Sold by Sears & Roebuck 1959-63 (the Scott years)
STARTING IN 1959 the majority of Elgin outboards were sourced by Sears from Scott-McCulloch. (However a few West Bend made motors were offered after 1959. For information on West Bend made Elgins please visit the 1955-59 page. ) Sears would continue to purchase outboards from Scott even after the Elgin name was dropped in 1963. And the the low-profile 7.5hp and 9hp McCullochs would be offered right through 1968 or 9 when McCulloch stopped making outboards.
In the 1960's......
A fairly large number of badge engineered McCulloch motors sold by Sears, Western Auto and other department stores. Despite the private brand business, by 1964 it was clear that McCulloch's heart was not in the outboard business and each passing year brought a reduction in models and no engineering advancements - by 1970 their outboards were gone.
Nice 40hp Scott/Elgin spotted on eBay
Originally Scott Atwater was best known as a small outfit that produced novelty/promotional items (Like Cracker Jack prizes). During the depths of the Great Depression they were asked to build a simple, inexpensive outboard motor to be sold through Firestone Tire stores. These Champion outboards sold well and made a good name for themselves. After WWII Champion struck out on their own and Scott Atwater continued to produce outboards for Firestone and under their own Scott Atwater name. In 1957 Scott-Atwater was purchased by chain saw baron Robert McCulloch. This infused a lot of capital and fueled ideas and production for a few years.
West Bend and Sears had a long association dating back to West Bend's predecessor, the Kissel Company. (Kissel built the Sears Waterwich outboard motors in the 1930's.) But in 1958 Sears started offering Scott made Elgin outboards and by 1959 only the little 2hp West Bend was left.
So why did Sears change suppliers in 1959?
In the late 1950's Scott offered a broad lineup of products, from 3.6hp to 60hp as opposed to West Bend's 2 to only 40hp. The trend to higher horsepower outboards was clear by the mid 1950's so having a product like the big 3 cylinder Scotts would have been very attractive from a sales & marketing angle. We can also speculate that Sears went with Scott/McCulloch because of discounts and economy offered on the entire McCulloch product line. (Chain saws, weed whackers, generators etc.. also offered through Sears and made for them by McCulloch)
Here is a model listing put together from a Scott McCulloch service bulletin and an Abos Blue Book (The Abos book had completely different numbers!)
1959-1960 Elgin (by Scott-McCulloch) Model Numbers (Certain specially equipped models may be missing)
There is no definitive listing of Elgin model and serial numbers, below represents the best effort to date to catalog them. There are a lot of holes in the information below due to poor recording of special promotional models. If you can not find your exact number but the first few digits are on the chart, this will be the closest match available. Additionally, there are a few West Bend made Elgin motors that turn up from Canada - look for "Simpson-Sears" on your ID plate if you have a model not listed below.
Click here to find where to look for the model identification number
Post 1961 Model #'s (From McCulloch Service Bulletin
387 dated June 11, 1966)
Beginning in the 1961 model year, a change was made in the numbering system, to identify the various models by year of manufacture, brand name, horsepower, etc. For this purpose eight digit numbers were adopted.
Read this model number as follows:
63 = Year of Manufacture
6 = Brand Name
045= Horsepower (Approximate)
3 = Type
2 = Production Run
Brand names are coded:
3 - Scott
4 - Hiawatha
6 - Elgin (Sears)
7 - Wizard
Types are coded:
1 - Manual start
2 - Manual start, long shaft
3 - Electric start
4 - Electric start, long shaft
5 - Special Etc.
Production runs are coded:
0 - First production
1 - Second production (Changed in design after first production
2 - Third production Etc.
Example Model 63604532 may thus be read as a 1963 Elgin 45 Horsepower motor with an electric starter. It would be a third production run engine with design modifications that may not be interchangeable with Models 63604530 or 63604531.
1961-1963 Elgin (by Scott-McCulloch) Models: (Certain specially equipped models may be missing)
Sears continued to offer outboard motors made by McCulloch right up to the end of McCulloch's outboard manufacturing in 1968 or 69. Unfortunately Sears retired the Elgin brand name in 1963 after signing a long-term deal with baseball celebrity Ted Williams. (His name was used on many of the Sears outdoor recreational products.) The passing of the Elgin name from Sears catalog marked the end of one of the best known and loved outboard brands of the 1940's and 50's.
A version of the low-profile McCulloch sold through Sears from 1960 to 1968
About the Low Profile Elgin/Sears/McCulloch motors...
The the low-profile 7.5hp and 9hp Elgin/McCullochs are very common but a real challenge to work on due to their compact design. The goal of making a low-profile, compact and very light weight motor were definitely achieved by Scott/McCulloch. And, to improve on a major shortcoming of the Bail-a-Matic motors, they even moved the waterpump and bailer impellers down below the waterline. Keeping the waterpumps below the waterline helped improve their longevity over the previous model.
To do almost any service work on these motors the powerhead must be removed. First you need to take the recoil, magneto and throttle linkage off the motor to gain access to the powerhead fasteners. The waterpumps are mounted upside down on the spray plate and there is a fair amount of plumbing for the bailer and cooling systems with press-fit connections. All of these are possible places to leak and reduce cooling water flow.
Almost all of these motors we have seen have problems with the motor cover being cracked, broken or missing. This is because the cover is made from very flimsy plastic. Even when new, the cover, latches and hinge were not strong enough to support using the hand-hold to tilt the motor up! Add 40 years for the plastic to get brittle and you have one really fragile item. If you have one of these motors never, ever, use the hand-hold provided in the back of the cover to tilt or cary the motor.
Should anyone attempt to restore one of these, it would be wise to have at least 2 donor motors for parts. A lot of PB Blaster (or like product), heat and patience is required to work on these motors.