Washing-Machine Motor Drives Midget Racing Auto (Aug, 1938)

We’ve seen something like this before but I’m always amazed by the fact that at one point washing-machines had gasoline powered motors. I wonder if you had to pull start them like a lawn mower.

Washing-Machine Motor Drives Midget Racing Auto
Built on racing lines, a midget automobile constructed by Grover Revelle of Fredericktown, Mo., for his younger brother is powered by a one-cylinder washing-machine motor. Its “radiator” is copied after the latest style die-cast grilles. The tiny car will travel fifteen miles an hour on the level, and runs fifty to sixty miles on a gallon of gasoline.

  1. mrchurchill109 says: July 16, 20075:34 am

    Re: Pull start:

    Nope – believe it or not they were (at least with the old Maytags) kick started! There’s a pedal linkage that engaged the output – a kick on this sent it merrily spinning and disengaged it at the bottom of the kick stroke.

    This was perfect for those with less upper body strength – you can kick it through by putting your weight on it, with no danger from pull ropes or hand cranks.

  2. Charlie says: July 16, 20079:02 am

    That is so cool. Now I want a kick-start washer.

  3. Jeremy says: January 9, 20086:46 am

    Grover Revelle is my Grandfather and he showed this webpage to me just the other day. He was very proud to see the car he built posted on the internet!

    He said he built two of these cars – the second had an 8 hp motor on it!

    And, for the record, he confirmed that the engine on the one pictured was kick-start. There was a lever off the back of the engine.

  4. Jeremy says: January 9, 20086:48 am

    Forgot to mention, the grill on the front is off an Oldsmobile – my Grandfather didn’t remember the year.

  5. Shannon Pope says: October 28, 20084:08 pm

    I was wanting to ask Jeremy and his grandfather, Grover Revelle, some questions about the car he built with the washing machine motor. Please let me know how I can get in touch with you! Thanks.

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