Paratrooper Special! 1958 Lockheed C-130A Hercules

Having garnered many milestones and accolades including “the longest, continuous military aircraft production run in history,” the C-130 (“C” for Cargo) factors into countless rescues, attacks, war stories, and other operations. This 1958 Lockheed C-130A in Airport Drive, Louisiana comes to market here on Controller, eligible for civilian purchase at the asking price of $1,300,000 USD. High praise to the seller for not making that $1,295,999! Thanks to Lockheed Martin for some details, and to reader Steve B. for this high-flying tip!

First airborne in 1954, the C-130 proved highly maneuverable, and its pressurized hold accommodates troops or cargo, both of which can be dropped into battle. The high-wing design and integral rear ramp eases loading and unloading. Popular Mechanics calls the C-130 “Badass.” Follow that link to learn how one Hercules lived up to its name during a literal “do or die” rescue flight. Swallowing 452 desperate passengers during the American withdrawal from South Viet Nam (well above its normal capacity of 90) the Hercules took flight and delivered all safely to its destination, lifting a total cargo later calculated at 20,000 lb above its operational limit.

The listing touts this C-130’s LAPES rollers (Low-Altitude Parachute-Extraction System), as the world’s only civilian example. Designed to swallow an M551 Sheridan Tank in its railroad box car-length hold, the C-130 could make the ultimate car transporter when last-minute detailing threatens your plans to show at Pebble Beach.

“Does that say ‘Summon Stewardess’ or ‘Eject Cargo?” Amateur hacks are advised not to jump immediately into the cockpit and head for the sky. This Hercules needs a “D Check,” defined here on It’s sort of like an oil change, except you remove the engines and landing gear, completely disassemble the plane, and everything gets overhauled and put back together. This can cost over $1 million USD, a detail no-doubt sucking some fun out of the idea of C-130 ownership. Maybe Jiffy Lube has a “D Check Special.”

Four Allison T56-A-lA turboprop engines produce 3,750 HP… each. Like many wedding singers, the Curtiss-Wright propellers feature variable pitch. Only two engines are described in the listing. It’s always bothersome when a seller describes one or two engines of a classic and leaves you guessing about the others. Thankfully no one has replaced the original equipment with a cheap chrome aftermarket goodies, though J.C. Whitney probably offers chrome dress-up kits for the Allison turboprops online. Are you selling the farm to buy this vintage aeronautical workhorse?


  1. AndyinMA

    Are the engines numbers matching?

    Like 42
    • Tman

      Hahaha. A little patina here n there, NOS running lights, K&N cabin filters, McFerson strut landing gear, Vintage air etc

      Like 3
  2. DualJetfire

    As usual, no underneath pics!!!!

    Like 31
    • Brock

      Or cold start and “fly around” video.

      Like 1
  3. RayT Member

    Great patina!

    I wouldn’t do a thing except make sure the mechanicals are okay and drive — well, fly — it like I stole it!

    Where’s the guy who took his driving test in one exactly like it, only blue?

    Like 21
    • Brent

      Don’t know where that guy is at but I took my first jump out of one just like this one only it was green.

      Like 22
      • Tman

        Flew great when parked

        Like 15
    • Kevin McArdle

      As long as the IMS is done…………

      Like 1
  4. Cncbny

    I was hoping he would sell me two. I recent bought a ford van boat and a benzillac that I want to eject at 20,000 feet. And while gas may be cheap right now, it would take a years salary to top off those tanks! I could easily afford this, however, if I became an undocumented pharmacist sort of door dash guy. Just sayin.

    Like 10
  5. rdxblast

    Sorry. Skipping for parking issues.

    Like 4
  6. Robert White

    I’ll buy it for $1.00 USD but only if they deliver for free. Brig Gen Yeager would appreciate my new yard art even though the municipality won’t.

    I wonder if Howard owned & drove one in the past?


    Like 6
  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What was the cost new ?

    Like 3
    • JudoJohn

      Around 10-12 million.

      Like 2
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      About 10 million USD new.
      Fabulous old girl..

