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Where to find collectable engines?

 
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kmccutcheon



Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 197
Location: Huntsville, Alabama USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2003 05:49    Post subject: Where to find collectable engines? Reply with quote

I constantly get email from people asking where they can get non-airworthy engines to restore, either to running condition or as display pieces. Can anyone provide hints on how to locate restorable engines?
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Kimble D. McCutcheon
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thaggard



Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Lima Ohio

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2003 16:37    Post subject: How to locate a restorable engine Reply with quote

Has anyone,but me, ever talked to a man named Walter Soplata?He has an large yard outside Clev.Ohio.I have seen many pictures.Big engine's and prop's all over the place,airplanes too.He is not in the habit of selling anything,but has sold a Twin Mustang and a FG2,in the last few years,so maybe he is now ready to sell some stuff.I will call him and try to find out.
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jgertler



Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 08:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a tip that often provided good results for us...We built up a collection/display of over 175 different pre-WWII aero engines/45 WWI and earlier/19 the only ones in the world. That does not include the more than 100 other vintage aero engines that we had as duplicates in the collection, that were sold or traded. After 30 plus years the collection was liquidated as our 6000 sq ft display building was then 1800 miles away from where we moved to and most went into replica projects or major museum displays....We refocused on our library/ rare aviation documents and photos and original aviation art collection...See some on my web site. During the whole time we were seriously collecting aero engines, most people we asked "Do you know where there are any old aero engines?" replied "You'll never find any of those, these days. They are all long gone." One good source was from aero museums. Find out what local and national air museums are looking for/restoring, or really need for display. Many of them have un-needed and surplus vintage engines in their storage warehouses and/or have engines donated that they have no need, or room for. One museum was focused on aircraft that were built on Long Island, New York. We searched and found an inexpensive restoration project that we traded for rare engines. Another one needed control surfaces for their WWII aircraft restoration project. We found some and traded for engines they had little use for. Another one needed replica machine guns. We made some and traded for engines from their storage. Some engines we acquired this way were; 1910 Roberts, 2 different types of WWI Sturtevants, several Allisons/BOTH V-1710 and a huge four bank 3420, several Pratt & Whitneys, bunches of Jacobs, Armstron-Siddeley Major, Lycoming radials and a Quick conversion of a LeRhone rotary to radial. Something to consider...Another trick I used (which some consider "tacky") was to walk around major vintage auto flea markets in U.S. with a cardboard sign around my neck reading, "Wanted old aero engined and parts." Through this I found about five OX-5's, Curtiss D-12, Several Liberty engines, 4 or five Heath-Henderson aero conversions, 2 1918 Lawarance A-3s, Curtiss C-6, and numerous others. A lot of these old car collectors have picked up or come across old aero engines when cleaning out barns with vintage cars, or know friends that have them or have them, themselves but never advertise them etc etc. When they see the sign around my neck they would come up to me, give me their phone number and suggest I call them after we get home from the flea market and strike a deal..More tips, later....
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vthomas



Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 10:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep an eye on ebay for engines. Some interesting stuff pops up on there from time to time. A friend has bought several turbines, drone engines, and most recently an aircooled V12 tank engine. Ive seen Rotaries, Merlins, Allisons, and most of the big radials up for bid there.
Another avenue is to check out the nearby museums. I have done several restorations that way. 2 of mine are on display at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. A couple of other fellas did a Liberty for Rhinebeck, mounted it on a trailer and run it during the weekend shows. Another of their engines is currently flying in the 1911 Curtiss at Rhinebeck.
Doing the work for a museum means more people can enjoy your finished work, and of course you can take a tax deduction on anything you purchase for the restoration.
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joder
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ebay indeed works. In my search pull-ups I have Wright Cyclone, Wright 1820, Wright Aeronautical, Radial Engine and Aircraft Engine. Mostly of course one finds models and publications. But last year a big win was a R-1750 forerunner of the 1820-E. One party bid on this, a friend. He got it for a small price. This was a west coast collection (only a few engines) being liquidated as a live auction. The seller was appalled at the final price which was without reserve. Even came with the front exhaust ring.
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mod10
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 05:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found the best source for engines is to call engine overhaul shops. Oftentimes they have an undesirable engine such as a B series 2800 that they would be only to glad to get rid of. Inline V-12s are more difficult. Just about any Allison is valulabe. However, dash one Merlins are up for grabs. No one wants to fly behind this engine so a good one can be obtained for about $5K - or less. We are often brain washed into thinking that all 1820s, 3350s, Merlins, 2800s......etc., are worth mega bucks. That's not the case..!!! Sure, a dash seven or dash nine Merlin is valued in the stratosphere. CB16s are quite valuable as well. But a 4360 can be purchased for scrap value. This is where supply and demand comes in, how many 4360 powered airplanes are out there slipping the surly bonds? The 4360 makes for a wonderful project and I wouldn't be intimidated by its "complexity". It's really not that bad. I'd much rather work on a 4360 than a 3350 TC. Hope this helps and good hunting..!!
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cconnacher



Joined: 13 Jul 2003
Posts: 4
Location: Pa.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 17:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found my R1820-82B on Ebay on it's second listing. The first listing had a reserve price & at least 15 bids but the reserve was not met. The second listing had a "buy it now" option & thats what I did. I got it for $1,900. It appears to be in great condition, & was stored in it's can. I was able to turn the shaft with a 5 ft piece of 2X4. However when getting an item on Ebay, the shipping costs need to be considered. In my case the engine was in Fresno, Ca. & I live in Pa. The trucking people wanted in the neighborhood of $4,000 to haul 2,500 lbs across the country. I wanted this engine for 2 main reasons: my Dad worked for Wright at Woodridge, NJ during the 50's when these engines were built, & I didn't want anything larger. I have never worked on an aircraft engine but do intend to restore it to running condition someday. As for getting it home, I thought $4,000 would be better spent on an adventure. My wife & daughter & I flew to California & hauled it back in a U-Haul. We visited Yosemite while in Ca.
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fbarrett



Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 32
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friends:

I found my 1960 Porsche 678/4 engine on www.barnstormers.com. I've seen several other old engines listed for sale there.

Frank
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rwahlgren



Joined: 15 Aug 2003
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 22:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Searching for outfits that deal in aircraft parts are a good place to look.
Also scrap dealers, its a deal where you just have to ask, either they will know someone or not. Also contacting outfits that do the overhaul work on them, but they will be very costly. Its pretty easy to find a $40,000. engine. Also its easy to find ones that you pay a bunch for and have no idea if they are scrap, unless you spend a bunch of time checking it out real good, before handing over the cash. Didn't Graham end up with some junk 4360's? You just don't know what your getting if it doesn't have papers.
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mjackson



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:59    Post subject: Re: How to locate a restorable engine Reply with quote

thaggard wrote:
Has anyone,but me, ever talked to a man named Walter Soplata?He has an large yard outside Clev.Ohio.I have seen many pictures.Big engine's and prop's all over the place,airplanes too.He is not in the habit of selling anything,but has sold a Twin Mustang and a FG2,in the last few years,so maybe he is now ready to sell some stuff.I will call him and try to find out.
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