View Full Version : The great ELTO mystery

01-22-2010, 06:54 PM
I'm having some fun with this one. Any of you guys know about ELTO outboard motors? I'm learning quite a bit myself. ELTO actually stands for "Evenrude Light Twin Outboard" Built by the Outboard Motor Company in Milwaulkee Wi. in the 20s and 30s. Sometime around there they eventually were absorbed into the Evenrude line. Some of the more famous models were the "rudder twin" that was mounted stationary on the transom, and had an articulated rudder behind the prop, and the "Pal" that was a gas motor about the size of a modern trolling motor.
Anyway, I inherited an ELTO from my grandfather. Actually my dad saved it from the scrap pile after it had sat under a pine tree for several years, and now I have it. The only thing my grampa ever told me was that he had it on a mini hydroplane he ran on Seneca lake a ways north of Watkins GLen, and that this perticular motor is "The hottest one he ever had". It threw him off the boat once when he cranked the throttle.
Now, it's a hopless, locked-up anchor. unless I can find the block and cylinders to repair it. So far I can't even positivily identify what exact motor it is. I can't find a picture of the exact same model, and I can't find any charts that list the serial number on this motor.
This model is definatly in the performance line, and not just the average motor.
Any antique boat buffs? I'm enjoying unravelling this mystery. I gotta see it through now. I'm hooked.
I'm going to get pictures this weekend. right now all I have is the serial number 6240749.
I emailed one collector for info, and so far all he says is that he'd like to buy it. (Promising, but not helpful)

01-22-2010, 07:03 PM
There was a guy on Lousisnanasportsman.com that had a collection of antique outboards for sale a few months ago. Look there, it might still be up. I think it was under "outboards" but I'm not sure.

No way to sleeve it? I read once where some guys save a very rare, old motorcycle case by using the ground as a mold an pouriong molten aluminium in it and repairing the bottom part of the case. They thought it wouldn't work but tried anyway seeing the case was shot and it worked. I think it was a Harley but not sure, 1917 IIRC. Can't remeber where I read it.

I almost bought the collection. I dig old outboards. I'm a southern LA boy and it just makes sence to me.

01-22-2010, 08:30 PM

That's cool,+ a cool story.
I picked up a used Cortina 1500 that was used in a houseboat.
The tag on the engine cradle said "OMC".It was sold in '68.
The last 1500's were sold in '67.I wonder if they bought the
remaining ones from Ford?

- Doug

01-22-2010, 10:05 PM
Take a trip over to AOMCI, the Antique Outboard Motor Club to learn more about the ELTO.... AOMCI is to old outboards what BCF is to old cars from 'cross the pond! :smile:

01-22-2010, 10:32 PM
Thanks for the input so far. I have been on AOMCI. facinating stuff! Many other sites are filled with goodies as well, but still not the "key" I'm looking for to pinpoint this motor.
Here's what I suspect so far. It's mid 30s, and it in the "speedster/ Super" class. it has the exhaust setup of the racing motors, but not the hot-rod looking carb that the "racing" specials had.
Unfortunatly, I'm finding all kinds of other facinating things I could get intrested in... Some nice antique powerplants for a real decent prices.. true early mechanical art.. AGGGH!

01-23-2010, 08:22 AM
I inhereted a 3 piont hydro with a mercury mark 10? Green in color short shaft outboard 25HP way backwhen. After a few weekends it was up and running geez it was fun and the scaryest little thing on the water. After you it get yours sorted your going to need a transom of a little hydroplane to mount it on its a blast.

Be careful looking at old power!
My uncle took me to a steam tractor show in North Dakota when I was a kid the next summer he had a Case steam tractor in his shop being restored!years later he finished it and had 2 more and a huge buliding to work on them, He also has an empty spot in the garage where my Aunt used to park....

01-23-2010, 08:52 AM
Yeah, I agree that other forms of power (like old steamers) can be additive. I have at least 25, working model steam engines.

