1960 Serial #1 Oliver
Designed by Walter Droegemueller, the motor was obtained from Walter's son on April 27, 2000. It is also Walter's work from 1954 through 1960 on Oliver's outboards, and until 1972 working on Oliver's farm equipment styling.
Oliver tractor collectors will quickly recognize the 1964 Keystone design and the "egg crate" grille of the tractors.
Sadly, Mr. Droegemueller passed away in 1994.
This is truly a one of a kind motor as decals are hand painted on chrome mylar. The emblems on the sides are surely the 1958 design. Also, those that know the Oliver built Wizard of 1957/58 will recognize the hood and front panel. This motor was presented and accepted for the 1960 design.
(at the time) Oliver was feeling the pressure of stockholders to show a profit or get out of the outboard business and by March 1960, the outboard division was closed in Battle Creek and tooling crated and shipped to England. It had been hoped that Perkins would be building the Oliver as a cost saving device. Even sales literature proclaimed "American Designed, British built". NO Olivers were built overseas with 1960 production all assembled at Battle Creek. It had been hoped that Perkins would be building the Oliver Outboard but in fact took over the line and sold the motor as a Perkins.
Another rumor needs to be cleared. Oliver was not worried about a lower shift patent infringement. In fact, Chris-Craft, some 10 years earlier, was the target. Oliver designed and built their own shift mechanism. England was simply an attempt to make production profitable. With stockholders, its always the bottom line!
Curators note: Jack is the Oliver Special Interest Group leader for the Antique Outboard Motor Club, Inc.