Evinrude Outboard Motors

Production History

   It took Ole Evinrude approximately two years to produce his first outboard. There had already been an outboard on the market since 1905, it was a "Waterman Porto Motor". What Ole had produced was an outboard that was better engineered and that was more practical for the time. The year was 1909.

   In 1911 Ole Evinrude had orders, but needed capital. He took on a partner in the new firm, a friend C.J. Meyer who invested five thousand dollars. Evinrude sales continued to climb for the next few years, but cash flow was always a problem. Both Ole and his wife Bess worked long hours at the plant. Sales were seasonal, so they started marketing Evinrude Outboards over seas to Denmark and Norway.

   Around 1914 Ole's wife Bess had failing health and he decided to sell his interest in Evinrude Outboard to C.J. Meyer and his associates. This ended Mr.Evinrude's involvement in his first Outboard Motor company, it wasn't to be his last. He had signed a five year non-compete contract, which he honored.

   After two years of working over some new design ideas, Ole had labored to produced a new light weight 3 horsepower 2 cylinder outboard. In 1920 Ole took his new creation to his former partner C.J. Meyer of Evinrude Motors and offer it to him, to manufacture. He declined and another outboard company was born.

   In 1921 Ole founded Elto Outboard Motor, (Evinrude Lite Twin Outboard). Over the next few years the new Elto Outboard was gaining sales while the Evinrude sales were going south. With that said, Ole still had some serious competition with the Johnson Outboard Motor Company. Ole had been concentrating on light weight and Johnson had been developing and selling speed.

   C.J. Meyer left the Evinrude Company in 1922. Sales continued to decline even with several different management teams. The salvation for Evinrude Outboards came in 1926. When it was sold to the Briggs and Stratton small engine company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, the Directors of Briggs and Stratton voted against continuing in the outboard motor field.

   In 1928 Mr. Stephen Briggs co-founder of Briggs and Stratton, then President of Evinrude Outboard Motors was working to form a syndicate. He had approached Ole Evinrude and his Elto Outboard to merge. Mr. Briggs was also looking to merge the Lockwood Outboard motor at the same time.

   In 1929 he succeeded in merging Elto, Lockwood and Evinrude in to a new corporation. OMC (Outboard Motor Corporation) was founded, Ole Evinrude was president and Stephen Briggs was CEO. The rest, as they say is history. There were hard times ahead through the depression years, but with cut backs and minimum sales they limped through that period. One of the casualties was their own Lockwood Outboard Motor. Last year of Brand Name was 1930. There were many other manufacturers that failed during those hard years.

   The Johnson Motor Company didn't fair so well either. Part of their problem stemmed from investing so much money in advertising and developing higher horsepower outboards, for speed. These outboards didn't sell well during those tough years. In 1932 Johnson Motor Company went in to receivership. They reorganize, and tried a hand at the refrigeration compressor business.

   In 1935 Ralph Evinrude, (Ole Evinrude's son) and Stephen Briggs purchased the Johnson Motor Wheel Company from a brokerage firm in New York. The Johnson was formally merged with OMC (Outboard Motor Corporation) in 1936. In late 1936 OMC changed their corporate name to OMMC (Outboard Marine and Manufacturing Company). The new company was made up of Elto, Evinrude and Johnson. At this time, these three motors accounted for about 60 per cent of all outboards sold. It was about this time that Gale Products became part of the OMMC mix. They made products such as the "Lawn Boy" lawnmower and "Shop King" combination home workshop. They later manufactured the "Gale" outboard that was sold under many different brand names. Names like Brooklure, Buccaneer, Royal, Saber, Sea Bee, Sea Flyer, Sovereign and others.

   In 1939 OMMC discontinued the Elto Outboard motor brand. The two remaining survivors being Evinrude and Johnson Outboards. During these early years even though the two motors now had the same parent, OMC. They would still have separate engineering departments. There was a friendly competition between the two brands.

   In 1956 OMMC (Outboard Marine and Manufacturing) changed its name again to OMC (Outboard Marine Corporation). By this time both Evinrude and Johnson Outboard motors had interchangeable parts. They would continue through years with different color and style hoods, dealer networks, but basically the same engine. For the next few decades there were larger horsepower, and a myriad of changes to the overall Outboard Motor Industry, with OMC leading the way. It seemed like Evinrude and Johnson would live forever.

   In late 2000, OMC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In early 2001 the court selected Bombardier's bid for the engine assets of OMC and Genmar Industries for the boat assets.

   Bombardier's sales and production were limited to left over product and new 4 stroke manufacturing. Bombardier was considered a new company and therefore, was not grand fathered in for the 2006 ruling, that ends 2 cycle production.

   In 2003 some of the original family members of Bombardier purchases the marine and snowmobile division. They continue to sell the Evinrude and Johnson brands as of 2004. The outboard line is a mix of OMC and Japanese manufactured outboards.

   Hard core parts for some of these outboards are getting more difficult to find as time goes on. Many older outboards used common Ignition and Carburetor venders for that period. Discount Marine Parts has Ignition and Carburetor repair kits for most all of these older outboards. If we don't have what your looking for, we have many sources to locate your part. Obviously some parts are just not available. We can sometimes find it used and often we have the part made if there is enough demand. Discount Marine Parts has a large inventory of parts for most brands of American made Outboards, Inboards and Sterndrives. We also have most parts and service manuals available.

Thank you for stopping by and please come back!

Evinrude Model Number List

A - 399       400 - 999       1000 - 4099       4100 - 9923

Evinrude   Model Year Guide

1909 - 1921       1922 - 1927       1928 - 1930       1931 - 1932       1933 - 1934       1935 - 1936       1937 - 1950

1951 - 1955       1956 - 1960       1961 - 1965

Discount Marine Parts
Phone       4524 D Road  •  PO Box 98       Fax
906-466-2180       Bark River, MI 49807       906-466-0217

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Last Modified: 10/30/07