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Tue, Jun 20, 2023

Sole Surviving Condor Legion BF-109 Up for Sale

Long-Lived Messerschmitt Offers Earliest Flying Example of the Infamous Axis Fighter

One of the earliest intact BF-109s is up for grabs from Platinum fighter sales, with a solid pedigree and low owner history to boot.

The 1938 Messerschmitt BF-109E-1, marked 6*88, started its career with the Condor Legion in Spain, flying with their Air Force through 1950. It was discharged from official SAF service then, flying as a trainer through 1958 as the Spaniards transitioned to their own license-built, more modern Hispano Buchón. The aircraft made its way into its current owner’s hands in 1981, meaning 6*88 has an impressively short history of ownership for an 85-year old warbird. The owner has lost his medical, putting an end to 42 years of ownership and a lifelong dream to fly a vintage Messerschmitt.

The aircraft’s lifetime undoubtedly has more than a few stories to tell, from its time with the German aviators cutting their teeth in the prelude to WWII or the rediscovery of the damaged aircraft in 1965 by a Spanish historian poking around the local field. As things often are with a training aircraft, number 6*88 has had a few scrapes and slides over the years, with at least 2 forced landings reported as a result of fuel starvation. The majority of its history seems to be fairly well known, however, with no particularly lengthy gaps found. At worst, it was believed to be flying in private hands in 1958 at the latest, and left in non-airworthy condition until its sale as scrap in 1981.

The BF109 is being restored in southwest Germany by Meier Motors of Bremgarten, and has been in the works since 2012. It’s been the recipient of a full bottom-up restoration, bringing it back to its original condition as closely as possible - no aftermarket, hodgepodge solutions stand out here, just period correct parts and the original DB601 engine. “After being completely dismantled, the wings were found to be in very good condition. A surprising amount of original material could be re-used, although all the skins are new. The wings were restored to the configuration in which they were found, in E-3 specification with 20mm cannon. Like the wings, the fuselage was also completely dismantled and found to be in fair condition. A good number of re-usable parts were included in the rebuild which also included new skins.”

The rare piece of history is up for grabs, at a correspondingly steep price. A starting point of €6 million seems to be the floor here, which isn’t all THAT much money considering the recent prices seen in arguably less interesting and historic equipment. Paul Newman’s Rolex Chronograph sold at auction for nearly $18 million, 3 times what the first - and last - Spanish BF-109 could cost. History like this doesn’t come along often, particularly out of the blue. With only one other Legíon Condor Messerschmitt left in the world in a German museum, this offer won’t come around again.

FMI: www..platinumfighters.com

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