Letters and Miscellanies

Animals, cars, cosmetic surgery and yes ... engines

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I read with much interest the controversy over to restore or not to restore an engine. Thomas Carlyle, an early essayist, said: "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it." I will carry this one step further and add your right to think it.

Most all of us either attended, participated or watched on television a horse, dog, cat or some form of animal show. Can you imagine the reaction of the judges if someone brought in a shaggy looking, unkempt animal for judging or just viewing?

I have attended and displayed classic cars in the Concours d'Elegance and have yet to see a Duesenberg or Rolls Royce sitting there with a cracked windshield or a rusted fender.

Folks spend millions of dollars every year on cosmetics and cosmetic surgery to enhance their beauty or health due to the effects of age, accidents or improvement.

Attending shows, I have witnessed people admire a nicely restored International LA or a Fairbanks Z and casually pass by a rare engine, un-restored, and remark: that surely needs a good going over.

On page 5 in the May issue of Gas Engine Magazine, is a photo of Wayne Greening's "unrestored" Cook sideshaft. Who's kidding who? That's not unrestored. He just removed the tuxedo and put on a dinner jacket. It goes on to explain the finish is Wayne's secret patina process. Beautification? You bet.

I wonder how many advocates of un-restored engines are of that frame of mind because of restoration expense, time consumed, energy or lack of interest.

Now that I got that off my mind, it's time to polish my engine and get ready for a show.

Gene DeCamp
646 N. Ocotillo St.
Cottonwood, AZ 86326