My hunch, without being there and knowing what happened, is they figured that by letting people see it run, it would command a better dollar. Like any auction sale, it's as-is so if you can hear/see it run, then you've got a better indication of what it may be.It had a fire in it at the auction which Rick and I agreed there shouldn't have been. How can you check in the fire box with a fire in it. So we decided they were trying to hide something and I passed on it.
That said, if you've got your heart set on a particular engine, search for it 'til you figure you can't. It takes a long time and a lot of $ to rebuild an engine properly, and you're gonna get to know every inch of it. So you may as well want to get to know every inch of it.