Today we have the first of two installments from fellow Woody Boater and Contributor “Cobourg-Kid” who set off on a classic boating road-trip last Saturday through the central Ontario countryside. Vintage outboard motors were first on his busy travel schedule, which found him at an auction house in Newtonville. “I love the smell of old outboards in the morning.” – Cobourg-Kid
Saturday Road Trip, Part 1 – The Auction
It’s no understatement to say that spring in most North America seems has taken its sweet time getting here this year.
Photos posted on this blog in late March show the white stuff accumulating in classic boats as their owners slogged home from the Sunnyland event. Here in Ontario old man winter has been particularly tenacious pounding Ontario again last Thursday with yet another round of freezing rain, snow and strong winds.
Nevertheless Woody Boaters are a hearty breed and those in my neck of the woods (central Ontario) proved that last Saturday when despite cold and windy weather, significant numbers of them showed-up at two interesting events that had inadvertently been scheduled for the same day; the first, an auction to liquidate a large collection of vintage marine motors and the second; the Trent Severn Antique & Classic Boat Association (TS ACBA) annual spring workshop.
Despite overlapping event schedules I hatched a plan to attend both events and put it in place early on Saturday morning.
At 8:00 AM (EST) I rolled into Newtonville Ontario, parked and entered the Stapleton Auction centre (a restored and repurposed circa 1950’s gas station). With a large number of vehicles parked outside I was not surprised to find a large group of early-birds inspecting the merchandise.
I was, however, totally blown-away by the sheer volume of engines to be auctioned. Before me lay row upon row of stone cold cool vintage outboards, about 140 in all, most unrestored, ranging in age from 1910 to 1972. Interspersed between the Johnsons, Evinrudes, Lockwoods, Eltos, Lausons, Cailles, Neptunes, and Martins (just to name a few) were five ancient antique inboard engines (including a 1923 Clear Vision E1 Silent Dispro), several stationary engines and dozens of outboard service manuals, gas tanks, repro decals and parts was about to be liquidated.
Inspecting the merchandise I flirted with the idea of skipping the ACBS spring workshop to stick around and bid on a very sweet barn fresh four horse 1909 Ferro marine inboard that was fused to its original transmission, however, the very thought of trying to haul this two hundred pound iron beast home, let alone finding somewhere to store it, ultimately convinced me to stick to my original plan.
Before leaving I tracked down Henry Liot, the creator of this amazing collection, and asked him about the Ferro’s origins. During our brief chat I let it slip that as I had to get to the ACBS event by 10:00 AM so it looked like I would have to miss the auction bidding, casually suggesting that I probably didn’t need another antique outboard anyway as I was already the custodian of my grandfather’s revered 9.2 hp 1937 Evinrude Light Four.
Mr. Liot looked at me in astonishment then said “you really should stay; you can’t have just one outboard.”
Tommorrow in Part 2 of Cobourg-Kid’s Saturday Road Trip we attend the big 5th Annual Trent Severn Antique & Classic Boat Association Spring Workshop at Wayne Robinson’s shop near Port Perry, Ontario which was attended by 70 classic boating enthusiasts.
You can see Saturday Road Trip, Part 2 – Spring Workshop on Woody Boater by Clicking Here.