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Lon Stevens' 1100cc 6 cyl Engine

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This is a photo of a rare 1100cc SIX CYLINDER engine built by LON STEVENS in 1984. The engine began it’s life as a 66 c.i. MERCURY. Lon built this engine in his shop in California. The engine took him approximately six months to build, due to other machine shop work which payed his bills. The engine pictured is owned by K.C. Parsons.

Lon Stevens' 1100cc 6 cyl Engine (2)

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The engine was mounted on a 13'6" Desilva runabout which at one time held the 1100cc straightway record. Lon modified the engine from 5.5:1 to 17:1 compression. This was accomplished by Lon installing custom built cylinder heads and pistons. The pistons were fabricated by the Turner Piston Co. from a-132 ALCOA T-6 heat treated aluminum in order to withstand the extreme punishment these type of engines were designed to endure. To decrease internal friction and increase horsepower, only one piston ring was designed to capture the internal combustion pressures.

Lon Stevens' 1100cc 6 cyl Engine (3)

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The specific design and machine work that went into these pistons produced by Lon required his lifetime of design, trial and error, and would take pages to describe. Some of the other custom built parts created by Lon included; exhaust elbows, pipes, cast side mount carburetor manifolds, front carburetor mounts, linkages, flywheel, water cooled filler block and passageways, 25% over drive gears, tower housing, milled head water jacket cover, ignition system, etc. The side mounted carburetors are Tillotsons. The front mounted carburetors are Carters bored out with larger fixed jets installed along with pressure regulators. The side mounted carburetors would open progressively at 3/4 throttle and produced a 7% horsepower increase. The engine was designed to burn a special methanol, caster oil mixture formulated by Lon. A ignition was developed by Lon to fire his high compression system. Another pattern was made and castings developed and machined to make possible to install a capacitor discharge system. This system was triggered by the first magnetic trigger which was later triggered by an LED system developed by Lon. This triggering system would allow the engine to cycle at 900+ cycles per second.

John Stevens with his father's Engine

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This picture of the back end of Lon Stevens boat and engine also captures his son, the late John Stevens. The boat, motor, and driver(John Stevens), hold to this day, the 1100cc Hydroplane Kilo record at 122.372 m.p.h. The record was set in 1983 for the 1100cc Hydroplane U.I.M., APBA which has lasted over 25 years.

John Stevens testing for F Hydro

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Setting Records with the Stevens' engine

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These 3 photos are as follows: (1) First water test of Lon's engine on an F Hydro, (2) Setting a 2nd record at D-lake, (3) Setting a 4th record at Parker.

Paul Fuschlin racing a Lon Stevens' engine


The blue runabout C-87 is currently campaigned by Paul Fuschlin. Lon also built this engine. The fact that Paul is competitive against newly designed imported racing engines demonstrates how well designed, developed, and produced Lon’s engines are. Fuschlin photos courtesy of Teri Ziemer.

Paul Fuschlin racing a Lon Stevens' engine (2)


Rich Fuchslin, Paul's father, was one of the greatest F Runabout racers in the history of the sport. Paul Fuschlin has followed in his father's footsteps and is well known for his own F Runabout racing accomplishments.

Paul Fuschlin racing a Lon Stevens' engine (3)


A special thanks to David Liebetreu for providing the information and photos for the Lon Stevens page.

End of an Era


J. A. "Lon" Stevens passed away on December 30th, 2009, at the age of 92.