Old Iron Poll: Why Do You Collect Antique Gas Engines?
by Christian Williams
The question of value is a controversial one when it comes to collecting antique gas engines. Most collectors would probably be completely satisfied if there wasn't any value associated with these relics of American history. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on who you ask), demand far outweighs the supply for many antique gas engines, which naturally leads to increased value - it's inevitable.
Case in point: The unique characteristics and limited availability of a circa-1895 8 HP Springfield Model A make it a very desirable and valuable engine. While any gas engine collector would love to own a Model A to tinker with in their garage, the basic economics of supply and demand have pushed the value of that engine into the realm of investment because of its lofty price tag. As much as a collector is in the hobby for the love of engines, the value aspect of these pieces must eventually be considered.
So, that said, how much does value impact your antique gas engine collecting? Do you ignore value as much as possible and focus on collecting for fun or do you consider the increasing value of antique engines to be a sound investment? Or maybe you're a pragmatist and collect for both hobby and investment - let us know in the comments below.