New Arrivals–18 Engines by Roger Butzen From the Paul and Paula Knapp Engine Collection

by | Jul 5, 2024 | Engines, What's New

Roger Butzen built this 426 hemi powered Cobra and modified the miniature car to be operated by radio control.

Eighteen new engines by Roger Butzen are now on display at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum courtesy of the Engine Collection of Paul and Paula Knapp. All of the new items on display were built by the late Roger Butzen of Texas, who was a personal friend of Mr. Knapp. Mr. Butzen was an exceptional model engineer, having regularly displayed a variety of projects at different shows and expos around the country. His 1/4 scale Anzani 3-cylinder radial aircraft engine was previously loaned to the museum from the Knapp Collection, where it remains on display today.

This newest batch of Mr. Butzen’s miniature engineering projects includes: a Wall Wizard opposed twin engine, a custom 2-stroke vapor engine, a Rider-Ericsson hot air engine, a PM model steam engine, a horizontal 4-stroke atmospheric engine, a 1/3 scale Harley-Davidson Evolution engine, a 1/4 scale 1937 Ford flathead V8 engine, a Plunket atmospheric gas engine, an Offenhauser (Offy) 270 racing engine, a Challenger V8 overhead valve conversion engine, a Caloric hot air engine, an Atkinson differential engine, a “Little Angel” hit n’ miss engine, a Stuart single-cylinder steam engine, a Stirling hot air engine, a “Double Scotch,” scotch yoke steam engine, an R/C model steamboat, and a 1/4 scale 426 Hemi powered Cobra model.

The Cobra project is particularly unique in that it began with a Testors 1/4 scale plastic model engine kit. However, instead of assembling  the kit, Roger reverse engineered the pieces to produce drawings and machine parts for his running 426 engine. After completion, he demonstrated the engine at many model engineering shows, car shows, and local modeling clubs–but his passion was to run it in an RC car. After many years of engineering and fabrication, Mr. Butzen finished the 1/4 scale Cobra and test ran it a few times, ultimately accomplishing his goal in 2022.

Along with Mr. Butzen’s engines, the new display also includes a trophy that he won at the Pantera International Winter Expo in 2007. As an owner of a Pantera, Roger entered his car into the expo. However, this trophy was awarded to him for “Best Engine,” as he had brought along his miniature Challenger V8 engine to run for eager onlookers. The crowd and organizers were obviously impressed with the small but mighty Challenger engine, and though he did not receive an award for his Pantera, he was able to walk away with the Best Engine award.  

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Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship