Huge40" Ford Tri-Motor5Airplane1929Airline1930Model1931T1932Sign4-AT1933V8B1934A For Sale

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Huge40" Ford Tri-Motor5Airplane1929Airline1930Model1931T1932Sign4-AT1933V8B1934A:

I believe this to be a very rare model of a Ford Tri-Motor airplane. It has a 40" wingspan and measures 33" long. I suspect it was used as a promotional item to encourage air transportation in a travel agency in the 1930s. I am certainly no expert on this item so please help me out here with the history of this gem if you possibly can.
I bought this jewel about 25 years ago from a professional antique toy restorer in Minnesota who found it and restored it about 30 years ago. I have been fascinated with old Ford vehicles since I was old enough to crawl so this was a logical extension to my extensive vehicle, model, sign, toy, and memorabilia collection at that time. I am now 70 years of age so it is time to downsize part of my collections.
According to Wikipedia, the original Tri-Motor had a wingspan of 74 feet or 888 inches and measured 49'-10" feet or 598 inches long. If one divides that 598-inch length by the 33-inch length isf the model, one concludes that the overall length of this model is 1/18.1 scale.If one divides the 888-inch wingspan by the 40-inch wingspan of the model, one concludes that the wing on this model is 1/22.2 scale.
This is clearly not an exact scale model. I suspect the wingspan was reduced rather than made to scale in order to make this model easier and safer to display. If one divided the real plane wingspan of 888 inches by 18.1 which is the scale of the length of the model fuselage, the wingspan of this model should be 49 inches or 9 inches longer than the wingspan of this model. Since the length of the fuselage does more to determine the size of this model than the wingspan does, I believe it is reasonable to call this a 1/18 scale model.
There are many die-cast 1/18 scale Model A Ford, 1932 Lincoln phaeton, and other models of vintage vehicles, figures, and accessories available here on to use to make a fabulous display for this very special model airplane.
Most of the silver-painted surfaces on this model are made from finely corrugated thin sheet steel material. These silver-painted surfaces include the fuselage, wings, rudder, and stabilizer. The fine corrugations in this sheet material measure about 1/8" apart. Some of the sheet material pieces are held together with bent tab construction.
The three black-painted radial engines and the nacelles behind them appear to be cast from resin. The three silver-painted propellers are simply twisted from sheet steel material. The complex landing gear structure is made from heavier steel stampings. The two diamond-treaded rubber front tires are newer replacements. I have no idea what the original rubber front tires looked like.
The hand-painted graphics were done by a professional sign painter about 30 years ago. The black frames around the side windows and windshields are stamped from thin sheet material. The side window and windshield panes are probably newer replacements made from thin acrylic sheet material.
This old gem does have a couple of damage issues. The most significant is a dent about 1/8" deep on the leading edge of the right-hand wing. I have been tempted to attempt to fix this through the years but have not yet done so. I think one could unbend a few of the tabs on the trailing edge of that wing and make a special punch to push out that dent.
The other problem that is not as obvious is that the back of the rudder tends to tip a bit to the right occasionally. This is not very noticeable most of the time and I have never tried to correct this minor problem. The front tires are hollow rather than solid so they are a bit flat in one spot. I have always displayed this jewel on a small block that takes the weight off of the front tires.
I have looked occasionally here on in the last 15 years or so for another Ford Tri-Motor model like this but never found one. I have found a few photos of a couple of other models like this on the internet but have no idea where, when, or what they sold for or if they even sold at all.
I looked occasionally for other airline or airliner models through the years and have seen some bring more than $10,000. A recent example is the "JET2 British Boeing 737-800 Model 1:200 Gemini200 Diecast Metal G2EXS463 G-GDFR". This appears to be a recently produced die-cast model with a 7-3/4" wingspan. It is one of five that sold here for GBP 9,999.00 or approximately US $12,688.23.
Since this Ford Tri-Motor model may well be the granddaddy of all airline models, I see no reason why my price may not be fair. This might be your only chance to own a model like this. This model could be the focal point of your airline model collection. I have listed this with the best offer option so I can see what it might be worth to other collectors. I am in no panic to sell this model and will consider all offers. I am no professional photographer but am willing to take more photos for any serious buyer if need be.
Shipping of the gem is a very real problem. I would obviously prefer that the new owner make a trip to beautiful Montana sometime this year and pick it up in person. I have a lot of friends it the collectible car, truck, tractor, toy, and sign hobbies that may be able to safely and economically deliver this fine model depending on where you live and how soon you want it.I am willing to build a close-fitting wood crate that is lined with foam and ship that sturdy crate in a much larger cardboard box filled with padding if need be.
Sometimeafter I bought this model, I found an original 10" by 14.5" aluminum medallion from the left side of a full-size Ford Tri-Motor airplane at a car swap meet in Billings Montana. It is believed to have been saved from a Tri-Motor that crashed near the Billings airport sometime in the 1960s or 1970s. I believe that airplane was part of a fleet that carried smoke jumpers out of Missoula Montana at one time.
That medallion is now part of an extensive collection of Ford signs put together by a Ford vehicle dealer. That medallion is shown in the last photo of this listing for your reference and enjoyment only and is NOT part of this listing. It would be wonderful to make a 1/18 scale model of that emblem and attach it to the left front corner of this very special model.
I would love to hear from anyone who may know more about the history of this very historically significant airliner model.I am now 70 years of age and there are not as many numbers on the end of my life's tape measure as there were so I am selling about 250 vehicles and thousands of items I thought I needed to die with at one time. My loss is your gain.Thanks a lot, Bob Woodburn in Bozeman Montana USA 4O6.799.1847

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