Budding mechanics challenged to restore a Vintage Stationary Engine back to life

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Entries for the Engen Engine Restoration Challenge 2017 are now open.

Engen, a leading supplier of fuels and lubricants to the agricultural sector, has once again partnered with the South African Federation of Vintage Tractor and Engine Clubs (SAVTEC) to bring budding mechanics this exciting initiative.

Following last year’s very successful inaugural competition, this year entrants stand the chance to win a share of R200 000 for the best restoration of a vintage engine back to full operational status.

Engen’s long heritage within the Agricultural sector is built upon a tradition of quality that has seen the company consistently recognised as the preferred fuels and lubricants brand for farmers in South Africa. This long association underpins Engen’s drive to help develop the technical skills of the country’s youth.

Entries for the junior and senior class categories opened on 1 May 2017 and the last date for submission is 30 November 2017. Winners of the event will be announced in 2018.

“We are very excited to be involved in this initiative for the second year,” says Paul Leask, Engen Lubricants National Sales Manager. “We invite all entrants to visit our stand at the NAMPO Harvest Day from 16 -19 May where they can view last year’s winners as well as enjoy the many magnificent vintage tractors on display at the Engen Museum.

Leask says that Engen, along with SAVTEC continue to embrace the opportunity to transfer and develop mechanical skills through the mentorship elements of the competition. “In the process we are able to develop a culture favouring preservation of, and respect for, the vintage equipment used to develop the agricultural sector” he adds.

While all entrants will receive a hamper of Engen products, the top two regional entries in the Senior and Junior categories will be eligible to go on to the finals which take place on 8 October 2018.

“Key to the spirit of the competition is the transfer of knowledge to the youth, with youth skills development essential to the future sustainability of SAVTEC and the country at large”, says Christo Pieterse, Chairman of Savtec’s Central Free State Club.  “The low cost of approximately R2 500 to buy an old engine and R3 000 to restore it, will continue to make the competition very attractive. Last year’s competition commanded good interest, with 27 seniors and 14 juniors competing,” he says.

Pieterse was also thrilled with the standard of entries received last year, as well as the impact that the competition had to improve basic skills and determination on a human level. 

In the Senior class the top five results only differed by 3.5%. “The winner from Gauteng, Torsten Löwe had an absolute beauty of a machine a 1951 Deutz MAH914 diesel stationary engine. Torsten is passionate about precision work which is why he is studying to become an engineer,” adds Pieterse.

The winner of the Junior class was Liezel Gouws, who is a winner on many levels. Liezel had a stroke at the age of four which paralysed the right side of her body. But that only made Liezel fight harder and become more determined.  Proof of this is that she progressed to the final rounds of the 100m and 400m sprint at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

“Additional skills which can be picked up during the competition are the recording of the process in the Workbook, as well as public speaking, when finalists have to describe their project to the adjudicators. Spectators are stunned when a nine-year-old boy explains the working of an engine and then demonstrates the starting procedures to crank an old Wolseley engine,” says Pieterse proudly.

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