OUR HOBBY

By Staff

New Ashford, Massachusetts 01237

Is it going the way of antique cars? Are we chasing the high
flying dollar? Are we collectors and restorers; or dealers? What
about our shows? Will they continue to boom?

The following are my opinions and controversy and rebuttal. I
hope they do; perhaps a trend will appear. I like antique cars, but
the prices have soared to the point where it is the hobby of a
wealthy man. I am a retired civil engineer with a lifetime of
construction experience. Fortunately, I started many years ago
collecting horse drawn equipment and farm machinery and engines and
planned to continue this hobby. However, because prices of old
engines and tractors have skyrocketed, I now find myself priced out
of the market. Engines that formerly sold for $25.00 to $50.00 are
now advertised for $250.00 and up; the same for tractors.

I have several rare engines I bought at a low price, also
equipment that was actually given to me that now has a high price
on it. Should 1 sell or hold it? Chances are prices will go
higher-it’s a big question! I am not a dealer and do not intend
to be. I have never sold one of my items, but have traded numerous
ones for others and will continue to do so. However, what is the
final answer? Have an auction and blow the money in on some
luxury-for you cannot take it with you. I never heard of a
Brink’s truck making a delivery to the cemetary. Or should we
let the estate have an auction or give it away which now is
questionable, for with the high prices now prevalent, it will
probably be sold by that party. This boils down to: are we dealers
or collectors with an ulterior motive, for the dollar makes one
think. Several of us older collectors have talked this over without
a definite conclusion. As for being a dealer, the older collector
is not, nor does he plan to be; however, numerous dealers are now
in existence. They are searching out and buying cheap and selling
high. At one show I questioned a dealer who had a truck load of
common engines at a high price. I told him engines of that make
only brought so much at home and he said he knew that but someone
may come along and pay the asking price, and we can always come
down. The point is we are setting a high ceiling price and this can
lead to another higher ceiling and so on. I’m afraid this type
of dealer is hurting our hobby. On the other hand, I know of one
dealer who is only at a couple of Eastern shows. He is and was a
club member long before he started selling items and realty tries
to help hobbyists. His prices are always reasonable. He will try to
find parts or items one is interested in. I have picked up many
small items through this man and it was a pleasure dealing with
him.

Now for the shows, I have not attended them all, only about 15
from say Kinzer, Pennsylvania to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and have seen
them get larger and larger, more crowded each year and one wonders
where all the people come from-as there are not that many old
timers left. It is also noticeable that some of them are
commercialized. The gate receipts, even at a nominal charge are
huge and it appears that commercial interests are trying to take
over. I believe they will take over in some locations as rumors are
floating around and one is free to make a guess.

I also have noticed that this or that older exhibitor did not
show this year and next year there may be another one or two
missing. As time goes on, the young exhibitors are going to take
their place. Some already have and they are welcome and we need
more. The question is will they stay with the hobby as most of old
timers have; working with these old engines and tractors, and
cussing them at times, but always returning because as they say:
‘it’s in the blood.’ However, the younger fellows may
see it as an interesting hobby until some other hobby comes along.
I have also noticed 10 to 15 years ago it was a pleasure to stop
and talk to the different exhibitors and they seemed to enjoy
visiting, but now it’s the occasional show where this type of a
discussion goes on.

Perhaps I have said too much, but in any case, let’s keep
the hobby going.

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