Oldest original flying car sells for $65,175

ATLANTA — The oldest original “flying car” — built in 1935 and the brainchild of Frank Skroback, a retired industrial technician and electrician from Syracuse, N.Y. — soared to $65,175 at a massive weekend auction held Mar. 13-14 by Red Baron. The craft was meant to be flown from house to house, using roads as runways.

The flying car was one of the top lots in a weekend event that saw hundreds of wild and wonderful rarities cross the block. A lavish preview party was held the evening before in Red Baron’s gallery facility at 6450 Roswell Road in Atlanta. It featured a feast, fine wine and live entertainment.

The following day, the auction’s remarkable offerings came up for bid. These included a vast array of architectural antiques, including a large selection of bars and mantels, vintage lighting, rare and classic vehicles, garden embellishments, fine jewelry and many other items.

“The range of pricing was about as wide and diverse as the list of lot categories,” said Bob Brown of Red Baron. “Many of the items fetched prices that were within range and even higher. Other lots turned into fabulous bargains for some lucky bidders. It was hard to predict what was going to bring what. It made for an interesting weekend and a lot of happy people.”

Frank Skroback studied the concepts of French furniture maker-turned-aircraft designer Henri Mignet, the inventor of the famous tandem wing monoplane. Skroback modified the design to build a vehicle that could be multi-purposed. The resulting “flying car” had six fixed 7-foot wings, capable of lifting the 21-foot-long tubular steel fuselage wrapped in linen material.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include an 18 1/2-percent buyer’s premium.

A white 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible, with both hard and soft tops, sped away for $16,500. The iconic car was just one of many classic and collector vehicles that came up for bid. Others included a 1997 Ferrari F355 Spider convertible with ostrich leather interior, a beautifully restored 1967 Volkswagen “Herbie” Beetle, and a 1975 Vespa Piaggio motorcycle.

Several works by the noted Newport artist Edward Fay were offered. One work of note was the painting Boxer’s Rebellion, which went for $2,133. Fay was influenced by the works of marine artists Montague Dawson, Carl Evers, Antonio Jacobsen and John Stobart. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Fay was a commercial fisherman as well as an accomplished fine artist. 

A beautiful Kerman rug turned out to be one of the aforementioned bargains. Expected to go for around $3,500, the 10-foot-by-13-foot rug ended up selling for $1,125 — a great deal.

Red Baron’s next big sale is scheduled for June 26-27, with a merchandise preview slated for the week prior (June 21-25).

To learn more about Red Baron Antiques and their auctions, visit www.rbantiques.com.   

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