1958 Curtiss-Wright Hovercraft!

1958 Curtiss Wright Hovercraft

This could be the wildest find we have ever featured! This odd looking machine is claimed to have been built in 1958 by the Curtiss Wright Corporation in Woodridge, New Jersey. It is a real hovercraft and the seller even saw it float around the test lots! When I was a kid, I remember reading in a magazine about how we would all be driving these contraptions by now. Luckily we still use wheels today, but the whole hovercraft concept has always intrigued me since then. Find this one here on eBay where the seller is asking a cool $100k. Thanks goes to Brian C for the tip!

Lycoming O-360

Curtiss Wright had been producing airplanes for many years when they started their ground effects program. They built two prototypes and claimed that they could be used for military purposes. Lift was provided by two vertically mounted aircraft engines and the air ducts on the sides and rear made it possible to maneuver around. Top speed was only around 35 mph but it could traverse land and water.

Hovercraft Interior

To keep weight low, they were built out of fiberglass and aluminum. This one is obviously not road… er, air worthy? There aren’t any hovercraft price guides around to consult, so I can’t really comment on the value. I’m not sure what someone would do with this thing and I can’t even image what it would take to make it functional again, but you would be the coolest kid on the block if you could pull it off!

Check out this video that the company produced to promote their Air Car. Heck, the project above could be the same car in the film! This may not be our typical fair, but it is always fun to dream a little. If I had the money, I’d try to get it hovering again in timefor the release of the new Star Wars movie next month. Just think about the looks on those kid’s faces when I show up at the theater in this thing!

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Comments

  1. DREW V.

    You would have to be a collector with specific tastes and deep pockets to tackle this project. I think it would be kick A$$ to redo…

  2. MacVaugh

    That would be your “typical fare”, like in a restaurant :)

  3. Howard A Member

    I think we have a winner for most unusual vehicle. I believe, this is a 1960, the final year. This video I found is dated 1960, (and all the 1960 cars) Took an enormous amount of air to lift these, and according to one report, got less than 2 mpg, although, the one in this video seems to do better on water than the original one. Pretty weird, keep them coming!!
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=015_1391814823

  4. jeff

    There’s a lot of work between here and there. $100K seems a bit steep for the amount of work ahead. Just because something is rare, doesn’t make it valuable. Here’s an old Car & Driver article on an auction of Ford concept cars from 2002.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/news/ford-auctions-51-of-its-concept-and-show-cars-car-news

    Most of the prices there were well below the asking price here, even when taking into account the intervening 13 years, and those cars didn’t need a complete ground up rebuild.

  5. randy

    Strange indeed! That price is crazy to me, especially after it appears he forgot about it under some pretty big trees. Someone should preserve it though, I bet Jay Leno does not have one of these.

  6. jim s

    i hope this get saved but it would take a great deal of money/time to restore. if you want a hovercraft there are 4 on ebay from $6500 to $2200000. great find.

  7. That Guy

    I’m not sure who the buyer for this would be. An aircraft museum? A militaria museum? The Most Interesting Man In The World? To say this is an “Oddball” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    It looks like it’s been stripped of all its controls, and the seller isn’t specific about what parts he does and doesn’t have so I’d assume they are gone. So unless some extraordinarily wealthy and eccentric person decides to try to resurrect this as a functioning vehicle, it’s only ever going to be a static display.

    I could see this being cosmetically restored and displayed in a museum along with videos of it back in the day. Otherwise it’s pretty much a fascinating white elephant.

  8. JW

    I’ve been married to the same woman for 35 years and I want to make it to at least 36 years or until one of us dies so I will have to pass or it just might be me sooner rather than later.

  9. Mark 'cuda man

    At least one too many digits on that asking price!!!!!!

  10. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    The Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York could probably do something with it but I believe it might be out of their price range at $100K.

    Not sure that anyone could be anything but upside down financially with one of these.

    The ducted fan looks beyond repair. Still amuses me though.

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Just wonder what the condition of it was when the school let go of it….sure is sad to look at it now…..

  12. Joe Gotts

    The current owner “idiot” should be tarred and feathered for leaving the hovercraft outside in the elements for thirty five (35) years! It belongs in a museum.

    JoeyG…

    Like 1
    • randy

      Sounds like something I might say, and then someone would tell me “it’s his, he can do with it what he pleases”. Which is true, but not the right thing to do, especially if you might want to sell it later.

      Like 1
  13. Joe Gotts

    The owner (poor dumb ba$tard) was probably sleeping out in the weather unprotected for over a quarter of a century too.
    JoeyG…

  14. Clay Bryant

    I’ve had two Hovercrafts and they are fun but 100k? For the sake of a 3 dollar plastic tarp he’s caused 50k in damage. Had one of the 4 65 Mustang Retractable hardtops sell here in Nebraska last week for 14.4k. Rare doesn’t neccesarily mean big bucks…………….

  15. Pookie Jamie

    I agree with Randy… Jay Leno probably doesn’t have one of these and the same for Wayne Carini. This should be interesting if one of them finds it, dickers with the price, and portray it on their show

    • A.J.

      You realize that Jay and Wayne only buy cars on heavy discount?

      This thing looks very very cool but there is no way to establish value. But I would caution against comparing this to the garden variety hover crafts you could buy in the 60s and 70s.

    • Tom Member

      After watching B-J AZ this last time around, Wayne took a HUGE loss on a car sold …something like 1.5 M in the resto and he sold it for like $250K ….that no reserve can really kick your a – -. Then again, Wayne might lose $1M like most of us lose a 20!

      Jay and Wayne would be the guys, love the hunt, the find, the obscurity and have deep pockets.

      God bless them! I wish I had those problems sometimes.

  16. hhaleblian

    George Jetson the seller?

  17. Michael Streuly

    Junk

    Like 1

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