The 1929 Buhl Sport Air Sedan NC-8451, which we’ll refer to as the Buhl vintage aircraft, has a bountiful history. From outlasting the Great Depression to becoming a slick advertisement campaign promoting a diesel engine, to flying the pope then nearly being junked, this vintage aircraft has seen it all.
To view its airframe and engine statistics, as well as more of its history, click here to visit its page.
Its Humble Beginnings
According to records discovered from its first owner, the Buhl vintage aircraft was manufactured in November of 1929 in Michigan. However, due to the depression beginning to affect nearly every industry, the plane laid dormant for nearly six months until its final purchase by Packard. Eventually, Packard did confirm the purchase of the vintage aircraft as they had big plans for this beauty of a plane.
The New Sleek & Economical Aircraft
Packard had big plans for their purchase of the Buhl vintage aircraft. They began running advertisements with the tagline, “Slick” featured prominently next to the aircraft. This campaign came naturally because the Buhl was a piece of engineering artwork. It was pleasing to the eye as much as it was economically desirable.
With the depression looming, the ad campaign decided to try to showcase Packard’s diesel engine by creating the selling point, “9/10 of a Cent Per Mile – actual operating cost of a Packard-Diesel powered on flight of 12,000 miles.” Although this tagline seems like it could win over purchases, the economy proved otherwise.
The depression proved to be too tough as sales began to dwindle. Packard was forced to sell the Buhl vintage aircraft. It was promptly transported to Argentina due to the purchase by Aeroposta Argentina, a 1930s airline.
The Pope Flies!
In 1934 during a Eucharistic Congress (a gathering of clergymen), Argentina received a visit from members of The Vatican. The very soon to be elected Pope, Cardinal Monsignor Pacelli became the first Pope in history to fly in an aircraft.
Its Return to America
It was eventually sold once more and was brought back to America in 1989. Unfortunately, before the vintage aircraft could begin its restoration process, the new owner had passed away. This resulted in the plane collecting dust in the corner of a hanger in California.
As luck would have it, we managed to save this vintage aircraft right as it was about to be taken to the scrap yard. Restoration promptly began in 1995 and is now the vintage aircraft you see today.
It Can Be Yours!
If you or someone you know would be interested in a vintage aircraft with such an extensive and impressive history, contact us today by calling 800 210 1951 or simply reach out to us on our Contact Page.