I ran across this photo from our old location taken around 1970. Our engine case was filled with brass engines. Each one sold for between $250 and $350 apiece.
Most of the people who bought them wanted them painted. And the two painters most in demand were Bob Caruso and Andy Sperandeo.
Bob once told the story of how he prepared the engines for painting. One step included a 10 minute bath in Muriatic Acid (for the loco, not Bob!). On one occasion, the phone rang and Bob went to answer it. That distraction made him forget about the engine. When he returned to it the next day, the acid had eaten through the solder joints and turned the engine into a ‘kit’. He managed to reassemble it and no one was the wiser.
My other brass engine story was when Andy Sperandeo was working at the Hub. He had painted a brass engine for a customer who wanted him to paint a plastic one. When Andy quoted him a price, the customer said “That’s the same price you charge for painting a brass engine!”
Andy replied: “It takes the same amount of paint and the same amount of time to custom paint a plastic engine as it does to paint a brass one.”
Ah, yes. Good ole Andy – – His logic was always indisputable!