Original Fantasy Island de Plane at Branson Auction
One-and-Only Original ABC-TV Series Fantasy Island ‘de Plane!’ To Land at Branson Auction
Branson, MO – 2016 marks a new year of iconic attractions in Branson, Missouri: the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel just arrived from Chicago and will be erected at The Tracks Family Fun Park with first rides being offered by June; in April, spectators will have the chance to see the 70-80’s classic ABC-TV series icon “de Plane, Boss! de Plane!” when it lands in downtown Branson to be offered for sale on the auction block at The Branson Collector Car Auction, a provider of unique vintage car collections.
While The Branson Collector Car Auction has traditionally offered vintage automobiles to collectors, this year the auction will offer a classic aviation timepiece from the original ABC TV-series Fantasy Island. The 1967 Grumman Widgeon airplane known as “de Plane” will be offered for sale at The Branson Auction on Saturday, April 16 when it travels by air to The Branson Landing for its final flight before transferring ownership to the highest bidder.
Not only is this one of the most unusual consignments the Branson Auction has had in its 38 years of operation, but it also carries a unique pedigree.
“After the TV series ended, the Widgeon was passed from one owner to another, hopping from New Mexico to Texas to Florida. The plane began to bottom out in the mid-1980’s when it was confiscated by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics because the pilot was using it to smuggle drugs!” says Branson Auction’s owner Jim Cox. “Leonard Hudson Drilling then purchased the G-44 from Ace Aviation, a San Rafael, California company that sells amphibious aircraft. The refurbished Widgeon features dual 300-HP Lycoming engines that produce a cruising speed of 170 MPH, new interior, a startling cherry red exterior, and of course, a unique claim to fame.”
To learn more about where “de Plane” has been since its day as a movie icon, see this Oklahoma City news clip:
Facts About the Fantasy Island Grumman Widgeon G-44
- Designed 1938-1939, Built from 1940-1952
- 330 Widgeons were built, approximately only 150 survive today
- This particular Grumman Widgeon:
- Was the last one built, but not assembled and titled until 1967
- Is one of only two originally equipped with radial engines
- Is the lowest time airframe of any G-44, total time 900 hours
- Leased to Universal Studios for use as “de Plane” in TV and Movie productions of Fantasy Island
- Was once turned upside down in Lake Okeechobee in Florida
- Was confiscated by the DEA for drug running and sold by the government to a private collector of vintage automobiles and airplanes https://apothekeschweizer.de/
- Cruise speed 150 mph on 34 gallons of fuel per hour, 160 total fuel gallons
The 38th Annual Spring Branson Auction will be held Friday April 15 and Saturday April 16, 2016 at the Branson Convention Center in downtown Branson, MO. The 1967 Grumman Widgeon airplane will be offered for sale on Saturday, April 16. For more information including registration, consignments, and accommodations, visit www.BransonAuction.com or call 800-335-3063.