There’s nothing quite like buying your first antique gas engine. It’s a special occasion that most collectors never forget. And it’s often just as memorable for the veteran collectors who help facilitate that special moment.
At the 2009 Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Assn. show in Portland, Ind., Kevin Turnbill was watching over a small stable of gas engines that included a 1936 3/4 HP Maytag. And while the engine itself was a nicely restored example, the real story was the person who bought and owned it – 11-year-old Jarrett Hall of Frazeysburg, Ohio.
Jarrett would have loved to be sitting with Kevin at the show talking about his first engine, but he had just started the new school year earlier that week and couldn’t make it. Fortunately, Kevin was more than willing to talk about Jarrett and the Maytag on his behalf. “He’s done all of the work on it,” said Kevin. “He likes the little engines and I told him I would bring it out for him.”
The third player in this story is “Maytag Mark,” a member of the Maytag Collectors Club and regular attendee of the Portland show, whom Jarrett bought the engine from. Kevin said the Maytag cost $150 plus another $60 to get it running, but that was offset by a significant discount from Maytag Mark. Kevin and Mark are two of many antique gas engine collectors who recognize the future of the hobby depends on younger generations getting involved. For Mark, the most important aspect of this transaction wasn’t the money to be made – it was the opportunity to get a young collector interested in the hobby. And by all accounts, mission accomplished. “He’s really into it,” affirmed Kevin.