Front Yard Find: 1946 Funk B85C Airplane

I have had run-ins with neighbors over the years, namely one in particular who felt like I must be running a backyard mechanic’s operation or running an illegal used car business given the volume of vehicles that were coming in and out. That was just for the occasional project showing up on a trailer; I can’t imagine what sort of ire I’d have caught if there was an entire aircraft parked on the lawn. That’s the exact trouble the seller of this early private aircraft is facing, as his abutters didn’t take kindly to him parking a 1932 Funk B85C on the front lawn. Find it here on eBay as a must-sell listing with bidding up to $1,526 and no reserve.

It takes a bold guy to figure his neighbors won’t notice a damn aircraft on the lawn. I can’t say how I’d feel seeing this every day on a morning walk or going out the door to work, but in my mind, I’m generally OK with your passion project on the lawn provided the lawn and gardens are in good shape. The tricky thing is if you already have a rocky relationship with a neighbor (as I did), the second you bring a project like this home, they’re going to be up in arms about property values and other concerns. I hope this guy is married, because I’d love to meet the woman who has less of an issue with an airplane on the lawn than the neighbor does.

This model of aircraft is fairly primitive in design, with a very tight cabin and a seat that supposedly doesn’t adjust. It’s considered a VLA, or a Very Light Aircraft, and makes heavy use of wood and fabric for its construction. Pilot Web has a wonderful “test drive” article about one of these fitted with a 0-290 Lycoming pushing out 135 b.h.p., which the author notes is more than enough to make for a very quick aircraft. Now, the engine is the problem here: there is none, and as the seller realized too late, he’s not allowed to have a vehicle of any kind on the property that can’t move under its own power. Hence, it is now for sale.

Can you imaging going through the trouble of bringing this thing home, just for Dale next door to leave over the hedge and say, “Uh, that thing have an engine?” So much for flight school. The Funk is a wonderful piece of airplane history, and the above-referenced article mentions how even a few years ago, just 77 were still registered, and figure even less than that are still flight-worthy. The seller notes he doesn’t have logbooks or much in the way of paperwork, even having to correct the listing to reflect that this is a ’46 and not a ’32 model. So, there’s a bit to unpack here, but the current bid price is so cheap it has to be worth a gamble if you’re a fan of the Funk and have a place to park it.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. CCFisher

    What kind of a moron does not know that he can’t keep an airplane on his front lawn in Upper Suburbia? I would wager that even those pilots’ communities built around a private airstrip have rules preventing storing planes on the front lawn.

    Like 5
    • JoeNYWF64

      A handful of US cities have ordinances that prevent you from parking a CAR on grass! But parking on dirt is ok! Dumb! lol

      Like 5
  2. Rich Cross

    The Funk was a great aircraft, ahead of its time in many ways. But if anyone thinks restoring a classic car is expensive and time consuming…..still, it would be great to see it flying again.

    Like 11
  3. Sam Shive

    My House, My Rules. NO HOA Where I Live.

    Like 34
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Get a giant rubber band…

    Like 34
  5. Snotty

    When I was a youngster riding the school bus in rural kansas. One of the stops to pick up and drop off kids. There was an old bi-plane sitting in a dilapidated building and it was my highlight of the route.

    Like 18
    • CJinSD

      I remember seeing things like that when I was a kid. As far as I’m concerned, an aircraft in a yard is more of an attraction than an eyesore. It’s a lack of respect for property rights that ruins everything. The plane becomes an attractive nuisance because of the little cretins that don’t respect property rights who are raised by the big cretins who justify their behavior by not respecting property rights.

      Like 13
  6. Howard A Member

    Anytime I see an older top wing like this, I’m reminded of the movie”Never Cry Wolf”. The late Brian Dennehy was great. Apparently, if some are offended by what’s in someones front yard, they haven’t been to rural Colorado, where all the artistic “nuts” seem to congregate. “Art” of all kinds, including old airplanes, trucks, welded configurations, you name it. I saw’r a restaurant once, in FL. I think, where the the guy had a plane like this, that looked like it crashed in the roof of the restaurant. I think it’s cool. It’s not leaking oil, or offensive, I’d tell the “Association” to cram it with walnuts,,,

    Like 21
  7. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    🤔
    “ the seller realized too late, he’s not allowed to have a vehicle of any kind on the property that can’t move under its own power”…so rig up the wheels with sprockets and attach an electrically driven motor.

    Problem solved. 😉

    Like 18
    • local_sheriff

      Very good point and suggestion you have there. If the criterion is ‘able to move under own power’ ; would it be of less nuisance for the neighborhood if it were equipped with a fully operational engine + propeller and regularly performing warm-up procedures where it sits or seen/heard taxiing around in the street…?

      Like 9
      • Bill McCoskey

        Hey guys, there is an alternative way to keep it exactly where it is. Hire a local artist [best if the person is an accepted artist who makes a living with their art] and have the artist create a special paint job, and make sure the artist signs his “work”.