      Like 2
  8. MCH

    Special Kudos to the author of this listing. I chuckled, which doesn’t happen that often as I read classifieds and try to figure out how to convince my wife we need yet another Cold War air transporter, and I that I really can do the work myself on weekends.

    Like 13
  9. JudoJohn

    The price is good. However, these are probably the most maintenance-intensive aircraft that the AF has, save for the BUFF.
    Also, the military designed acft. don’t use the A-B-C-D check system. That is for airplanes that are FAA- certified. They use an isochronal system, with the major checks happening at a depot-level facility.

    Like 5
    • Racingpro56 Member

      Two doo….er two engines too many. Pass.

      Like 6
    • tompdx Member

      Disagree completely. I have over 2500 hours in C-130s (E and P models, but still), and she was far more reliable than either of her contemporaries: the C-5 and C-141. Either that or we C-130 scum were just willing to hack the mission with a broke jet, while the “big C” elites were not!

      Like 2
  10. PaulSwed

    Just put in a couple of LS and fly it as it is.
    Do NOT repaint it, keep the patina.

    Like 7
  11. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    It’s a four-engine….forget it.

    Like 5
    • Dickie F.

      Rex …….you getting it wrong.
      Here we count the doors not the engines. This one’s okay, it has the required acceptable 2 doors.
      And the bonus is, it is a hatch back.

      Like 11
  12. bobk

    Don’t forget my favorite variant, the AC-130 gunship, also known by the nicknames “Spooky” and “Hell In The Sky”. With a electrically driven 25mm Gatling gun (rate of fire can be set anywhere between 1800 and 4200 rds/min), a 40mm Bofors gun and a 105mm cannon!!!!, they were something to see. Especially at night with all guns blazing.

    Like 24
    • bog

      bobk – Tonight would be great for a Cinco de Mayo celebration…Like out past Navy Pier in Chicago, since the Air Show is likely cancelled.

      Don’t know who’d be the unlucky divers to police the brass out of Lake Michigan…

      p.s. I’ve been a troop OIC on one of these. Seat pallets faced rear of plane. Blech. Being “rained on” by condensed sweat of fellow troops also adding to fun. Less fun, having ALL potential fueling stops fogged in on flight to Rhein-Main. Landed with “fumes” according to pilot. LOL !

      Like 6
    • Dave

      I got to go into one of those gunships and saw the Gatling gun. I was talking to one of the crew, he said it literally pushes the plane sideways when set off!

      Like 3
  13. Stuckin2nd

    “It flew when parked…”

    Like 11
  14. Peter Morrow

    Am I the only one that has noticed that all those clocks in the centre dash board have only got one hand each? No wonder he is selling it , the cost of clock repairs is astronomical .

    Like 9
    • RayT Member

      But there are no apparent cracks in the dash, amirite?

      Like 4
    • Ward William

      And it takes time to do.

  15. Brent

    I took my first jump out of one just like this except it was green.

    Like 3
  16. Mark

    I want it.
    According to Carvanna, they will find and deliver any vehicle I want touch free so I’ve got that going for me.
    As far as storing it, I’ll probably have to move the mower to make room.
    I’m thinking an LS and 26’s are the way to go.
    If it doesn’t pan out, I can always trade it for a
    VW bus with a lot of windows….

    Like 6
  17. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    Buyer should negotiate a deal with seller to have the major tune up done presale and factor those expenses into the cost of purchase as I’m sure the seller will be better able to have such work done then the buyer will be.

    Like 3
  18. 19sixty5 Member

    Honey, we need to build a larger garage…

    Like 6
    • Walt

      Leave the garage & live in it! Park it on your land/field & park ur rides under wings [new Carport]. Seen someone between Cinncinati & Columbus Ohio that made a huge flying sauser on 3 landing legs, entry stairs in middle [that folded up]w/3 corvettes under it [open & covered carport]. Boy got some style

      Like 2
      • Chrie Whitley

        I was thinking the same thing. That would be awesome.

  19. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’ve always been impressed with these. They were one of the most over-engineered airplanes of the time. But maintenance would be something that only a federal government can afford. A person would have to be either someone with the means of Howard Hughes or the aforementioned federal budget. But wouldn’t it be a blast to have something like this to bring your classic cars to the show in?

