Aviation Enthusiasts, Potential Bidders To Get Exclusive Look
At Famous Plane
Aero-News has learned Barrett-Jackson Auction Company will host
a preview this weekend of
the rare 1929 Ford 4-AT-E Tri-Motor airplane scheduled to
sell at No Reserve during the 38th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector
Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ, January 11-18.
The preview is free to the public and will take place on
December 6 and 7 from 11 am-2 pm at Goldsboro Air Center inside
Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport (GWW). The historic aircraft --
which the auction house says took fire during the World War II
attack at Pearl Harbor -- was recently restored to original
specifications and is one of only a handful of Ford Tri-Motor
airplanes in existence.
"Because so few of Ford's marvelous
Tri-Motor airplanes still exist, this is a rare opportunity to see
such an important and historic aircraft," said Steve Davis,
president of Barrett-Jackson. "This particular aircraft survived
being shot by enemy aircraft and the perils of fighting fires in
Montana. This might be the last chance to see an icon of an
important period in American history before it goes into a private
The Tri-Motor entered production after World War I, when Henry
Ford recognized the potential for mass air transportation. Ford
Motor Company built 199 Tri-Motors from 1926 through 1933.
The Tri-Motor that will be sold at Barrett-Jackson began its
journey in 1929 in Spokane, WA where it served as a passenger plane
for Mamer Flying Service. It was later sold to K-T Flying Service
of Honolulu and was at Pearl Harbor during the surprise strike by
the Japanese navy on December 7, 1941. The Tri-Motor suffered
exterior bullet holes during the attack but was quickly repaired
and returned to service.
The plane was leased by Trans World Airlines in 1949 for its
20th anniversary celebration, modified into a sprayer and fire
fighting tanker and used by Johnson Flying Service in Montana to
drop smoke jumpers and supplies to fire fighters. Since 1969, the
plane has been privately owned and was part of the Wings and Wheels
museum collection previously located in Orlando, FL.
Bob Woods supervised the majority of the Tri-Motor's restoration
in Goldsboro. During the restoration, the airframe was reworked, a
new interior installed and the exterior completely re-skinned. The
landing gear is complete and original as are the straight-laced
wire wheels. To match the condition of the plane when it was
delivered in 1929, no modern avionics or communications gear were
The plane will be sold at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction
on Saturday, January 17.