This is seriously bad advice from your technician. Mason and Hamlins have value even as a core to be rebuilt (although probably not a lot for an upright). We're talking about free, here, right? I didn't misunderstand something?
If the piano requires a lot of rebuilding then this would cost many thousands of dollars and not something I think the OP is interested in.
I, and I think the OP, are at this point talking about looking at and auditioning the piano. I think it's absolutely worth the drive (as long as the distance is within reason). I think it's bad advice to say (about this piano) don't even look at it just because of age.
Without knowing the cost(if any) to bring the piano to decent condition, I think bringing the piano home without a tech inspection is a huge mistake.
If the OP enjoys playing the piano exactly like it is, he could bring it home and enjoy it exactly as it is. Most of the time a piano's condition doesn't suddenly fall off a cliff, with a quality piano like this it gradually degrades over time. So if the OP likes the piano exactly as it is, they may be able to enjoy it many years before anything would have to be done - even if it does actually have some minor issues. It's not like the "piano condition police" are going to drop by and issue a fine because you have a piano that's not in perfect condition. I hope Rickster doesn't mind me mentioning how much fun he's obviously had with some of his vintage uprights - not to mention the millions who have enjoyed the video.
Finally, saying that the OP's tech may want to get the piano himself and is telling the OP not to try it for that reason is a huge insult to the integrity of the tech.
Oops. I actually meant that to be humerous, but I certainly understand how that can be missed. I didn't intend that as any professional critique, but as a humerous satire on how strange the piano world can be sometimes.
EDIT: Obviously I wrote this post before getting caught up on the thread. I'll just leave it. I'm glad you looked at it, and congrats on your new piano! That's why I thought it was worth looking at.