In the spring of 2013 my wife and I made a trip to Florida to see her grandparents. Her grandfather, Fred, was an avid collector of lawn tractors and small engines. He told me he was going to give me a few things when I came down but I had no idea what they would be. When we got there I saw something very strange - an engine like I had never seen before. Hopefully I will be able to accurately document what this engine actually is and save a little piece of history. I will have to spend some time investigating the engine and will update this web page when new information is available:



Fred mounted the engine to a trailer and towed it to tractor shows. He said it was always a big hit:



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Control panel. Fred said that the oil pressure would run around 100 PSI:



There is a serial number on the bottom of the oil pan. It looks like a Mercedes symbol then 036 014 06 02 / 40:



Info I know about the engine:
I will put this here for future inclusion on the webpage with pics, etc. The vast majority of this information came from Fred and the limited info he had about it. This is 2nd hand info and I am writing it down before I forget it. The engine was made around 1950 for use in a coal mining cart. The top end of the engine is "normal" with the bottom end being the experimental part. Also, the top/bottom are joined at a 5 degree angle. Normally coal mines use electric carts, electric lights, etc. There is a lot of water seepage in a mine and this causes many problems with the use of electricity. Mercedes-Benz(actually Daimler) tried to design an engine that would sit sideways an would only be around 18" tall. The engine was fixed to a mine cart with 4-way independant drive wheels (zero-turn). The driver would lay down and look forward through a funnel of sorts (maybe 6" on his side and expanding to the full width of the cart on the front. He would have controls by his hands and a sheet metal plate above him to keep things from falling on him. Benz had to comply with polution controls. There were seven (?) different controls put on the engine and it was unable to make the last 10% of the polution levels and the project was scrapped. The cart only made two trips into the mine and each time it was able to pull out seven tons of coal each time. The normal electric cart could only pull out 3 tons of coal. Several calls to Benz were made by Fred. Each time was met with people not knowing what he was talking about. On the final call an old man was found who actually worked on the project. He said 50 engines were made but only one was known to exist and it was in a Benz museum in Germany. This is all I currently know about the story...:


OOPS, how about a picture of Fred. He is standing by a "taxi" built from a Honda Rebel with a DIY sidecar. The taxi was used in the Philippines. I don't know why I did not get a picture of him with the engine. He lives eight hours away and doesn't get over my way that often but I will grab one with him the next time I see him:



Update - 04/08/13. I spoke with Holger Luetzenkirchen at the Daimler / Mecedes-Benz Classic Archive in Germany. He told me the top half of the engine came from a Mecedes-Benz 170V built between 1949 and 1961:



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Note - You are probably seeing missing links to some pictures above. I still use Notepad to create the html code and have a template with plenty of extra references to pictures to save on typing. As I continue the page I will add pictures and descriptions and these missing links will disappear.