I’m not sure how often you stop to think about it, but members of the gas engine community lead pretty exciting lives.
While their winter weekends are spent tinkering in garages and hovels, summers tend to be packed with social events where they show their stuff and make new friends. (Not to mention the joy of seeing old friends!) Many collectors travel not-so-short distances to get to these events, and oftentimes those journeys can be just as exciting as the shows themselves.
Take, for instance, the lengths Ole Elden’s brother, Allan, took to get the family’s 12 HP Olds from Washington state to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion at Rollag: not a short jaunt at more than 1,450 miles! Add in hauling a trailer with your prized possessions, and the trip becomes even more of an adventure. Rarely do things go exactly according to plan, so of course Allan’s trip turned into quite the ordeal. I won’t ruin the story, so you’ll have to check out Rescuing a 12 HP Olds Engine.
But not all adventures involve drama, as Woody Sins and Wayne Grenning’s antique gas engine tour of Europe proves. Woody and Wayne are dedicated collectors and members of the community, so they decided to travel to see slide-valve engines featured at Nuenen. While there they met with collectors around Europe, getting tours of private collections and access to museum reserves the rest of us can only dream of. Lucky for us, they were kind enough to snap pictures, take video and write up a report about just how things happen across the pond.
Woody and Wayne’s experience shows that the kind and welcoming nature of our community isn’t exclusive to our continent. This shouldn’t be surprising. People who take the time to preserve these relics for future generations are a special breed, and while the machinery may be a bit different, the sentiment is the same. Be sure to check out Euro Trip: Nuenen Netherlands to see the incredible sights, including engines that never made it to the States, that Woody and Wayne got to experience.
You don’t have to travel great distances or experience catastrophe for your stories to be noteworthy.
The excitement of finally obtaining an engine you’ve always wanted, the thrill of tracking down the missing part you’ve been searching for since you acquired your engine, the joy of getting your father’s old machine running again when you thought you’d never hear the familiar beat again, these are the things that antique gas engine enthusiasts live for. And who can blame them? There’s never a dull moment when you’re preserving the past.