Hudson's Big Brother - HALL-SCOTT ENGINES
I recently had the opportunity to save an iconic piece of American History, a Hall-Scott Model 177 gasoline engine. For those that have never heard of Hall-Scott, they were a manufacturer of plane, bus, truck, marine and locomotive type gasoline engines. They were located in Berkeley, CA, and built the finest engines America has ever seen. Founder, Elbert Hall & Bert Scott strived to build highly dependable, rugged, high performance engines. Mr. Hall & Mr. Scott competed with Vincent Packard, Ferdinand Porsche, Scripps, Sterling, Waukesha, Wisconsin and other big names in engines at the turn of the 20th century. Elbert Hall was one of the first to adopt the overhead valve engine design, which he pushed forward, bringing about the overhead cam engine design, patented the semi-spherical combustion chamber, built the first V8 engine, as well as the first reliable aviation engines. Elbert believed in redundancy, and precision machining. His engines would run when all others failed. Before WWII if you wanted power you bought a Hall-Scott!
This engine is really interesting because its not one rare engine, its two! This engine started out as a model 175 Hall-Scott engine, 5" bore, 6" stroke, 707 cubic inch displacement, overhead cam, semi-spherical combustion chamber, forged aluminum 7 ring pistons (5 compression, 2 oil control) with an inherent redundancy built into everything! What intrigued me most was that it was designed as an airplane engine, it has a split crankcase like an old McCormick Deering/Minneapolis Moline engine. The engine has liquid cooled main bearings (7 of them), three oil pumps, so it can run on its side or upside down and it has an aluminum crankcase! Hall-Scott advertised the 175 engine as 186hp, and they produced 415 of them. My engine is serial number 300410, just about the last model 175 off the line! (Suggesting an actual manufacturing date of 1937) The 175 was produced from 1928 to 1937 and for whatever reason it sat for five years before a fire municipality requested a Kenworth fire truck with that specific engine. The fire department ran the truck with a 4 speed Brown Lipe 6440 overdrive transmission and a 1250 gallon per minute pump. Only thirty of these engines were installed into Kenworth trucks. Hall-Scott did not win the bid to use these engines in military aircraft, and Packard engines were used instead. These aluminum, lightweight engines were chosen by Brill/Crown, and many found their way into buses. In 1956, one year before Hall-Scott was purchased by Hercules, my engine was rebuilt and transformed into a model 177 engine, which is the same basic engine with a 5-1/2" bore, 6" stroke and 855 cubic inch displacement. The 177 engine was rated 203hp @ 1800rpm, and 690 lb/ft torque at 800rpm with a single 2-1/2" Zenith #5 carburetor. In dual carburetor form it was 245hp @ 1800rpm, and 830lb/ft torque @ 800rpm. Just 173 model 177 engines were made. The cylinder jug and head were replaced to convert the engine from one model 300 series engine to the other. The casting date on the cylinder jug is 3-14-46, ten years before the engine was overhauled by Hall-Scott. The fire truck accumulated 381,000 miles before overhaul and has 38,760 miles on it since rebuild. These are million-miler engines, so 38,000 miles is absolutely nothing for one of these engines. With help of my new friend at the Hall-Scott museum, we were able to find a lot of great information on this engine. Its a marvelous engine, all aluminum, with exception of the cylinder jug and head, the machine work is impeccable and the design is quite ornate. I am literally in love with this engine. I am going to polish up the valve cover and crankcase, and paint the cast iron (cylinder jug/head) red. The water pump is bronze and lots of pieces are copper/brass. The air-maze air filter I may reline with copper perforated metal to give it a real sharp look. I am thinking about eventually putting it into a 1950 Corbitt D-808 truck.
There are only seven known examples of model 177 engines in existence; two are in a museum, one in pieces in a private collection, two 177's are in a yacht in Wisconsin, one is situated in a Franklin Roadster, and I have the other. There are likely only a handful of model 177 engines remaining in Fageol/Brill/Crown buses/Kenworth trucks.
If there is any interest, I will post more. I have started to accumulate lots of Hall-Scott information, including some about the Hudson Built Hall-Scott engines,