When restoring an antique gas engine, replacing broken or missing parts is a necessity. Sometimes, those parts no longer exist and a restorer must fabricate new parts. In order to preserve the otherwise natural, barn-fresh condition of an engine, some restorers will intentionally age the new pieces to give it an artificial, yet realistic-looking patina that matches the engine. In a matter of a few hours, a combination of heat and chemical reaction can add 100 years of “age” to a newly fabricated piece. For these collectors, the goal isn’t to deceive anyone – it’s simply to maintain the visual integrity of the engine they’re trying to restore.
Other collectors, mindful of the investment potential in antique gas engines, question this practice. Antique gas engines in complete, original condition hold greater value for some collectors when compared to engines that have been restored. For these collectors, the process of intentional aging represents an obstacle to guaranteeing authentic original condition. And while the restorer of a piece may be upfront about what pieces have been restored and intentionally aged, the provenance of the engine will likely get murkier the further removed that engine is from its restorer.
So what do you think about this practice? Take the poll and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below: