Capel engine finds a new home

Posted by Chris Graham on 10th November 2020

British-built Capel engine finds a new home in Nokomis, Illinois, with a delighted owner, Andrew New.

Capel engine finds a new home

Capel engine finds a new home: Here it is in ‘as acquired’ condition.

I’m a vintage engine enthusiast living in America, and have been collecting engines for over 30 years. In recent times, I’ve developed a liking for English-built engines, with the latest purchase (my fifth), being a model LVC Capel.

The engine was acquired via the Pre-30 Tractor and Engine Auction, conducted by Aumann Auctions on June 14th, 2020. This annual event is normally a live affair held at Nokomis, in Illinois. But, due to the Covid-19 scare, it became an online-only sale this year.

The maker’s name cast in the inspection plate. If you have any knowledge of this engine, I’d like to hear from you.

The Capel had been restored at some point in the past and, looking at the photographs on the auctioneer’s website, it appeared to be complete, save for the brass maker’s plate. The maker’s name was, however, clearly visible on the cylinder plate and LCV 10 – which I assumed denoted the model type/size – was found in the main casting.

In an effort to find whatever I could about the engine and its manufacturer, an email – together with a few photographs – was sent to the editor of Stationary Engine magazine. He duly replied with a number of scans of Capel literature, which I must say have been most interesting.

Chart detailing the various sizes of engine offered.

This information told me that vertical Capel engines were offered in three formats – for farm work, general duties and generating duties – and that each type was available in a range of sizes, from 1hp to 12hp in single-cylinder format, and 14hp to 24hp for the twin-cylinder models. By the way, has anyone seen a twin-cylinder Capel engine, or even an illustration of one?

A chart indicated that an LVC-type engine would have been supplied mounted on a cast iron bedplate (to await whatever item of equipment the purchaser wanted to drive), and that the engine would have been rated at 7hp.

Capel engine finds a new home

Rear view of the engine.

I’m currently trying to trace when the engine came to the USA; so, if anyone has any information about this – or the engine more generally – I be very interested to hear about it. I can be contacted via the editor of Stationary Engine magazine.

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