The PA20 Project: A journey begins

A little over a month ago I decided to pick up a project to tackle. For personal reasons I felt it would be a good to try to rebuild something and make it beautiful. It’s got a long ways to go, obviously, but it’s a start and I hope to make consistent small steps along the way.

The journey began a lot earlier as I looked a good number of ratty old planes that are currently unloved and declining such as this Luscombe in the Fort Worth area and a Cessna 120 needing some TLC down in San Antonio.

This Continental A65 clearly needs some work
Corrosion on the Luscombe’s belly is a serious issue.
The Luscombe’s owner died over a decade ago and it’s still sitting.

With every plane you evaluate you really have to try to objectively measure the cost of restoring it. Often times the cost to restore and aircraft will exceed to cost to purchase one that is already in flying condition.

I thought that the pictured Luscombe might be the a good project, but a quick look at Barnstormers revealed that the current prices are low enough that I couldn’t justify the restoration costs, even for a fire-sale project price. That said, a project can be worth more to the restorer for personal reasons and the ability to customize the finished project, but after discovering serious issues with the trail of ownership that made it difficult to actually purchase, I ended up passing.

Shortly after that I saw an ad while looking for an airplane for a customer and thought it would be worth checking out.

After a drive across the DFW Metroplex I got a look at this 1950 Piper Pacer project and decided pretty quickly to sell and scrape up stuff and junk I didn’t need to try and purchase it.

The Pacer’s cockpit area

A few weeks later a friend helped me move it to its new home at Dallas Executive Airport (Redbird) where I have begun evaluating the steps it will take to restore it.

Loading the Pacer up for transport

The Pacer’s current home.

I hope to occasionally post updates on the progress being made and things I’m learning in the process.

Thanks for looking!

Leave a Reply