Rescuing a 12 HP Domestic from the Bahamian Jungle


| 1/12/2011 6:19:49 PM


Tags: Antique Engines, Domestic,

Have something you'd like to share with your fellow Farm Collector or Gas Engine Magazine readers? Maybe it's a rescue/restoration story, antique tractor or gas engine review or helpful tip you've gleaned from experience. Whatever it is, we want you to write about it and send it in. Just email Online Editor Christian Williams with the subject line "Field Notes" and you might see your story here.   

The story of the 12 HP Domestic “jungle engine” began early June 2010. I was checking the current ads on SmokStak.com and came across a listing of a 12 HP Domestic antique engine sitting in a scrap heap in the Bahamas. The owner of the engine, Jim Brown of Ohio, was taking bids on the engine. I was immediately fascinated by the story and called for more information. Jim is part owner in a scrap iron removal company that won a bid to clean up land on the main island of the Bahamian Commonwealth – Andros. He pays the locals a finder’s fee if they can lead workers to a scrap iron pile. He said that it’s not always the best way to find scrap and told a story of a young boy, about 12, that had twice led into the jungle to show him a large pile of iron only to find a mountain of tin cans! This same boy came back to Jim a third time and insisted he had found real iron this time. Very reluctantly, Jim followed him back into the jungle again. Much different outcome this time as the boy led him to the resting place of the Domestic. I guess third times really are the charm!

A few days later I called Jim back, after talking about this engine with my father, Marshal, and let him know that we would be interested in buying the engine. He told us the current bid, which was lower than what we were willing to spend, I made him an offer and he accepted. Great! Now how and when do we get it?

domestic 1 

domestic 2 

domestic 3