Stationary Engine List

Gunk or Gasoline as a Degreaser?


| October/November 2001



Stationary Engine

As I write this, preparations for the big annual, international gathering at the Tri-State Gas Engine & Tractor Show in Portland, Ind., are reaching a fever pitch. I just have to try not to think about the fact that by the time this column is in print, it will all be over for another year! The five days of the show are an intense experience as we develop friendships begun on the Stationary Engine Mailing List by email, and the personalities come to life. It's also a chance to see engines at close quarters that have been discussed during the year by email, and possibly viewed by photographs on web pages.

The atmosphere of Portland is now being recreated at engine shows around the world, with multi-national gatherings in England, Holland and Australia - as well as America -with engines being shipped around the world giving even more variety to the displays.

The idea of shipping engines across oceans is one that creates much discussion everywhere, except on our mailing list, where we all celebrate international variety. Earlier this year, my husband and I lost out on an engine we wanted to buy because someone else was prepared to pay $100 over the asking price - which was already high - to 'keep the engine from going overseas.' More recently, while collecting an engine here in the U.K. to ship to a friend in the U.S., 1 heard a similar comment: 'Shame to see our heritage going to America.' Even more ridiculous, in my opinion, was a remark about an engine just imported from the Czech Republic to be rallied here in England before going to the States to be seen at shows there: 'Pity that's leaving the country.' That remark seems to conveniently forget that this engine just left its home country!

None of the engines for which someone has gone to the considerable trouble and expense of shipping are destined for the scrap yard or a dark and dusty corner of a shed. They are a confirmation of the international flavour of our hobby, and an educating insight to engine men and show goers alike into how similar problems were tackled in different parts of the world.

I'll get down off my personal soapbox now and pass on some words of wisdom shared on the ATIS forum that will be of interest to anyone whose collection does not consist solely of pristine, perfectly restored engines: 'Gunk or gasoline as a degreaser?'

As ever, the following comments reflect a variety of opinions that surfaced during this discussion.