    Like 8
    • Frank Sumatra

      If I’m not mistaken we paid for the maintenance.

      Like 12
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Good point!

        Like 3
      • FJV

        Many times over!

        Like 1
      • PatrickM

        One way or the other, that’s right.

    • John Limbach

      International Air Response of Mesa, AZ and TBM Corporation of Atwater, CA each operate several C-130A aircraft and have done so since the mid-1980s. Yes, it takes a lot of maint. Several have had fully integrated glass cockpits installed. Check out their respective websites.

  20. Frank Sumatra

    Luggage rack kills it for me.

    Like 4
  21. ccrvtt

    The Air National Guard Wing at Standiford Field in Louisville used to fly these. We would see the weekend warriors once in a while. Cool planes.

    What impressed me most was on one occasion my wife happened to look up in the sky and off-handedly said, “C-130.” My jaw dropped and I thought, “How COOL is this woman I married!” Later on she admitted that it was just dumb luck.

    Like 9
  22. hatofpork

    Just the thing for taking your date to the fly-in movies!

    Like 2
  23. Junior

    I rode one of these, sitting in those cargo seats, from Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Georgia to San Bernadino, California in 1987…we swooped down to about 500 ft & them rear doors flung open, parachute deployed and sucked a jeep right out the back…onto the floor of the Mojave Desert…good ol days

    Like 8
  24. Bret Wills

    A models fold up like paper airplanes, unfortunately.

    Like 1
    • Chris In Australia

      My thoughts exactly. There’s been a few A model fire bombers that that have suffered in flight wing failures.

      Like 1
    • TJ

      They surely can! I was wondering, myself, if this has had the center wingbox inspected in-depth? The later C-130s (Es, H’s, Q’s, Ts,) had the wingbox re-designed, and get more life out of them (still must be inspected at the LM-specified interval), but I remember hearing that LM Aeronautics Co sells a kit to rebuild the -130A/B wingbox. They’ll probably even do the work for, at a ‘nominal fee’ 😆😆

  25. Ken

    Do you realize how many years I’ve been searching for one if these puppies?

    Like 5
  26. 02Anders

    ….after all, every grown boy ought to have a C130 stashed in their backgarden… ;-)

    Like 3
  27. bobhess bobhess Member

    Spent a year with 1,400 hours in one of these as a flying command and control unit. Tough old birds but my car port and wallet are a little too small for one. Anyone out there remember “Alleycat”?

    Like 6
    • SourPwr

      Thanks !

      Like 1
  28. fcs

    I suspect a number of readers are unaware of your reference…

    A number of the A models were used as fire suppression bombers. Low level flight in bad turbulence is tough on planes. A crash near Walker California in 2002 grounded the fleet. Pretty dramatic video:

    Like 6
  29. Bruce

    Yea the wings falling off is a critical problem but another is the age of the plane. I had a discussion with a FAA Certified Mechanic and he said all pressurized planes have the problem of their skin continuing to harden and become brittle over time. That means this machine to go to altitude could perhaps need a total reskin and other structural additions to be of any use. This could be one of those heaps of scrap metal that look like an airplane but are not capable of flying as intended. If any of you are in the New York area, in Manhattan is a Shorties Pilot shop. Hanging from the ceiling is a collection of non airworthy parts that looks like an AT-6 Harvard Trainer from WW-II. I helped assemble that machine. Propeller has fatigue cracks as does the engine crank. It all looks flyable but not if you value your life. It would take a very serious inspection by a certified aircraft mechanic to even think about bidding. But that would be an amazing plane to be able to afford and to fly.

    Like 5
    • CJG

      Great old C-130, but needs a lot of maintenance to
      airworthy. Maybe donate it to the boneyard in Arizona….

      Like 1
  30. Karl

    There are many reasons the Herc is the longest running plane in service! The versatility of these were amazing. Reliability. Hauling capacity. The ability to get incredible fuel economy (ok kidding on THAT one)! There is hardly a day that a 130 doesn’t fly over my house those four engines always streaming black exhaust smoke. I have had great respect for this plane my entire life! Could never afford the fuel or maintenance but great respect!