We have a Summer house on a lake and I've seen all sorts of odd-ball engines. I'm sure there are still some old outboards squirreled away here in Summer homes. I've seen old Elgins, Chrylsers, McCulloch, Sears, etc. We had a rope-start (no recoil) 1 HP Evinrude that was 40s vintage (I think). I gave it away to a student who collected old outboards (apparently, it's worse than collecting LBCs).
These days we have a 2 HP Evinrude and a 9.9 Johnson (for our 16' aluminum row boat).

By the way, one of my students had a 10' <span style="font-style: italic">GW Invader</span> years ago. That was one of the most iconic (and dangerous) hydroplane/fun boats of the 60s. He brought it out to our lake with a 65 HP Merc on it and I got to drive it. He told me it had "sensitive" steering and when I got up to top speed (60 mph or so) all I needed to do was raise my eyebrows to make it turn. That was about right too!

Here's an Invader below:


01-23-2010, 10:17 AM
Yup I'm finding out that antique outboards are maybe even more addictive than LBCs... Probably because they're cheap, and I could fit 20 of 'em in the same side of the garage ad the LBC...
Not to mention I live 20 minutes from Seneca lake, and not much further fom several others.
Why do I have the feeling this will end badly...hehehehehehehe
The thing that has my intrest is the cost. I thought outboards were expensive. and vintage ones even worse! I'm finding out quite the opposite. Older outboards are plentiful and rather inexpensive. Don't expect to use them as investments like you can with a classic car. But that makes them ideal for me. I'm low budget, and I don't have a lot of space.. now I just nes a few cool old "Kickers" and a vintage small boat to put them on.... Oh yea, and a hydroplane for the ELTO... Wait! this is getting expensive!!!!

tony barnhill
01-23-2010, 12:07 PM
I've often thought a line of old outboards would add to the charm of my garage.

01-23-2010, 12:16 PM
I have, somewhere on a shelf, an old Evenrude canoe outboard. Sold exclusively for canoes, it mounted on the side. For reverse, you simply turned the motor around. When I put it away, it ran. I need an original gas tank for it. I think it was made in the 30s, not sure. Only weighs about ten pounds. The piston in it is about the size of a quarter. :jester:

01-23-2010, 12:23 PM
I've often thought a line of old outboards would add to the charm of my garage.

Thanks Tony, now I have a way to describe the mess in my garage. :smile:

tony barnhill
01-23-2010, 02:01 PM
Panache....is that the right high falootin' word to use?

01-23-2010, 02:43 PM
Wow, sounds like I have a whole bunch of Panache!

I thought it was just <span style="font-style: italic">crap</span>! :jester:

01-23-2010, 02:44 PM
If you go with early fiberglass boats, they can be had extremely reasonably. A good site is www.fiberglassics.com. (https://www.fiberglassics.com)

01-23-2010, 02:49 PM
By the way, since we're talking about outboards: One of the best US V8s ever built, the Corvette ZR1, was built by an outboard motor manufacturer.

~MORE~ (https://www.zr1netregistry.com/howlt5built.htm)

01-23-2010, 04:09 PM
By the way, since we're talking about outboards: One of the best US V8s ever built, the <span style="color: #FF0000">Corvette</span> ZR1, was built by an outboard motor manufacturer.

~MORE~ (https://www.zr1netregistry.com/howlt5built.htm)

OH NO !!!!!

THEY GOT NIAL TOO !!!!!!! :jester: :jester: :jester:

01-23-2010, 05:38 PM
An' here I thought all Corvette engines were boat ANCHORS... :devilgrin: :wink:

01-23-2010, 05:47 PM
I thought that I read somewhere that OMC went
bankrupt,&amp; out of business.I could be wrong.

- Doug

01-23-2010, 05:50 PM
So, why is the block toast?

01-23-2010, 09:09 PM
The pistons and crank are so rusted up inside there that even after soaking for a year in as much "B'laster PB" as I could spray in both the crank and heads, it's still locked so solid I cant get it apart. It sat outside for many years, and I think water got in the crankcase area. I'm pretty sure that even if I did finally get it apart, there woulden't be much left to fix. I may be able to save the crankcase housing, and have the cylinders sleeved, but we'll see. I may even be able to source a whole different "Powerhead" as the engine itsself is called.
I gotta get some pics.
Don't let Tony hear ya talk like that Doc! hehehehehehehe