BRANSON, Mo. — A famous plane well-known for its role in 70s hit TV series “Fantasy Island” is in the Ozarks.
The airplane is being auctioned off at the Branson Collector Car Auction this weekend.
The plane, featured in “Fantasy Island,” is one of the most unusual consignments the Branson auction has ever had.
It’s been many years since the 1967 Gumman Widegon plane was featured in the hit TV series– but now, it’s making a debut here, touching down in the Ozarks.
“It’s a very unique plane,” said Auction Owner Jim Cox.
“It’s been a wonderful airplane,” said Plane Owner Mark Trimble. “Very smooth and quite surprisingly, very fast.”
Trimble has owned the plane for close to 20 years now.
“I injured my shoulders and can no longer fly the plane,” he said. “Because the controls are overhead and I cant reach them.”
Trimble owns around 22 airplanes and bought this beauty from the Hudson Oil Drilling Company in Texas.
“The plane has a strange history– as you know, it was used in the Fantasy Island television series,” said Trimble. “But after Universal Studios got through with it, it became a drug runner for some people and they hauled cocaine from Columbia– and finally, they got caught by an Oklahoma narcotics organization.”
After several years of being abandoned in a hangar, the plane was sold to someone who crashed it into a Florida lake.
“It was rebuilt,” said Trimble. “And the oil company bought it and I bought it from them.”
300 of the planes were made, with only close to 140 left in the world.
“We think it’s worth half a million or better,” said Trimble. “But in today’s market, who knows — we will find out.”
“It’s an icon in American aviation,” said Cox.
Bidders are already preparing to pay– because this plane is coming in hot.
“I hate to see it go,” said Trimble. “I hope it finds a good, new home– someone who will enjoy it as much as we have.”
“If it wasn’t the star of the show– it sure is now,” said Cox.
Gates open for the car show at the Branson Hilton Convention Center at noon Friday.
Saturday, gates open at 9 a.m. and the auction will begin at 10 a.m.
There have already been registered bidders for the aircraft from Puerto Rico, Florida, Colorado, Argentina, California and Wyoming.