1/2 H.P. and 2 1/2 H.P. Economy Model E's

1 1/2 H.P. S.N. 59268
2 1/2 H.P. S.N. 81930

 Jeff Leggett


9 H.P. Economy, Model E, half-base
9hpleft.jpg (11507 bytes)9hpright.jpg (14169 bytes)

Model E Economy, Hit & Miss Kerosene, half base, S.N. 60412.
Mounted on original Hercules/Economy straight frame cart (cart is 5-7 H.P. size).

Keith & Curtis Kinney
Evansville, Indiana  

7 H.P. Economy Model E

S.N. 60544
John Freeland

7 H.P. Economy Model E

S.N. 69350
Owner: Randy Reysen
Southeastern Wisconsin

1 1/2 HP Economy Model E
Economy 1.5hp 75303.jpg (33880 bytes)

1.5 Economy Serial # 75303 late 1914 or early 1915

Charlie Frayer
Taylor, Arizona


1 1/2 H.P. Economy Model E
GaryTreibleEconomy.jpg (13256 bytes)GaryTreibleTag.jpg (5581 bytes)

Gary's dad owns this 1 1/2 HP Hercules Economy 'E' model serial 75847.

Gary Treible

Economy 5 H.P. Model E
S.N. 85301
Mfg. 1916

Luckly the rod was with the engine.

The piston was inside the cylinder but not connected to the rod.

We need to find the inside cone for the muffler.

Head has welds where most Hercules built water cooled engines have them.

The cylinder was full of feathers and other nesting stuff.

Take a look at that head gasket...

We have had this engine for several years but are just not getting around to restoring it.
We were able to get the piston out without too much trouble. Should be an easy restore.

Keith and Curtis Kinney
Evansville, Indiana

5 H.P. Economy, Model E

S.N. 86863, Mfg. 1916
Found by Rick Strobel
9 H.P. Economy Model E
J_Wilkens_9HPEconomy.jpg (17225 bytes)
 Model E, S.N. 89854, Hit & Miss Kerosene, full base engine,
This engine was originally used in the historic Virtue Flat Gold Mine
outside Baker City, OR.

John Wilkens
 Somerville, OR.
9 H.P. Economy Model E

9 H.P. S.N. 104849
Mfg. 1916
Weight 2440 lbs.
Original paint and cart.

Glenn Wilson
Endicott, NY

1 1/2 H.P. Economy Model E
Don WilsonEconomy4.jpg (27774 bytes)

Model E, S.N. 145866 built in 1918 on original cart.  

Don Wilson
Bedford, Virginia.

5 H.P. Economy Model E

Model E, S.N. 191902 built in 1919 on original drop-frame cart with cut-off saw attachment.

Keith & Curtis Kinney
Evansville, Indiana  

5 H.P. Economy, Model E
John Bailey 5 HP Economy.jpg (48045 bytes)
Model E, S.N. 221712, Mfg. in 1920.

John Bailey

7 H.P. Economy, Model E
Noel FosterEconomy1.jpg (30683 bytes)Noel FosterEconomy2.jpg (25280 bytes) Noel FosterEconomy3.jpg (24236 bytes) Noel FosterEconomy4.jpg (28805 bytes)
S/N 244380 on original drop frame cart with saw attachment.

Submitted by Capt. Dan McCarty for Noel Foster.
Noel bought the engine from a man who's father restored
it in 1985, His father bought it from a Doctor in Central California,
who's  father bought it new from Sears in 1921 to cut oak
firewood in the mountains of central California.
It now runs and sounds great.

Economy 1 1/2 H.P. Model F


1 1/2 Horsepower Model  F
S/N 263384 
Year 1921
Has Webster New Style Magneto

William Ahner
2253 Mountain Road
Slatington Pennsylvania 18080

 2 H.P. Economy Model H

S.N. 296406
Modified to run on battery and coil.
It would have originally had a WICO EK magneto.

Gary Morgan
Savannah, Tennessee

1 1/2 H.P. Economy Model H

S.N. 311873
Alan is trying to determine if what brand this engine was originally sold as. 
It looks like an Economy water hopper but has the Hercules
crank shaft shield.  Any ideas

Alan Ruschman

Economy on home built tractor frame.

I have lost the owners name. If you know who's this is please e-mail me.
1 3/4 HP Economy
Kurt SangerEconomy1.jpg (23612 bytes) Kurt SangerEconomy2.jpg (11390 bytes)
Very nicely restored 1 3/4 HP Economy engine S.N. 342054

Take a close look at the license plate on the pickup.

