Howard Hughes' Legacy Car Found
Howard Hughes' Aero-Mobile resurfaces after decades of being in storage, his 1936 credit card was found within glove box.
GRANTS PASS, Ore., June 2, 2009; Some believe this car may have the earmarks to set an "automotive auction record" due to the fact that this car was customized when Hughes was in his most creative stage of his life, about 1937.
After a weeklong reunion with the Spruce Goose (H-4 Hercules), the "Aero-Mobile" has left the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon, and is now being prepared for its departure to the Leake Collector Car Auction in Tulsa Oklahoma. There it will be put on the auction block June 13th 2009. The automobile was acquired in 2005 from a museum owner's estate. It has since been completely restored to the time Hughes had personally customized it. Eyewitness accounts indicate this vehicle was thought by Hughes to be an important part of his legacy, so he preserved it along with the Spruce Goose in a giant climate-controlled hanger in Southern California.
During the complete frame off restoration an auto restoration specialist found Hughes' 1936 credit card hidden under the fabric and wood lining of the glove box door. It was issued in 1936 by C.D. Rand & Co. located in Southern California. Other items marked Hughes Aircraft were also found.
Howard Hughes was born in Houston Texas in 1905, and died in an airplane enroute to Houston Texas in 1976. Hughes was an American aviator, inventor, industrialist, film producer/director, philanthropist, and one of the wealthiest individuals of all time. He gained fame in the late 1920s as a maverick film producer, filming big budget blockbuster and often-controversial film. Hughes was one of the most influential aviators in history, breaking many world air-speed records (for which he won several awards, including the Congressional Gold Medal). Hughes built the world speed record setting H-1 Racer and the most famous aircraft in the world the H-4 Hercules aircraft, nicknamed the "Spruce Goose" It is the largest aircraft ever built. Hughes was considered not only a creative thinker and inventor but also a Genius whose creative personality is definitely reflected in this extraordinary automobile customization. The car is now known as the Hughes Aero-mobile. Starting with his personal 1936 V-12 Lincoln limousine, Hughes created an aerodynamic boat tail speedster that was definitely a predecessor to the streamlined designs of today's energy-efficient cars.
After reducing the original weight by thousands of pounds and modifying the engine and exhaust, this car would have easily cruised in excess of 100 MPH. Originally Hughes might have started out to compete in some sort of speed contest; however, some say Hughes was developing retractable aircraft landing gear and had to create a car that could keep up with airplanes while filming high speed take offs and landings.
Other Hughes owned or customized cars have sold for millions, however none have been customized to the extent of this car, or during this stage of Hughes' life. If interested in bidding or for more information about the car you can access the website: http://www.hughes36.com/