Tough Oily Love

Scott McAulay captures how old car engines in Thailand are lovingly deconstructed, and repurposed to power the family boat.

A Longtail Boat engine is the reincarnation of a reclaimed car/truck engine. They’re ripped out of the old family Corolla when it’s given up, before being transformed and reborn. 

These engines become intertwined in a symbiotic relationship with vastly different families, in a way not considered by many. Each engine has its own idiosyncratic personality, and depends on its driver to MacGyver it into the force behind his/her lightweight long canoe. Many of which form the backbone of Thailand’s tourist transport. 

The engines are, once again, a part of the family. 

It’s a kind of tough oily love.

Engine in Chains
Dirty Workshop
Nuts and Bolts
Little Brush
Engine Detail
Engine Block
Master and Apprentice
Broken Nail
All Hands On
Final Touches
On Board
Back to Work
The End of a Longtail

The photographer

Scott McAulay

Melbourne-based photographer Scott McAulay has for the last 30 years, photographed a diverse range of people in numerous countries, from 50 Cent in his NYC offices, to children playing in the dirt lanes of Soweto.

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