Waukesha’s Marketing Names for its Engines of Yesteryear.     (added March 2017)

In 1965, at the height of the its engine offerings, and exclusive of the Climax, LeRoi and Cerlist engines, the Waukesha Motor Co. was building 14 basic engine sizes in about 90 different configurations. At the time the engines ranged in HP from 18 to nearly 1,200.


From the beginning, Waukesha used “catchy” marketing names on its engine sales bulletins to catch the eye of manufacturers looking for an engine to power their equipment.


Founded in 1906, Waukesha’s very first engine, the Model A, was a huge success and word quickly spread about this new engine being built in the City of Waukesha - it was marketed as “The Waukesha”.


In 1912, Waukesha began introducing a series of long stroke/high torque engines, for trucks and farm tractors. They were marketed as the Hi-Power Series, Models L, M, N, O, P, R and S.


In the 1930’s, Waukesha introduced several new series of new engines including three light weight, high speed models:

Bulletin 1125-A Meteor Four - ICK Nov 1938

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Bulletin 846-J Agile Four - FC April 1937

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Also in the 1930’s, Waukesha introduced its series of 4 and 6 cylinder “F” head engines: Models 4-80, 4-95, 4-115’ 6-90, 6-97, 6-100, 6-110, 6-125, marketed as Hy-Power.


Other series of engines where introduced in the 1930’s, with new engines being introduced on a regular basis for years, with marketing names such as:


Engines for delivery and other trucks:

Bulletin 795-A Dispatch Six - 6TL Feb 1930

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Bulletin 978-A Marathon Six - 6BKH Nov 1935

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Stationary industrial power units:

Bulletin 720 Cotton Gins Feb 1929

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Bulletin 839-A Giant Six June 1931

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The most colorful marketing names were those used for Waukesha’s Hesselman, and later diesel marine engines. These names gave a sense of what you would want in a marine engine. From small engine to large, they were:

Bulletin 1870-A 197 Bristol Bay March 1964

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Bulletin 1146-A Resolute, Defender, Wanderer & Reliance Oct 1939

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By 1995, Waukesha had discontinued its diesels and smaller carbureted engines to concentrate on its popular, large stationary industrial carbureted gas engines. This ended Waukesha’s nearly 90 years of supplying engines to a multitude of niche markets and the need for catchy marketing names.


Rocky Schaefer, Historian


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