For $1.25 Million, you too can drive a car that is both flight capable and certified. Ever since the Aerocar was published in Popular Mechanics, in the early 1970s, Americans have dreamt of owning a vehicle capable of ground and air travel. But the original concept dates back to the mid-1940s, when Moulton Taylor (the Aerocar’s inventor), found inspiration in Fulton’s Airphibian.
Only five or six Aerocars have ever been built, and this particular model offered via Hemmings, looks to be one of the earlier examples – dating back to 1954. Of course, bidders will need a healthy bank account and pilot’s license to hit the road.
Or…er, in the spirit of quoting the fantasmical Dr. Emmett Brown: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
In theory, conversion from normal driving mode to airplane only takes about 10 minutes – and involves unfolding stowed away wings and a detachable propeller. Flight cruising speed is projected to be about 100 miles per hour and drivers will have to be content with a maximum road speed near 60 miles per hour.
The seller, based out of Minneapolis, claims that “it has been nearly two decades since a flying Aerocar was last sold, and that was this one.” Based on the vehicle’s model number (N101D), we’ve ascertained this to be a Model I Aerocar.
Three models were produced over the years. The first, featured above, includes two seats, four wheels, and a cruise speed limited by the car’s constantly dangling wheels. Model II utilized tricycle landing gear and offered four passengers a trip they’d never forget.
The most unique of the group, Model III, had a similar setup to Model I Aeorcars (two seats, four wheels), but flyers could partially retract the wheels – thus creating less drag and a higher top speed while airborne.
If you’re a collector of aviation, transportation, or space age goodies and can afford to buy/maintain a piece of history, the Taylor Aerocar is unlike anything else out there. Powered by a four cylinder rated at 150 horsepower, the Aerocar won’t do much to inspire anyone on the highway. But that isn’t really the point…is it?
Backed by certification from the FAA, this Aerocar is all-original and ready to be appreciated for its quirky and then-futuristic image. And, you never know, perhaps the age of the flying car is just around the corner.