    Like 4
    • scottymac

      I wonder if the Airbus Atlas/Grizzly A400M will steal many sales from the ageless HerkyBird? I thought it was funny that the Europeans nicknamed their new airlifter after a North American bear. Cost overruns caused a lot of order cancellations.

      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        I see the A400m a lot here in the UK. I live near a military training area.
        They look so similar to the Hercs that went before.

      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        4 :)

        Related a A400M flew over my house earlier. It had been doing some odd loops over the sea I could see on radar app. Shame I can’t post photos on here easy.

  31. Marco

    Here’s some cool footage of a C-130 flying inverted at the Farnsworth airshow not that long ago. Just think- you too could fly upside down in this bird!

    Like 5
    • Skippy

      Wow, that was ballsy. These planes are SO not rated to do that.

      Like 2
  32. Skippy

    I don’t think there are very many of these in private ownership. I’ll bet that this was a movie plane that is too expensive to rent now that most of this type of thing is digitally rendered.

    Like 2
  33. John Harris

    While serving on the USS Forrestal as a Supply Officer in the 1960’s a C130 flew aboard as an experiment of bringing supplies. A sign on the aircraft read “Look Ma-No Hook”. Hitched a ride one time from Rota Spain to Patuxant River MD on a C130. It was a long slow trip with 2 fuel stops.

    Like 1
  34. Philip Bregar

    I was in the Army on an air base in VN in 70-71, and they used one of these to spray for mosquitoes. One day, the pilot must’ve been a newbee, as when he turned, one wing hit the ground and the plane came down.

    Like 3
  35. John

    Tire Rack has no listings for all-season tires for it.

    Like 2
  36. Nolan

    I have a “heap of hours” piloting the ski model version of this aircraft on the Greenland Ice Cap…. Looks familiar.

    Like 2
  37. Joe Haska

    Loved the post, but the comments were the best, good laughs ! Didn’t know 130’s were Spooky’s, were I was we had DC-3’s ,designated as gun ships, but I C-130, cetainly would be more threating.

    Like 1
  38. Craig

    At least you can still find parts. Still being made in Marietta GA

    Like 2
  39. Wayne

    Dickie F., that is an inverted hatchback. Unless you fly inverted!

  40. jeff

    But how many cupholders does it have?

  41. Mike Burnett

    Hmmm. Ideal for folks with barnfinds but no barn to put them in.

    Like 3
  42. C5 Corvette

    Flew many times in the C-130. 1st at Ft. Bragg NC then all over Viet Nam. The flight eng. would lower the rear ramp and I could stand there and take some photo’s. I know young and dumb. Spooky was a sight to behold at night. Spending most of my deployment in the Mekong Delta there were plenty of light shows from the Gatling guns at night. There were plenty of crashes too. RIP Men. My best flight was from
    Can Tho to Saigon in 1968 to catch my flight to the USA in a commercial 707.

    Like 9
    • frank OWEN

      mine same, from soc trang to can tho by huey, then c-123 to saigon…dc-8 home, dec 67…be blessed, grateful, prepared…

      Like 2
  43. Dead stick Dave

    What! No video of them running up the engines? How do they expect to sell that thing?

  44. Reh Bruce

    Guys, if anybody is worried about buying this and then having to find parts for it, that shouldn’t be any problem at all.
    Just last week last week I was in Tucson and drove past the Davis-Monthan AFB. There are literally hundreds of these just sitting in a field and waiting to be picked over!

    Reg Bruce

  45. Rick

    Stray Goose.

    Like 1
  46. Dave

    At least the owner cleaned the “Barn dust” and bird poop off before taking pics lol!

    Like 2
  47. Chris Londish

    The ever reliable workhorse of the world air forces, here in Australia we have the E model with the five fin prop this aircraft is sixty two years old and air frame could be due for a major inspection and major replacement component replacement not a purchase to entered into on an impulse

    • John Limbach

      This particular airframe is an ex-RAAF bird.

