Unique Item of the Week... The 1930s flying car

This week's most Unique Item is truly remarkable. In bygone decades like the 1930s, flying cars were the stuff of sci-fi fantasy.

But for Frank Skroback it was a reality as far back as 1935. The oldest original flying car in existence will sell at Red Baron Antiques on March 12.

Skroback was a retired industrial technician and electrician, based in Syracuse, New York.

Frank Skroback's flying car, from 1935

He got the idea for a flying car while studying the concepts of former furniture maker-turned-aircraft designer, Henri Mignet. Mignet invented of the tandem wing monoplane.

Skroback's idea was to modify Mignet's design with a multi-purposed vehicle: a car useable on both the ground and air, using the roads as runways.

His breakthrough design consisted of six fixed seven-foot-wide wings able to lift a 21-foot long steel fuselage, all wrapped in linen.

Skroback's blueprints for his amazing invention

This remarkable car will feature in Baron's sale on March 13-14.

On the subject of 1930s sci-fi, a highly collectible poster artwork from visionary director Fritz Lang's famous 1937 film, Metropolis, will auction at Heritage on March 19-20.

Keen-eyed readers will also have noticed the unusual name of the auction house selling Frank Skroback's flying car.

The flying car is the only one of its kind ever built

"The Red Baron" was the alias of legendary German World War One fighter pilot, Manfred von Richthofen. But the Red Baron was also the cartoon dog Snoopy's imaginary foe in Charles Schultz's much loved mid-20th century comic strip, Peanuts.

The idea of Snoopy Vs the Red Baron created a national sensation in its heyday, even resulting in a novelty pop record.

An original Sunday comic strip from July 31, 1966, featuring Snoopy Vs the Red Baron and signed by Schulz himself, recently auctioned - also at Heritage - for an incredible $101,575.


Images: Red Baron Auctions

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