Rare WACO to be auctioned in UK

Car & Classic is set to auction a rare, restored piece of American aviation history, a 1932-built WACO OEC biplane

This aeroplane is one of only three ‘OEC’ models from the Standard Cabin series of ‘Weaver Aircraft Company, Ohio’ (WACO) planes.

Built in 1932, and following an extensive restoration in 2016, it is the only example that remains airworthy today, and one of the lowest-houred and earliest WACO Cabin aeroplanes anywhere in the world. With a factory-fitted 16 US gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the starboard lower wing and a hand-operated wobble pump to transfer fuel to the two upper wing tanks, the WACO spent its first eleven years racking up 771 hours flying the USA’s West Coast.

The world’s only airworthy WACO OEC is up for auction
The world’s only airworthy WACO OEC is up for auction Car & Classic

Fitted with a 220hp Continental W-670 7-cylinder radial engine in the 1950s, though never flown, it was redesignated UEC before returning to the skies with an ex-US Navy Continental R670-11 engine and Sensenich wooden propeller. It flew in this configuration, taking total hours to 896 before being stored in 1984. Acquired by its current owner in 2014 in a dismantled state, the rigorous restoration was completed in the UK two years later.

It also has various modern safety upgrades to make it more ‘usable’ – including JASCO alternator, TRIG radio and transponder, four-place intercom and Cleveland brake discs to provide shorter stopping distances. Behind the two-blade Sensenich wood propeller is now a period specification seven-cylinder radial Continental W-670 engine, which produces 220bhp. Sourced in the US, and fitted in 2020, this engine has seen only 20 hours of flight time since then.

Inside the WACO OEC
Inside the WACO OEC Car & Classic

The former RAF and Boeing 787 Dreamliner pilot owner can offer flying lessons to the new keeper by separate negotiation.

The auction runs from 16–23 October and the aircraft is expected to fetch between £70-£80,000.

The world’s only airworthy WACO OEC is up for auction
The world’s only airworthy WACO OEC is up for auction Car & Classic
The world’s only airworthy WACO OEC is up for auction
The world’s only airworthy WACO OEC is up for auction Car & Classic
Inside the WACO OEC
Inside the WACO OEC Car & Classic