      Not to worry about the age if you have superb maintainers. I’ve been flying on commercial (ex-USAF) “A” models since 2002. The fleet consists of a 1954, 1955, 1956, and two 1957 RC-130A converted later to straight cargo configuration.

      Numerous movie and TV credits including “Batman The Dark Knight Rises”, “Furious 7”, “Jack Ryan, Season 2, Episode 3”, etc. etc. etc. This in addition to numerous airdrop test programs for the Gov’t, SpaceX, NASA and other customers.

      Check YouTube for the clips. Last November we completed a four year DARPA program called “Gremlins” by launching an X-61A Gremlin UAV from the wing and later recovering it into the cargo compartment of ex-USAF C-130A 55-0008 (N120TG), owned and operated by International Air Response of Mesa, AZ.

      Lots of Gremlin info and video on YouTube as well.

      Lots of life left in these old girls if flown and maintained well.

      Like 1
  48. Kevin McArdle

    Has the IMS been done?

    Like 1
  49. Clay Bryant

    Did my share of rides out of Duc Pho in Vietnam back in 68-69. Good place to get out of but always had to come home at night. They had a propensity for developing “mysterious holes” in them but kept flying. Between them, 123s and Caribous we had the trifecta of freight haulers. You had to “kick ass” getting out of our place but most did it in style. One of the “greater ” shots of the air war was a Caribou going down at Duc Pho. R.I.P. Lost another warrant officer with me in a 123. by a wrong take-on of fuel at Chu Lai. One of the few times we did it to ourselves over there. Thanks for the memories. Almost every one of these planes have interesting histories.

    Like 8
  50. Kevin McArdle

    Great airframe, and flew in them many times in the Marines, 1967-1971. We would be packed in on those web netting seats, with equipment in the center, and seeing the flight platform with the wide view was something else. The open toilet at the back of the aircraft between the side hatch and ramp meant absolutely no privacy, but I had more things to worry about than receiving myself while exposed.

    Like 6
  51. Mike

    If I remember right I talked to a crew chief on an AC he said 18′ sideways when you shoot the 105.

  52. Bernie H.

    Does the price include flight school?, or do you join the USAF and qualify for school at Little Rock AFB. The C-130 that carried 458 Viet escapes to Thailand is on display at the entrance to Little Rock AFB. The aircraft here is missing MANY updates, IE, engines/4 blade vari-pitch props/ avionics. You’ll also need a crew to wind-up the rubber bands.

    Like 2
  53. Ward William

    Does that price include delivery. Asking for a friend.

  54. Bobby

    I flew I one of these when I was in the Marines from Okinawa Japan to South Korea in 1994.

    Like 1
  55. unclemymy Member

    No fake barn photos here – no barn big enought!

  56. Philip Bregar

    When I was leaving VN, the caribou landed and we got on. Were told to get off, it wouldn’t start. Second caribou landed to repair the first. Couldn’t get it going, but then the second one wouldn’t start (or something). The third one got us out of there.

    Like 1
  57. LouAZ

    Wonder if he still has the Box that C-130s came in ? Douglas C-133s.

  58. PatrickM

    One way or the other, that’s right.

    • PatrickM

      got any idea how many gallons of oil each engine takes???

  59. Reb

    Reminds me of a song we use to sing….C130 on a taxi strip, Air Borne Ranger on a killing trip.Walked off a few of these big birds.

    Like 3
  60. bobhess bobhess Member

    Mention of the Spookys… Before I left country we got to work with the
    C130 gun ship with a 105 howitzer strapped to the open rear ramp. Made lots of noise and really big holes in what it hit. Crew said that on the first tests the gun moved the tail over almost 40 degrees. They adjusted the fire instructions to over come that and away they went.

    Like 1
  61. Brian Weyeneth

    But does it have a valet key?

  62. John Limbach

    Close to 80 gallons less than we had in each R-4360 back in the day.

  63. John Limbach

    This is an ex-Australian AF C-130A, but not a 1958. The last production C-130A was acft USAF tail number 57-0524. Next off the Lockheed line was the C-130B. Easily distinguishable by four bladed propellers and the lack of any external fuel tanks.

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