Divorced Grand Junction couple’s flying car hits eBay
December 4, 2008
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. ” It’s a car. No, it’s a plane.
Actually, it’s both, and it’s available for $3.5 million on eBay, thanks to a Grand Junction couple’s divorce.
“It really doesn’t know what it wants to be,” said Marilyn Felling, who, with her ex-husband, Carl, is seeking a buyer for the front-wheel-drive auto/airplane that, she said, handles “more like a truck.”
In a matter of minutes, the single-engine Aerocar can be fixed with wings fit to fly.
Disposal of the Aerocar remains the final unresolved bit of business between the Fellings, who divorced in 2006.
Advertised off and on since then in auto or airplane trade publications, the Fellings, both residents of the Redlands, an enclave on the edge of Grand Junction, have received several extravagant offers for their slice of aviation history. One man wanted to swap a uranium claim for the plane.
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Last week, it turned up for auction on eBay with bidding scheduled to last through Dec. 16. Listing price: $3.5 million. Prospective buyers worldwide must arrange their own shipping.
“We’ve had 26,000 hits (on the web page) in just under a week,” Marilyn Felling said.
There have been no firm offers yet, she said.
While the Fellings’ Aerocar received a blitz of attention in 2006 as the couple finalized their divorce, their advertising efforts produced no acceptable cash offers.
Carl Felling said they were recently approached by an online vehicle marketing company, which offered to list the Aerocar free of charge.
It was last flown in 1977, but the Fellings’ eBay advertisement says it’s still certified to fly by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Fellings’ Aerocar, built in 1956, was one of seven produced by the late aviation pioneer Molt Taylor. Two are privately owned in the United States. The rest are the property of various museums.
Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, reportedly flew the Fellings’ plane during a trip to Cuba, according to the eBay advertisement.
The Fellings bought it in 1981 from a Kansas woman, who at the time was going through her own divorce. Carl Felling declined to say what they paid for the Aerocar.
They drove it back from Kansas to their Southern California home, where Marilyn said she occasionally drove it around the neighborhood.
It came with them to Grand Junction after Carl Felling’s retirement in 1998, and remains stored in his garage.
They’re in no hurry to unload it, and short of the 2006 divorce, it wouldn’t be on eBay.
“This isn’t a fire sale,” he said. “We’d love more than anything for it to go to a museum.”
The Fellings have never flown their Aerocar.
“There’s a certain amount of remorse and regret about selling it,” Carl Felling said. “But this regret doesn’t have any serious consequences.”