Over the past 40 years, the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company has sold some of the most historically significant automobiles in the world. From the Shelby Cobra Super Snake that fetched $5.5 million to the $1.6 million Buick once owned by Howard Hughes, Barrett-Jackson’s influence on the collector car industry is evident.
But last fall, the Barrett-Jackson consignment team caused a stir when they secured a rare Ford Tri-Motor airplane to be sold at the annual Scottsdale auction. Could they generate interest in this plane like they do for iconic automobiles? Do aviation enthusiasts and collectors even attend Barrett-Jackson? Those questions and many others surrounding Barrett-Jackson’s ability to bring big money for anything other than a collector car were answered when the Tri-Motor sold for $1.2 million in January.
Barrett-Jackson will look to re-create that magic next month in Scottsdale when it auctions a rare 1929 Hamilton Metalplane H-47 during the 39th annual Scottsdale event. The Hamilton matches the history and beauty of the Tri-Motor and will once again have the aviation world tuning in to gauge the interest in classic airplanes.
The peerless restoration of the Hamilton Metalplane began in 1972 after Jack Lysdale, aviation expert and FBO at Fleming Field, purchased the aircraft following an abandoned restoration attempt. Many parts had to be fabricated from scratch, including the seats, nose cowlings, firewall, fuel and oil tanks, controls and electrical systems. The Metalplane was reskinned with specially manufactured corrugated aluminum rolled from original dies by the Alcoa Company. The engine is a massive Pratt & Whitney Hornet R-1690 with 525 horsepower at 1900 rpm. Once completed, the Metalplane won the prestigious Grand Champion trophy at the Antique Airplane Association National Convention in 1975, as well as the Silver Age Champion award at Oshkosh in 1976.
Barrett-Jackson president Steve Davis remarked that “the rebirth of this Hamilton Metalplane is one of the most impressive restoration feats I’ve ever seen.” And he’s seen his fair share of award-winning restorations.
TPRM is working with both Barrett-Jackson and the owners of the plane to make sure that every ounce of this plane’s history is shared with the world. For an up close look at the aircraft, don’t miss the preview days hosted by Barrett-Jackson on Dec. 12-13 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. each day at Fleming Field Airport in South St. Paul, Minn.
You can read more about the Hamilton and its path to Barrett-Jackson by clicking HERE.