REFLECTIONS

A Brief Word


| January/February 1995



Wico EK condensers

30/1/11

Brad E. Smith

With this issue, Gas Engine Magazine commences thirty years of history and information to the gas engine and tractor hobby. And what tremendous changes have taken place in the past thirty years! In 1964 it was entirely possible to buy a John Deere 6 horsepower engine for under $20! and an IHC Mogul sideshaft engine of almost any size could often be bought for $50 or less! About that time, this writer passed up a Rumely OilPull 30-60 Model S for $300. It just didn't seem like it was a good deal; after all, how would a person ever restore it and get his money back? Will the next 30 years see similar changes?

We're happy to report that at the very last moment, we received a pro posed itinerary from Rob Rushen Smith at Wade Farm Tours. As noted in the last issue, the 1995 Gas Engine Magazine tour is scheduled for September 9 through 23. The tour proposes to begin with a flight to Zurich, Switzerland and close with a return trip from London, England. Highlights include a stop at Winterthur, the Swiss Transportation Museum at Lucerne, and a visit to the Swiss Research Institute at Tanikon. The latter has been described by Dr. Louis Leviticus at the Nebraska Tractor Test Lab as 'one of the best exhibits he's ever seen.' We'd then go on to the German border town of Stuhlingen and overnight in the Black Forest area, with an evening visit to a private collection.

On September 12 we would have a morning drive through the Black Forest to Sindelfingen, visiting a private collection there. The next day would include a visit to the Mercedes-Benz factory, lunch at Stuttgart and an after noon visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum. On September 14, we would be in Heidelberg, the 'Student Prince City.' Also on the agenda would be a visit to the Auto-Technik Museum at Sinsheim. On September 15 we'd go to the John Deere factory at Mannheim, then on to the German National Engine Research Station. A morning cruise on the River Rhine to Boppard, followed by a coach ride to Cologne would occupy September 16, and we will be visiting the Cologne Cathedral on Sunday, September 17. An after noon drive through the Ruhr Valley and to the Dutch town of Arnheim would complete the day. On Monday we would visit a private collection and transfer to Amsterdam for two nights. Tuesday and Wednesday would be in the area, with various activities, including a canal boat cruise in Amsterdam.

On Wednesday, we would then drive from Amsterdam through Belgium to Calais and take the new Channel Tunnel to Folkestone, England, and spend two nights in London. Thursday, September 22 would be a free day for sight seeing and shopping in London, and on Friday, we would begin the flight back to the United States.

It will certainly be a very busy two week s, not hectic, but active. Rob tells us that it's a bigger question of what to leave out of the tour, rather than what to include! For those who were on the 1993 tour to England, there will be considerable delight in knowing that if at all possible, Jackie Coggan will be ac companying Rob as a courier. Jackie is an expert tour guide, and her affable manner and delightful personality made our last tour a real pleasure. Also accompanying the tour will be Alex Skinner, who functioned as our resident engine expert on the previous journey. Again, many of you have already met Alex, and for those who haven't, he is a very personable and knowledgeable person.

It's simply too early in the game to provide exact cost figures. At this writing in early November, none of the airlines will book flights so far ahead. There's also the matter of exchange rates, and these fluctuate somewhat. However, it would appear that the two-week journey will come in at $2,500 -$3,000. This is slightly more expensive than the tour to England, but given two years time and the decidedly higher costs in Europe as compared to England, we think that Rob has come in at a very, very competitive price.