RESTORATION: A Look To The Future

Content Tools

3631 Clearview Drive, Corinth, Texas 76205

Late one evening after coming in from looking over my old Maytag out in the shed, I was trying to decide how far to go with the restoration. I started to think about how lucky I am to have old engines around to work on. We, as a generation of engine enthusiasts, are here at the perfect time: we can still find engines that are fresh from the farm. Some are rusted, some stuck, some run. In the future, it won't be like that because we, as a group, are buying them all up. And that's good, because we are saving them for the future but, as we buy these engines and restore them, let's think about the collectors twenty years from now. Will they only be able to buy restored engines, all painted up and ready to run?

Let's leave something for them. They should be entitled to do a little sandblasting and hunting down parts. Who knows, in thirty years they may have better restoration techniques than we do now, just like we have better ways to make parts and repairs than the generations before us did. That's why I don't think every engine should be restored to its original mint condition. For instance, if you have an engine that's all rusted up and stuck, yeah, I think it's a good idea to do a total restore. That's the best part of this hobby. There's nothing like seeing the before and after of an old engine you rebuilt running strong. Every collector should experience that.

But if, on the other hand, you have an engine with good compression and it runs strong, maybe you should just clean it up really good and take good care of it. Take it to shows and let people see its characteristics, like where someone in the past fixed a bracket or made a repair. And if a spectator asks you why it's not restored, you tell them that you're saving it for the future.