Reprinted from the August 1997 issue of the
Gas Engine Magazine

Sparta Economy Engine News

by Glenn Karch
Old State Road
Haubstadt, Indiana 47639

During this last series of articles, much of the story of Sparta Economy engines had been told. There are a lot more illustrations, pictures and details that haven't been shown or written about. New bits and pieces of information keep popping tip from time to time.

There are still unsolved mysteries in regard to the Sparta Economy engines. I am sure that there are still new pieces of information to be discovered and that there is information in hands of collectors that has yet to be shared.

To sum it all up, production of the Sparta Economy engines began at the Sears-owned Holm Machine Manufacturing Company in Sparta, Michigan, in the summer of 1909. Production continued until the early fall of 1913. In over four years of operation, some 33,000 engines were produced. There were five different models and as many as seven different horsepower sizes. In addition to the Sparta production an estimated 3,000 Sparta type engines were assembled at Evansville, Indiana, after the move there in late 1913.

Parts peculiar to Sparta Economy engines are hard to come by, except for some repro parts and some generic parts. It seems that almost everyone who has a parts missing Sparta type engine is looking for the rest of the parts needed to make a compete engine. Luckily, many parts for the Sparta CX model will interchange with the later Hercules-built engines.

Of the 373 Sparta Economy engines that I am aware of, here is the breakdown according to horsepower.

% of
1 40 10.9
Early 1 1/2 4 1.1
Late 1 1/2 24 6.5
2 148 40.3
3* 1 .3
4 69 18.8
6 62 16.9
8 15 4.1
10 4 1.1

*I have actually seen this engine, and it appears to have the original tag. Unfortunately , no measurements were taken, so comparisons could be made with the two and four HP sizes.

There are another six engines that I don't have the HP data on. How these percentage figures for the existing engines compare to actual production percentages is unknown.

Even though the Sparta Economy story has come to an end, the collection and recording of data on existing engines continues. If you have any information to share or engines to add to) the list, please let me know.

Over these past several years, many telephone calls and many letters have been received in regard to both the Hercules-built and Sparta-built engines. I have tried to answer all with information, data, advice, illustrations, pictures, literature and where to find parts. There are times when I just don't know the answer to questions. Thanks goes out to all of those who have shared information. It all helps to make the gas engine hobby enjoyable and interesting.

What's coming tip next time? Although a lot of information has been given, there are many questions that keep coming up. There are also new bits of interesting information. In future articles, we'll pick up on these kinds of things.

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