        All of a sudden the vehicle comes under the protection of artwork. This does work. 25 years ago a friend of mine had a similar problem in a wealthy Washington, DC suburban county in Maryland. She had a local artist get creative. The vehicle stayed put, as the county accepted it was now a work of art.

        She even went so far as to piss off the county even more by installing a line of 6 toilets out front of her home, and she planted azaleas in the bowls and tanks. Claimed they were now porcelain flower pots. Judge agreed & upheld her claim! That said, she ended up selling her McMansion and moved to a different county where she had about 10 acres of privacy.

        Then again my friend had been battling the county before, and got cited for having “Noxious weeds & plants” in her backyard “wild meadow” instead of a mowed yard. Well my friend had a Masters degree in Botany, and when she went to court she was able to prove that all the azaleas, dogwoods, holly bushes, and other flowering plants around all the county buildings were, in fact, NOXIOUS PLANTS!

        I was there when the judge asked the county if it was prepared to [within the same 30 day requirement] remove all it’s noxious weeds & plants as well, and so after a quick negotiation, they agreed to dismiss the charges, and never bring those charges up again!

        Like 8
  8. Steve Clinton

    “Honey, do you see what the neighbor put on his front lawn? I think it’s time to move.”
    “No Dear, it’s time for us to find an Army tank to put on ours.”

    Like 16
  9. Pete S.

    The Funk Model B was originally powered by a highly modified inverted Ford Model B engine of 80hp. The Funk Aircraft Company also produced a kit to put a flat head Ford V-8 in farm tractors.

  10. T. Mann

    Steve C. does your wife have a sister?

    I like how her parents raiser her :-)

    PS: Jeff L, nice research you always do!

    Like 1
  11. Jack L. Dahl

    6I would just put the engine from my snowblower in it, they didn’t say the engine had to propel the pplane.

  12. AKRunner

    Wouldn’t be a problem here, I know of a number of homes with airplanes in their yards. Most are apart but some are complete. This is because we probably have more airplanes and pilots per capita than anywhere else in the country. For many Alaskans an airplane is just a car that flies and necessary if you want to get to most places in the state. That said even we have a few neighborhoods that would not allow this and others that would expect and welcome it!

    Like 5
  13. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Back in 70-71 I attended Clover Park Technical Institute Tacoma, Washington in the airframe and power plant program. We rebuilt a Piper Cub and a helicopter for certain people. The cost was far below what it would have cost at a private shop. It took two years, mostly because the instructors wanted to keep them as long as he could for teaching purposes. Morale is if you’re not in a hurry this plane could be rebuilt at a tech school for cost of materials. Must have patience. As far as the HOA I’ve got one where I live, they’re a big pain in the butt. Grass must be cut and edged according to their rules. You are not allowed to paint the front of your house without their approval, lots of little stuff that might make some people go homocidal. And ofcourse there’s always someone who files complaints, they just can’t mind their own business and leave other folks alone.
    God bless America

    Like 10
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      An HOA board is just another name for a committee. What’s wrong with a committee, you ask? Depends on your point of view but as an example it’s common knowledge that a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee…

      Like 2
  14. Howie Mueler

    I see it is in CA, will the neighbors have a block party when it is gone?

    Like 3
  15. Pookie Jamie

    Being a seasoned private pilot, the rule of thumb from the FAA is that if an aircraft is parked at the same location for more than 6 months, then that property becomes an airport

    Like 3
  16. KENNETH ATHON

    No radio, so that’s a deal-killer for me.

    Like 1
  17. billtebbutt

    Only repeating what I have read previously, but my understanding is that the lack of logbooks can completely eviscerate the practical restoration of this. Apparently, trying to get an airframe re-certified w/o logbooks is nigh on impossible. Maybe someone here can confirm/deny?

    bt

    Like 3
  18. Pookie Jamie

    Even if there was a motor put in it where it sits, it would still need a inspection from a FAA mechanic to make it airworthy and it would have to be disassembled to transfer to an airport where, a mechanic has to verify airworthiness for a one time certificate if you want to fly it to an FBO of your choice to be restored. Avation is a very expensive hobby.

    Like 2
  19. BravoCharleyWindsor

    No vehicles that can’t move under their own power? That’s a bit onerous. I have every right to have a fully functional glider if that is my hobby of choice. Or a travel trailer. Or a utility trailer. Etc. Etc.

    Makes me glad I live on my own private isolated rural land where everyone in the area respects “live and let be”. But still I take pride and keep one of the neatest (if not so well landscaped) yards. There are some neighbors whos’ collections of junk I do not like. But I do not complain because karma is a slippery slope to self destruction.

    Funks were actually pretty good airplanes in their day. Too bad this one has lost its logs and seen a better day.

