BEFORE & AFTER
(Page 2 of 2)
For a historical engine buff, the Western turned out to be some thing of a treat, due to the company's fastidious attention to its paperwork. Although the company quit making engines in 1937, focusing instead on maintenance, it still had the factory card files on nearly all of the old engines. When the company closed for good in 1980, those card files were made available to engine owners. Not only did Robert get an engine, but also that engine's maintenance history.
Robert says that he was really happy to get the Western that he did. 'It's one of the early style of Westerns,' he says, 'not the first generation, but the improvement on that first one. It's ignitor- fired and has the water pump and the fuel pump on the side of the engine. Also, it's liquid-fueled. Nearly all the later Westerns were natural gas.'
Recently, Robert and other Western collectors joined in a historical moment. Six of the engines were displayed together at the California Antique Farm Equipment Show in Tulare, Calif. 'That's the first time anything like that's happened since they left the factory,' Robert says.
Not only did they show off the engines they had already restored, but Robert and other Western enthusiasts treated attendees to a display of hands-on tinkering right there at the show. 'We said we'd help this guy get his engine running. It was kind of funny, because there got to be quite a crowd around us. Several of those guys were glad to offer their advice, too,' Robert recalls, laughing. 'I'd just smile and say that I knew what I was doing and I'd done this already.'
The engine might not be Robert's oldest (that's an 1898 Buffalo-Olin) or even his favorite (a title claimed by a 42 hp Commercial that took him ten years of 'begging and pleading and crying on the phone' to acquire), but he's definitely proud of the work put in on the engine. Looking at the pictures - and realizing that it runs as well as it looks - most would agree he has a right to be.
Page: << Previous 1
| 2 |