Sent to my by Jeff Holbrook
who helped with the restoration.

Engine is owned by
Kurt Sasger
Hewitt, WI

Economy 6 H.P. Model S
S.N. 351354  Mfg. 1926

Wow!  Take a look at the original paint job on this engine.
Bob's uncle, Oliver Beaudoin owns this engine. 
Bob and his son Bobby show the engine

Bob Kenney
4625 N. 74th Street
Milwaukee, WI

1 3/4 H.P. Economy Model S

S.N. 352929
I have lost the owners name. If you know who's this is please e-mail me.
1 3/4 H.P. Economy Model S
Breneconomy.jpg (18981 bytes)

Model S , S.N. 358850

Bren Turck

Economy Engines
Kevin Beitz Economy 1.jpg (46229 bytes)Kenin Beitz Economy 3 (45764 bytes)Kenin Beitz Economy 2.jpg (39820 bytes)

These Economy engines are owned by
Kevin Beitz
1 3/4 HP Economy
MikeTuckersEconomy4.jpg (18042 bytes) MikeTuckersEconomy3.jpg (14691 bytes) MikeTuckersEconomy5.jpg (14351 bytes) MikeTuckersEconomy2.jpg (14616 bytes) MikesTuckersEconomy1.jpg (14171 bytes)
Here are some pictures of Mike Tucker's great looking Economy
engine. Before, during, and finished.  Mike has a great helper (pictured)
and a very understanding wife.  He restored this engine in their living room.

Mike and Lincoln Tucker

5 H.P. Economy
JeffHolbrookEconomy1.jpg (23216 bytes) JeffHolbrookEconomy2.jpg (16911 bytes)
5 H.P. Economy on original drop frame saw rig cart.

Jeff Holbrook
407 W. 17th Street
 Marshfield, Wisconson  54449

1 3/4 H.P. Economy Model S
Larry Gray Economy 1.jpg (52900 bytes)  Larry Gray Economy 3.jpg (41789 bytes)Larry Gray Economy 2.jpg (55824 bytes)

This 1 3/4 HP Model "S" Economy engine is all original. 
It shows the location of the decal and pinstripes very clearly.

Larry Gray
234 Columbian Ave.
Bluffton, IN  46713-1653

6 H.P. Economy Model S
JDHall6HP.jpg (16031 bytes)

6 HP Model S Economy S.N. 361024

This engine was given to me (in 1974) by my grandfather who was a stone
mason. The engine does run but I would like to restore it.  If anyone has
suggestions, ideas or help I would appreciate their comments.

JD and Ann Hall
Batesville IN   

7 H.P. Economy
Bill Peterson Economy Car 2.jpg (35552 bytes)Bill Peterson Economy Car 3.jpg (41413 bytes)Bill Peterson Economy Car 1.jpg (34878 bytes)

Here are some pictures of the 7hp Economy powered car
built by Bill Peterson of Aloha Oregon.

Has 3 speed transmission and can do about 15 mph on pavement in 3rd gear.
First and second gear are most often used when driving around show grounds.
Horses seem to not like the car for some reason ;-)

Pictures sent by George Best,    Thanks George!

1 3/4 H.P. Economy Model XK
Economy XK.jpg (19196 bytes)  Economy XK_rear.jpg (15458 bytes) Economy XK_2.jpg (17108 bytes)

1 3/4 HP Model XK Economy engine made in 1929,  S.N. 13495.

Keith and Curtis Kinney
Evansville, Indiana. 

1 3/4 H.P. Economy Model XK
JeffHolbrook Economy1.jpg (28541 bytes) JeffHolbrook Economy2.jpg (31688 bytes)

 Economy Model XK, 1 3/4 H.P., S.N. 15217.

Jeff Holbrook
407 W. 17th Street
 Marshfield, Wisconsin  54449

6 H.P. Economy Model XK
1929 6 H.P. Economy.
S.N. 15798.

Tim Claremont
Webster, New York
6 H.P. Economy Model XK
Economy SK.jpg (20318 bytes) Economy SK_pulley side.jpg (19609 bytes)

Donated to the SIAM Club in Evansville, Indiana by Rudy Hufnagel.

6 H.P. Economy Model SK

Pictures taken from an E-bay auction in June of 2002
Engine was located in Vermont

Economy 1 1/2 H.P. Model JK

The JK's were built from 1929-1934.  Often confused with the Cushman Cub. 
I believe I got these pictures off of an Ebay auction.

1 1/2-2 H.P. Model JK

Serial # 1BJK6627J
James Strickland
I'd like to post your engine's picture here. 

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