By James Barrick, Wine Country Chapter member
Here are a couple Elto Rudder twins or “Knuckle Busters” as they were sometimes called due to the pull up knob on the flywheel. The chromed up tank (left) is a 1924 3hp Rudder twin / Light twin, serial # C12381. Those with a serial # under 60999 are least common and highly collectable.
In 1913 Ole’s wife Bess became ill, and nothing meant more to Ole than Bess so he decided to sell out his portion of the company bearing the Evinrude name. Bess’ health then did a turn around and she inspired Ole to build outboards once again. So identifying Ole’s new motor as the Evinrude Light Twin Outboard she coined the acronym ELTO and a major outboard label was born.
In 1926 ELTO came out with the 4 hp Super Elto. My Super Elto tag reads “super G # 3634.” Some advertisements claim it’s “Ole’s fastest motor!”
Ole’s wife Bess passed away in 1933 and Ole was often clouded in a fog of loneliness but he still kept his hand in the design and putting final touches on new concepts and styling. Ole died in the summer of 1934 model run. Around this time Evinrude and Eltos were being sold at the same dealership showrooms. Some say Ole passed from a broken heart. For me it was one of the greatest love affairs which survived the Great Depression and produced some of the greatest engineering marvels. It also opened the door for fishing, outdoor sportsman and a racing history that built an economy that has lasted many generations, and still intrigues old restorers and history buffs like myself.
Motors are from the James Barrick Outboard Collection.