Auction do's & don'ts

| April/May 1996

This story, in a way, is about some do's and don'ts and what can sometimes be done with a little imagination. The photography is not the greatest but is the best this amateur could come up with.

Well, to start off, this escapade came about with a couple of phone calls from engine buddies of mine. First, Bob Herrington, president of Western New York Gas and Steam Engine Association, called me and said, 'There is going to be an auction on your road and a big hit & miss engine will be for sale! Knowing that you love engines, I think you'd better look at this one.' Now, I don't have to tell you engine nuts that a call like this is really good news and gets you pumped up. We were discussing the auction and the items that he was interested in, when I got another call, this time from the Wheatfield engine man, Norm Reichert.

Norm gave me almost the same information. It sure makes you feel good that these fellows think of you when something like this comes up!

It's a lot of iron, Norm said, something that I might want, all original on a cart and looks in good shape. He said it's real dirty and has a broken rocker but the broken piece is lying on the head so the engine is complete.

Yes sir, as soon as the phone was back on the hook, I had my old truck in road gear and was headed for that auction site. Sure enough, all this old machinery is lined up in rows. What a sight, all these antique farm goodies in such excellent condition. There were sleighs, wagons, you name it, it was there. A fellow came up to me and said, 'This machinery has been stored in those barns for 40 years.' Can you imagine a John Deere manure spreader on steel that didn't look like it was ever used?

Then I saw the engine and I said, 'I've got to have this.' It's a 9 HP Economy all original and complete, muffler, mag, oilier, mixer, even the paint which had a good cover of dirt and grease, all this on the original cart with tongue, and the broken rocker piece was on the head.