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. This evaluation, 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.

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