Noted West Coast modeler and engine collector Art Swift passed away in December of 2010. His engine collection is now being offered for sale. He began the model engine collection in the 1960's with engines he had accumulated during his early free flight and tether car racing careers in the late 1930s, 40s and 50s. Art was a founding member of the San Valeers model airplane club in Southern California. He was a founding member of the Southern California Ignition Flyers, an early member of the Society of Antique Modelers and a former officer and life member of the Model Engine Collectors Association. His M.E.C.A. membership number was 0024L. He attended Collectos from their early inception to about 2005 and maintained correspondence nationally and internationally.
Being a talented master machinist, he restored many engines for others and bought original tooling and leftover parts to machine and complete Cave Cobras, Cunninghams and Hayward-Connellys among others. Building on his core of engines, he bought, traded, and sold to arrive at the current total of about 440 engines. His late enthusiasm for diesels is reflected in a number of interesting engines, many of which he and a friend ran on Sunday mornings just for sport.
The collection consists of approximately 440 model engines; 268 of them are ignition, 87 are glow, 80 are diesel, with 5 jets, 3 C02, and 1 carbide engine. The oldest engine in the collection is a Gil from 1922 and the balance covers the entire spectrum of model aviation. Antique, old time, vintage and modern engines are all represented. This is an early collection and contains only 7 known reproductions. All engines have been stored indoors and about 200 have been on display.
Art's identification, documentation, and condition assessments have been maintained throughout the final assembly and verification of the collection for sale. As we are not collectors we cannot debate his identification of engines and their condition, though we have taken pains to verify models using Anderson's Blue Book of 2009 as well as Clanford's Pictorial and other references.