Hangar Find: 1944 P-51 Mustang & More!

1944 P-51 Mustang

When one of our readers left a link to a court-ordered estate sale in the comments, I knew we needed to feature it. This isn’t our typical offering, but there are many reasons to get excited about what’s sitting in this hangar. The most obvious is this 1944 P-51 Mustang. These planes were built to fight and they saw a lot of action during World War II and the Korean War. No mention is made of this particular one’s past, but what could be cooler than having a piece of military history? The auction will be held online between June 2-4 and the lots can be viewed by appointment in Southern California. More information on the sale can be found here or keep reading to see what other treasures are hiding in that hangar. Thanks for the tip Victor!

1950 Tempco Swift

Besides the Mustang, there’s this 1950 Tempco Swift. It may not be as exciting as a fighter plane, but it does appear to be in excellent condition. The bid deposit is much lower too. I’m not sure what I would do with it, but I’m sure there are more than a few people out there who like to fly around in vintage aircraft. Personally, driving around in an old car is scary enough for me!

Merlin V12

The old planes are cool and all, but this is what really got me excited! It’s a V-1650 Merlin engine. Packard built these massive V-12s under license from Rolls-Royce. This was most likely a spare for the Mustang, but I know exactly what I would do with it! These things are huge, but they put out some serious horsepower too. So, I would start hunting around for an old firetruck or something of similar heavy duty construction in order to build my own hot rod. Jay Leno has a Bentley with one of these engines fitted and it’s a serious beast. A Bentley or Roller would be nice, but I figured the firetruck chassis would be much cheaper and just as frightening. Hmm, the wheels are turning now…


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  1. Warren

    Bloke here in Australia put one of these engines into a 55 Chev and painted it like a Mustang plane

    Like 3
    • Healeydays

      BTW, the Australian 55…
      it was on the block at Barrett Jackson a couple years ago but didn’t make the reserve.

      Like 1
      • Dolphin Member

        Great Video. Peter Klutt is one of the best car guys to do a commentary on a car like this. Maybe not quite as good as Jay Leno but close. He has a terrific shop and salesroom outside of Toronto. Have been watching his shows for years.

        A place to see planes like the Brit counterpart to the P-51 are the British TV mysteries like ‘Foyles War’. Christopher Foyle’s onscreen son played a Spitfire pilot in a number of episodes and we got to see lots of Spits flying low-altitude there.

  2. Healeydays

    Everyone of these needs a complete overhaul but there is gold in that hangar. The trainer, though in pieces, is also a find. http://www.warbirdalley.com/pt22.htm

    Like 1
  3. jim s

    ” high bid must be approved by the court ” might be a issue. but it would be interesting to watch the bidding. again great finds.

  4. Jeff V.

    Wow!, wish I had the $$ to bid & a hanger to store it! Dad was an AF veteran & worked at the local airport. In the early 60’s he took me for a “taxi” ride around the field in a P51 which was attached to the local military (Madison, WI).

    Like 1
  5. JW454

    It would be fun to see the P-51 made air worthy again wearing one of the proper paint schemes but, you have to have some DEEP pockets to make that happen. It looks like it has a radar pod on its back. I didn’t know these were equipped with them.

    Cool find.

    Like 1
    • RollerD

      Most likely an ADF (automatic direction finder) or radio compass, added after it became a civilian aircraft.

      Like 1
  6. RollerD

    A good guess is a selling price for the P-51 from $550000 to $750000 and then a restoration bill of around one million. The Temco Swift would be cool, there is a canopy mod that makes them look awesome. For aircraft, figure a realistic worth then multiply by 10. Interesting find and a nice change of pace.

    Like 1
  7. brakeservo

    Wasn’t it a Ryan like this that Harrison Ford crashed in Santa Monica in??

  8. Sam Polk

    The company I work for was at one time the parent company of Tempco. Some of the old Tempco employees still worked here when I fist started 35 years ago. A few owned Swifts. Really neat airplane. That one looks in pretty good shape.

    Like 1
  9. Kevin

    The FAA file lists this plane as having been built in 1958- interesting

    • Don

      Hasn’t anyone noticed the paint job……not military. Privately owned and no doubt built in 1958 for the Unlimited Class Air Races at Reno. Beneath the belly there appears to be a sonar pod of some sort.

      Like 1
      • Chris

        I reckon the ‘belly pod’ is the tank of an aircompressor in the background.

        Hopefully they’ll get back into the air.

        Like 1
  10. gorzor

    What Harrison was flying was a Ryan PT-22 primary trainer. Both of these aircraft would leave it in their prop wash. Sure wish I had the money for the Mustang or even the Globe Swift.

  11. Robert Burke

    Some where on the internet recently, I saw this plane and its pilot sitting on the wing and awaiting to enter the Bendix cross country race. I think the date was like 1949ish or thereabouts! Anyway, the commentary was something like…. they must have had a sale on brown paint at the local hardware…..cause it sure was so ugly!

  12. brakeservo

    Yes,- Ryan PT22 – that was the plane I was referring to as being piloted by Ford, not the P-51 which seems to have (understandably) grabbed all the attention. Were I a pilot with very deep pockets, it’s the one I’d want!

    Like 1
  13. Chris A.

    The pictured Globe Swift has been extensively modified. Tricked out like a minature P51 as an aerial hot rod for the same sort of thrill as the P51 but a lot cheaper to fly. I see an engine upgrade perhaps to 200hp, streamline cowling, one piece windshield, modified windows and cockpit, P51 low drag gear doors and modified fin and rudder. If all the airworthy directives and other paperwork are up to date and the airframe and powerplant are in good shape (many have been bellied in due to landing gear failure) and recently annualled, think 180-190 cruise and north of $75K. Also think of it as the airplane version of a mid-late ‘fifties Alfa Veloce and you won’t be too far off. The people who own, restore and fly these usually belong to the very knowledgable Swift Society and probably know of this airplane. The Globe Swift was a post WWII very advanced private plane being an all metal, laminar flow wing, retractable landing gear, performance 2 seater plane once the bigger engines were fitted instead of steel tube and fabric planes like the Pipers and Aeroncas.

    Like 1
  14. Kevin

    That engine should be used in nothing but another aircraft or used as a spare and sold along with the P-51. Those engines unfortunately are very hard to come by because they have been abused by being out into other vehicles they where never designed to be in. The unlimited hydroplanes burned up thousands of those engines years ago making them scarce for those who own the aircraft they where designed to be in. Although I do like the hydroplanes and other things these beautiful engines have been put into now I just think it’s wrong to want to do anything with that beautiful work of art aircraft engine except put it where it belongs. Inside another aircraft.

    Like 2
  15. Frank

    the P51 was once owned by Howard Pardue. He raced it at Reno in the late sixties and early seventies. I saw him perform at an airshow at Carswell AFB in this plane and his Bearcat. Both were painted the same color scheme. Not sure when he sold the plane but he restored the Bearcat to military colors then sadly a couple of tears ago he crashed on take off and was killed in the Bearcat.

    Like 1
  16. Dave

    It’s not “Tempco” but rather TEMCO, an acronym for Texas Engineering & Manufacturing Company. TEMCO was a partner who later bought out or inherited the rights to the Globe GC-1B Swift (the other plane pictured above besides the P-51 Mustang) and continued to manufacture them up until the early 1950’s.

  17. Bob McK Member

    Beautiful piece of equipment, but I feel safer in my old cars. I bet someone will buy and restore this plane.

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