Young's engine steals the show

“My favourite thing about the engine is its visual appeal – because it is all exposed, it’s pretty to look at.” Joe Young shares his latest acquisition with engine enthusiasts at Agfest.

Rustic engines, historic machinery, and quirky gizmos.

The good folk at the Bits and Pieces display yard are keen to share their expertise and love of mechanical rarities -it's an engine enthusiasts dream come true. 

Front and centre of the display yard is a whopping two-and-a-half tonne, 1923, 8-horse power, Austral engine.

Standing to the side of this magnificent and historical piece of machinery is owner, Joe Young.

“I’ve been displaying machinery up here for 10 years,” he said. “I like things that are a bit different and this is my latest acquisition.

“The engine came from Toowoomba, another club member brought it down, but needed some room in his shed - so he sold it to me in September.

“I’ve only had to do accessory things on it and I am very pleased with how it is running.”

The engine was called an "oil engine" because it could be started on petrol and run on kerosene.

Currently, Young only runs his engine on petrol, and not kerosene.

“It goes through petrol at a litre and hour, and has 140 litres of water in the cooling tank,” he said.

“It would have been filled up with fuel and oil in the morning, and run throughout the day until it ran out of fuel, then the next day if they needed to they’d fill it up again.”

The Austral engine is one of the large-group of stationary engines, belonging to a family called side-shaft engines. It is portable and has a tow hitch attached.

“It would have driven either a sawmill, a big shearing shed, or maybe a six-inch water pump - things like that,” said Mr Young.

“It’s got a few teething issues,” he said. “But I want to display it, share the joy, and find out why it stopped in the past.

“My favourite thing about the engine is its visual appeal – because it is all exposed, it’s pretty to look at.”