Coloring Outside the Lines
(Page 4 of 4)
'In the 1960s, I used to get most engines real cheap, probably $10, $20 or even free,' Peter recalls. 'That didn't last. One guy, for instance, was in the habit of selling them cheap until he got his hands on a Gas Engine Magazine and changed his tune to $150 for an engine. He read the magazine and found out how much they were worth!'
Despite the price hike trend, Peter kept collecting and moving the antiques one by one back to Oregon. Living on a shoestring budget made transportation hard.
'I got most of my engines in Omaha [Neb.] and had to move them out to Oregon, so I drove them one-by-one to the West Coast in my 1958 Volvo, making about one trip a year,' Peter recalls. 'For the larger ones, I took the flywheels off and stored them in the back seat.'
This process continued for many years. He now owns about 40 restored and painted engines, and says he's run out of room to store them. If something special comes along, however, he'll take it. Peter's favourite engine in his collection is a 1915 Associated 'Chore Boy.'
In keeping with the thrifty nature of his collecting habits, Peter lets the engines come to him, as the colorful paint jobs often equal engine karma. His next project is a 1903 Fuller & Johnson upright engine that he'll tackle this winter. High prices, however, usually keep most of his 'wish list' at bay.
'I collect whatever comes along because the hobby is too expensive for me,' Peter admits. 'It's too big of a business now, I don't have the money for that.' Even on a tight budget, Peter's done pretty well for himself considering the wide variety, quality restoration and fine detail he puts into each engine.
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