Lauson Small Engines
University of Michigan evaluation of the Lauson VA-7
In the early 1950’s. small engine manufacturers were bringing the first generation of alloy
block rotary mower engines to market. A small engine manufacturer who built a quality alloy
block mower engine had a distinct advantage over any competition who could only delivered
cast iron block engines.
In the spring of 1954 Lauson brought it’s first commercially available alloy block engine
to market, the 2 HP Model Type SLV (Super Light Vertical). Two years later, and only a
few months after Tecumseh had purchased Lauson, the 2 ˝ HP Lauson VA was produced: a Lauson
SLV but with a larger bore.
We can assume that Tecumseh was keen to evaluate the Lauson VA, in order to see how it
might “stack-up” against the competition. Since Tecumseh headquarters was Michigan
based, it would be natural to contract the University of Michigan to “test” the Lauson VA
in order to determine the quality of Lauson’s new flagship product.
, completed in June of
1956- only five months after Tecumseh purchased Lauson, is the published outcome of
that evaluation. The engine that was evaluated is the Lauson VA-7, an example of which
exists in my personal collection
Tecumseh must have thought the Lauson VA had merit, because the original SLV Lauson
design was enhanced and elaborated to become the Tecumseh V series as well as a foundation
for the entire line of “new” Tecumseh horizontal and vertical shaft alloy block engines
that Tecumseh would deliver in the years to follow.