146 Jo Marie St., San Antonio, Texas 78222
I have a suggestion that I think will benefit all of those interested in old gas engines and tractors. But first let me tell you how I became interested.
I am a relative newcomer to the world of old engines and tractors. I became interested about five years ago while on a trip to California. The wife and I were on our way from San Francisco to Highway 1 along the Coast via Highway 128 when we went through Boonville. They were having their annual fair and there were a few well restored old engines. Right then I knew I had to know more about them.
The first show I went to, near my home, was in Boerne, Texas. Needless to say I had a lot of questions. A collector gave me a copy of an old GEM, and you can rest assured a subscription was in the mail the next day. Since then I have been getting acquainted and beating the bushes of south central Texas with some success.
About three years ago we were on vacation to the Northeast and attended the steam, gas engine and tractor show near Windsor, Pennsylvania. You people in the Northeast have a definite advantage, but that doesn't make us Texans any less interested!
Having been a machinist and mechanic for many years, I truly appreciate and marvel at what the early manufacturers were able to produce considering the machines and tools (particularly, tool steel) they had to work with.
Now to my suggestion: It appears to me that we need some type of standard to identify the condition of our equipment. They use a condition code for antique and classic cars and I believe we could adopt a similar system. This possibility may have been discussed in this magazine before my time, but if so, nothing seems to have been established. My suggestion is to use condition codes of one to five, with one being the best and five the worst. We know that the use of any code will be subject to some individual interpretation, but at least we would have some common basis. I am providing a description for each code, that could serve as a starting point. Perhaps the final description could be developed by the EDGE&TA hierarchy with input from GEM readers. My proposed condition codes and their description are as follows:
Code 1: Like new or expert restoration. Museum quality. Complete and running.
Code 2: Complete and will run. May have older restoration. Shows some wear.
Code 3: Not running but loose. Shows considerable wear. Repairs required before starting. May not be complete.
Code 4: Engine stuck. Rust and wear evident but rebuild able. May or may not be complete.
Code 5: Engine stuck. Could have cracks. Extensive rust and may be missing major components. Considered a basket case or parts source.