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Bringing a speeder back to life!

The Toronto Railway Museum has a number of gasoline powered speeders in its collection.  None of these had as yet been brought back to operational condition.  Recently, we chose the speeder which was closest to being operational for further restoration. Michael Guy, our chief engineer and Mike Roberts, his assistant, worked with our volunteers to bring it back to operational status. Michael Guy reports that:  
  • It's a Fairmont M-14 equipped with a 5-8hp single cylinder two-stroke gas engine. It has a hand crank start, manual mixture control and spark advance. It is a very primitive engine.
  • It is belt-driven and is non-reversing except by stopping and reversing the engine or physically turning the entire car.
  • Brakes are manually applied via a hand lever.
  • The car has a roof and front and rear protection with windows but is open at the sides.
  • There are no seats other than the centre engine box.
  • Carrying capacity would have been four men maximum but with one of those seated in front of the driver obscuring his vision forward. Most often it would have carried two or three men.
The original engine had no muffler and is very noisy.  They apparently did not worry about hearing damage in those days!  We will explore adding a muffler in the interests of operating more quietly.

The speeder restoration is now complete and it is only lacking a "missing" hand crank. We are searching for a replacement.  Failing that, we will machine a new one.

We have decided hat this M-14 will be known as Franklin. Franklin Fairmont is Winston's (of Thomas the Tank Engine fame) American Cousin.  We expect to operate Franklin on occasion, beginning in the spring of 2016.

Posting by Russ Milland; Images by Michael Guy

Click on each image for a closer look!

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