A $23,000.00 Super Car vs a 1946 Luscombe 8a

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This guest post is from Matthew Hood, a seasoned commercial pilot and General Aviation advocate.  He has many great stories to share, and we look forward to more!  He is also a proud owner of a Luscombe!  Please sit back and enjoy…. :

Not really….better!   Some time ago I was visiting with a coworker who was considering a new car.  He was really excited.  He told me about the horse power, sport tuned suspension, and all of that.  After explaining all the neat stuff, I asked what he was going to do with it.


A Luscombe 8a on a Murram runway

Silly question but here’s what I meant.  He lived in Colorado (that’s where I’m from).  I know for a fact Denver, like many cities, has traffic.  Also snow trucks that throw sand and salt down on the roads that can damage rally nice cars like the one my friend is thinking of buying.  Can you say DEPRECIATION?  

Then I got to thinking…If I save and buy a really nice car, will I ever be able to experience the full measure of what the engineers designed into that engine and sport tuned suspension?  Unless I go to a track…probably not.  It will be a nice way to travel to the store, but I will be in the same traffic as I would with my current scratched up truck.

Let me shift gears (no pun intended).  What if instead my friend and I try to find a hobby where we COULD explore the full engineering of a machine.  One without speed limits.  One which would require skill and proficiency in mastering.  Maybe something unique….special….something not every one does….hmmm

How about a 1946 Luscombe 8a?  Won’t turn any heads in traffic…cause well be laughing flying over them.  Does a Luscombe look awesome?  It does to me, but not to my friend…and that’s ok.  Everyone has different interests.

But consider this…every year BMW makes a new and improved car.  Luscombe doesn’t.  Luscombe stopped making their planes decades ago.  Can anyone go buy a BMW and drive it around?  They are cost prohibitive…but other than $$$, pretty much anyone with a credit score and drivers license can get one…if that’s their thing.

How bout the Luscombe?  This IS the great divide.  Not everyone can jump in a newly purchased small airplane and fly it where they please.  Training and dedication are required.  Even after your medical, checkride, tail wheel endorsement, and purchase, there’s proficiency.  I have to make time to go practice because unlike my scratched up truck, I have a responsibility to be the best tail wheel pilot I can be.  I owe it to my passengers to be safe and like it or not I owe it to the flying community because I’m an ambassador for GA.  That’s a good thing by the way.  Maybe in a sentimental way, I also owe it the people who designed and built this little plane 70 years ago.  Today I am just the care taker and I owe it to the next owner to have this plane ready for them when their time comes around.

At the Hangar with the Luscombe 8a
Thankfully I hate car traffic, but I love one wheel landings.  I can’t prove it, but I think I have more fun than my friend in his car any day!!

PS.  Later he admitted that he only wanted that high end sports car to impress strangers at the stop light.  I’m not throwing stones, I’m just lucky to find a girl who digs used truck rides out to the hangar to see our 23,000 dollar chariot.


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