    Like 4
  20. J King

    If it’s a ’46 it would have been built in Coffeyville, KS. They have a fly-in there every year for Funk planes still flight worthy. Somebody would probably be interested for spare parts if nothing else.
    The company still exists, now they are part of John Deere and manufacture gear boxes.

    Like 2
  21. Stuart Bailey

    Perhaps this plane should be suspended on a post and used as a weather vane!
    Let the wind blow and move it !

    Like 2
  22. Kenn

    Weren’t these powered by a Ford engine? Or something other than a Lycoming or Continental? Be that as it may, I’m not so sure no logbooks eliminates any chance of restoring this to flight status. There are Federal records, for instance, to confirm it’s existence and some maintenance. ie: I believe it’s doable.

    Like 1
  23. J. King

    If it’s a ’46 it would have been built in Coffeyville KS. They have a fly-in there every year for Funk airplanes that are still airworthy. Surely someone would want this for spare parts if nothing else.
    The company is still in existence, part of John Deere now making gear boxes.
    I lived in Coffeyville for 12 years, an interesting little town.

    Like 1
  24. Pookie Jamie

    That’s right. There is no radio. That’s why when I fly, and the built in radio fails, I have my portable brick which I can plug in my existing headset. This plane kinda looks like a Taylorcraft. Cloth fuselage. Wood frame, and metal dashboard. Having no radio can be easily available with a brick as I said above.

    • KENNETH ATHON

      My post was meant to be humorous. Did the holder on the front of the pilot seat hold a brick at one time? I think so.

      Like 2
  25. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    Citrus Heights, California

    Like 1
    • Dave Mazz

      Maybe he could stick a flowerpot in the nose and call the Funk a planter. I would guess the Citrus Heights P&Z Commission
      doesn’t ban front-yard planters….yet!! :-) :-)

      Like 2
  26. Mike Blackburn

    bolt a harbor freight TM engine in, slap on a prop and then it will move under its own power.

  27. Phlathead Phil.

    Who came up with this “Yard Art” idea anyhow? It’s just a bunch of junk.

    I was recently in a ‘hood’ where the owner had naked mannequins out front.

    Now, is this really necessary???

    Like 1
  28. Dave Mazz

    The key thing here is “he’s not allowed to have a vehicle of any kind on the property that can’t move under its own power” I bet a used motorcycle engine could be installed and rigged to run some sort of a prop. Then he could slowly taxi a few feet. in his front yard and now he’s legal. As I see it, “moving” simply means moving, it doesn’t mean it has to be able to fly.

    Like 2
  29. Kenn

    The HOA would find some other excuse. They are an abomination IMHO. Bunch of self-important folks who never had a position of leadership at their work, and probably not at home either. On another subject, Phlathead Phil needs to find a site where only pristine examples of his interests are sold.

    Like 1
  30. Pookie Jamie

    Brick is another name for a portable avation radio. Mine wasn’t a joke. I never joke about avation. No matter what, I always take my portable radio even if the plane I rent has radio problems. My radio also has a locater beacon heaven forbid if the transponder goes out in the aircraft I’m in. So I’m prepared. In my flight bag I have all the essentials I need. MRE. Flashlight first aid kit and so on. I’m more than prepared. Never joke about avation.

    Like 1
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      Jamie why do you continually leave out the “I” in aviation?
      God bless America

      Like 4
  31. William Cockayne Member

    I have run circles around zoning inspectors just to prove to nosy neighbors that my home is my castle. About 30 years ago a woman across the street kept complaining about the cars I was selling. Zoning inspector said if they were not registered I could not keep them there. Got a old school bus given to me. Then I registered it with farm plates at a cost of $5.00, no insurance required. Had my kids paint graffiti all over it and left parked sideways across my lawn. Told inspector dont %$@& with me. He told me 2 weeks later I could sell any cars there i wanted if I removed the bus.

    Like 2
  32. Pookie Jamie

    I. Do humbly apologize. Didn’t know auto correct never picked it up. Thank you for noticing. Great website!!!!!

    Like 2
  33. BravoCharleyWindsor

    At the risk of going off on a tangent…

    The bus story reminds me of a story about how a certain former president had a run in with the zoning board in the town where one of his mansions was located.

    Seems he wanted a 50′ tall flagpole so he had it installed despite the town limit of 30′. So they started fining him. The fines were a pittance to him so he let it go on for a while before approaching the town with a deal to resolve the matter. The town agreed that the accumulated fines could be donated to a veterans support charity and he agreed that the flagpole installation would be changed to be less than 30′ tall above ground level.

    So he donated the fines and piled a 20’1″ mound of top soil all around the flagpole and seeded it in.

    Always more than one way to skin a bureaucrat.

    Like 3
  34. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Apr 14, 2021
    Winning bid:US $2,250.00
    [ 28 bids ]

    Like 1

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