OVER THE HILL
1,800 max (52 @ 1,600 continuous). The continuous torque output of all engines were virtual straight lines from 600 to 1,500 rpm, delivering 60, 108, and 175 lb-ft, respectively. All of them had a 15.5:1 compression ratio. Some were equipped with individual compression releases for each cylinder so they could be hand-started.
In April of 1942 Hill Diesel was purchased by the Edwards Company of New York, with 78-year-old Ransom Olds retained as the chairman of the board. In reality, Edwards, a builder of power railway motor cars with a plant in North Carolina, was owned and run by the Cummins Diesel Engine Corporation of New York. Confused? We were until we learned that this was a company begun in 1934 as a distributor for Cummins diesels and had acquired
Edwards in 1940. In August of 1942 they changed their name to the Rogers Diesel and Aircraft Corporation, operating both companies under their own names. The Edwards Plant was converted for the manufacture of wartime aircraft parts.
To confuse things even more, Drake America Corporation acquired Hill Diesel in 1948 as one of its first corporate acquisitions, and Hill limped along in Lansing until October of 1952, when Drake shut it down. It isn’t clear why. Very soon after shutting down, Hill’s remaining assets were sold off and its extensive parts inventory changed hands many times over the years. Of the many thousands of Hill Diesels built over the years, the Model R is probably the easiest to get parts for. Hill remains one of the best, but least known, of the defunct diesel engine manufacturers.
A Hill 4R commercial generator set from about 1941; you can see several differences between this and the later unit. The 4R generator unit was produced right to the end of Hill Diesel in 1952.