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Van Blerck Junior Engine, mystery con...

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eclectic
New member
Username: eclectic

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 02:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have recently bought a Van Berck Junior engine in New Zealand, I’m awaiting its arrival here in England in the next few weeks.

I have been trying to research the history of this engine design, Stan Grayson, in his book, “Engines Afloat, from Early days to D Day’, on page 133 says:-

‘In 1929, Joe introduced the Van Blerck Junior, a 90-cubic-inch, 33 horsepower engine that weighed 100 pounds bare, 165 pounds complete with reverse gear, generator and electric starter. “The idea back of this small, high-speed inboard grew from observations of the designer extending over a considerable period in which the difficulty of handling the very large sizes of outboard engines was observed,” reported Motor Boating in February 1929.’

Can anyone supply me with a scan of the article in Motor Boating please? Also I would very much like to have a scan of any illustrated magazine advert for the Van Blerck Junior engine, clearly dated 1929 or 1930.

There has been some discussion of these engines on the website, Prewarcar.com here:-

http://www.prewarcar.com/read_article.asp?id=2695

This article raises all sorts of questions with reference to the French firm Ratier, I would really like to get an answer to the mystery of the relationship between Van Blerck and Ratier………. if there ever was one.

Does anyone know the definitive answer to these questions:-

(1) Did Joe Van Blerck both design and build this engine?

(2) Or did he make them under license from Ratier?

(3) Were Ratier the agents in France for the USA manufactured Van Blerck engines?

(4) Or alternatively, did Ratier manufacture them under license from Van Blerk in France?

It is quite possible that the whole Ratier issue is a red herring, after all, anyone could have retro fitted a Van Blerck Junior engine into a 1926 Ratier chassis.

Lastly, I do not have an address for Stan Grayson, and my email address from three years ago for Dan Acierno no longer works, so if anyone could forward on this query to Stan Grayson or Dan Acierno, I would much appreciate your help.

I am having trouble pasting a photo but will try again later.
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eclectic
New member
Username: eclectic

Post Number: 2
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 24, 2008 - 05:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On further reflection, there is a fifth, unlikely, option, Joe Van Blerck might just have imported the engines from France and marketed them under his own name in the USA, it was, after all, in the twilight of his career.

I can't wait to get my hands on the engine to see if it has metric threads...........

Most probably not though!
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richarddurgee
Senior Member
Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 1700
Registered: 11-2001
Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2008 - 06:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

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eclectic

I recieved your email and have been looking through my collection of information as time permits - but no specific Van Blerck Jr info as yet !

*
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richarddurgee
Senior Member
Username: richarddurgee

Post Number: 1701
Registered: 11-2001
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 07:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

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This article is in Power Boating Magazine
August 1929 !

I would think that if the engine was designed and tested enough to be accepted by a well known aircraft company That the engine had been around at least a year or two ??


vbjr29


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rendo
Member
Username: rendo

Post Number: 15
Registered: 08-2006


Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - 11:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a complete brochure for a fay and bowen "rocket" of about 1930. It sure looks like a Van Blerck to me.
John
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keith
Senior Member
Username: keith

Post Number: 189
Registered: 02-2002


Posted on Friday, May 30, 2008 - 11:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was a Van Blerck in a boat at Calvert a few years ago and I have seen the same engine with a Fay & Bowen Tag. Made in Phila, PA. Look a the 2003 pictures. It is a small 4 cylinder overhead cam engine.1
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Ned Lloyd
Visitor
Posted on Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 09:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was a good article in "Woodenboat" magazine less than a year ago on Van Blerck engines. I'd recommend getting a hold of that.
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eclectic
New member
Username: eclectic

Post Number: 3
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 04:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Many thanks to you all.

Richard, I have been in touch with Dan Acierno, a long phone call, he has lots of info and has said he will pass on as much as possible.

It seems that the Ratier link is a total 'red herring' I cannot find anything to link them with Van Blerck.
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Ben Nowak
Visitor
Posted on Saturday, September 06, 2008 - 10:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello I bought the Van Blerck Jr pictured in Keiths post (from May 30). I have removed it from the boat and began disassembling it. It is in great condition and am sure it will run without any problems. I also have the original Van Blerck tractor lower unit which is also in fantastic shape internally. I am curious if anyone else has an outdrive as I have some questions about it. Does anyone have a approx. dollar value for one of these motors in running order? Im afraid to say what I paid because I may have paid too much. I may be willing to sell also so Email any questions or suggestions. Im into old stuff but am truely not a antique motor expert. Thanks Ben PS Eclectic, mine does not have metric threads and is tagged as built in West Bank New Jersey nowaks4@peoplepc.com

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