The Motor Boys International
Last updat: Feb 2013
What Are We?
The Motor Boys (International) are a group of model makers who love model internal combustion engines, in all their various forms.
We are also active aeromodelers, in some form, or another.
The group keeps in touch and exchanges ideas via the Internet.
The name "Motor Boys" originates from a series of books written by Clarence Young in the early part of the twentieth century when the idea of engines and motor cars and aeroplanes was new and exciting.
It was Roger Schroeder who proposed the name. You may have seen Roger's columns and articles in Engine Collectors Journal and Strictly IC magazine (visit their web site).
The added International qualification reflects where we physically are: Australia, England and The United States of America.
Bert Striegler researched the origin of the books which are immortalized with their own
What Do We Do?
What do we do? Well, not a lot. As a group of like-minded guys, we entertain and amuse each other from the comfort of our terminals with information, gossip and pictures.
Occasionally, we undertake a group project to make reproductions of engines that take our fancy for some reason or other.
When we do this, each member will undertake to build some part for the others.
When complete, the parts are snail-mailed out.
Not all parts will be made this way.
For "fit" reasons, some parts will be machined individually.
Eventually, we have a completed, running example of a rare, or unusual engine to run and display.
We place no time pressures on our work because our prime directive is just to have fun. For this reason, we have very consciously decided that we will not enter into any commercial activity relating to the engines we make.
We don't make spares for sale and we don't sell castings, or the plans.
If we did, then we'd come under pressures from deadlines, product support, product liability, etc, etc, and some attorney would get rich. The fun would soon depart.
But at the same time, we want to share the designs and preserve them for future enthusiasts.
How to do this while avoiding the problems mentioned above?
Our solution was to make the plans available to the
in the form of
Our only stipulation to the was that any derived profits go to aid the junior encouragement programs.
The price for the book in North America is US$29.95, which means each plan costs you about three dollars. If that's not the bargain of this (or the last) century, I don't know what is!
Who Are We?
Proudly, we are:
Sadly George passed away on July 4th, 2001. George was renown as the designer of the Nobler and the Father of Modern C/L Stunt. His knowledge and friendship is missed by us all.
Gordon is the man behind Taipan engines (and Glow Chief, and Sabre, and a host of others). Gordon Burford passed away in 2010. We miss him and treasure his wisdom and engines, which will remain for generations to come.
Vincent began with a kit, then jumped straight into die casting, becoming a master at it overnight. His training in medicine is reflected in his methodical approach to model engineering. He and his family no reside in the mountains behind Australia's Gold Coast in a house that I think he designed around his new shop.
That's me—author of this web site and once an impoverished research scientist at the University of Queensland, now retired. Also accomplished maker of swarf and scrap (view my facility for making same).
Prolific engine builder from the olde country (England), now retired to France. Ken's work has graced the pages of every publication dedicated to model engines. Here's one of his favorites, a Sparey .8cc. and the shop it was made in.
Tim is the curator of the Model Museum and editor/publisher of Engine Collectors Journal. If you're into engines, you should subscribe. If you're seriously into engines, you should get all the back copies! Tim is also the curator of the Model Museum—a must visit place if you're in the Denver area.
Adrian hales from Vancouver (BC), via England and Australia. He has an engine collection to die for, having caught the bug before the collecting craze when model fliers would give you old junk for the asking. Adrian has a passion for the history of model engines, together with the people and companies who made them. He's been contributing the Engine of the Month pages to MEN since 2076, and you can get an idea of what he looks like on the January 2013 MEN page.
Don was another Texan and craftsman beyond compare. He had a way of being able to take on a task and come up with a unique, innovative process that gives outstanding results (his fabricated crankshafts are just perfect). Don passed away after a long battle with illness in 2001. We miss him.
Eric Offen is a model engineer with a passion for both IC and steam engines. Even though he's built outstanding model aero engines like the hightly complex ELF flat-six, Eric is not a model aeroplane builder—he just loves engines and not just little ones either, his collection includes several full size engines such as a deHavilland Gipsy Six and Rolls-Royce Meteor (the version of the Merlin used in the Centurion tank)! Have a look at Eric's lair here.
Another impoverished Australian academic :) David is the designer of the Mate and the man behind Owen Delta Engines, the distributor down-under for MP-Jet and others. David and Gordon produced several new, old engines that are too good to fly (not that this stops anybody). Visit David's shop here.
Compatriot Australian Stan does beautiful work and is responsible for most of the "unbeatable" re-worked engines that pop up at Australian competitions.
Roger was a prolific writer on engine-ering for ECJ and SIC (that's Strictly Internal Combustion; yet another full set required to establish bona fides as an engine nut case). Roger passed away in 2009. He did more than anyone I know to promote and assist model IC engine making to the world.
Roger's shop contained an ancient lathe which he assured us was capable of extremely accurate work.
Les is an ex live-steamer who saw the light. His work has been well represented in these pages for years (and the back covers of SIC well before that). Les just plain likes building IC engines, be it a tiny diesel, or a multi cylinder radial. As you'll see from the shots of his modestly equipped shop, high-quality, complex equipment is not needed to produce high-quality, complex engines, just talent!
Today, Bert is your typical Texas cattle rancher (don't ask him about the weather ). His shop is in a 1921 barn that looks more to me like Aladan's cave. There's not enough space on the web to cite his contributions to aeromodeling, so I'll just say one word: Ebinezer!
Designs Completed, or In Progress
All of our designs are produced using Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) for a couple of reasons.
First, this lets us email work in progress all over the planet, quickly and cheaply.
Second, it lets us check that the bits have a good chance of actually going together before we cut metal!
Many of the designs we tackle are done from scraps of information or measurements of incomplete engines.
In several cases, we make minor changes to simplify construction, or because better ways are now known.
Our intent is to capture the indefinable essence of the motors, not create exact replicas to confuse future historians (hah!).
To date, our CAD plans comprise:
(† Included in the AMA Motor Boys Plans Book.)
Our group is small and membership is by invitation only (or perhaps that should read, "sentence"). However, the idea is open to anyone who wants to form a like group. As more and more people connect to the Internet, groups like ours which are not limited by locality will grow and grow. It's 'gotta be good!