, 2022-12-21 13:06:54,
A couple of years ago, I was investigating the Stinson 108 series as part of my “Approachable Aircraft” series for the print edition of FLYING. As per usual, I sought out Stinson owners and interviewed them individually in an attempt to learn more than just what’s revealed in the pilot’s operating handbook. I asked my typical questions—what aspects of the airplane have surprised them, what three pieces of advice they would give to a prospective owner, what aspects of the airplane they wish they could change, etc.
Of the dozen or so owners I interviewed, one stood out when he said, “Every Stinson costs $50,000.” I glanced over at my market survey spreadsheet. It listed every Stinson for sale among six classified sites, and indicated the median asking price was half that amount. Confused, I asked him to explain.
He explained that a Stinson buyer has two options. They could pay top dollar for a perfect example, pristine and devoid of any issues. Or alternatively, they could spend less to acquire a rougher example but will then inevitably spend the remainder to bring it fully up to speed until that $50,000 figure has been reached… at which point the airplane would be pristine or nearly so. There were some examples listed in the low to mid $20k range, and he was of the opinion that these would likely be basketcases in need of costly maintenance, and a lot of it.
His point was entirely valid. Engine overhauls, for example, don’t…
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