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
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
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
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
Code 2: Complete and will run. May have older restoration. Shows
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