VW-powered flying car? Well, with enough speed and a big enough ramp…
The Craigslist ad is quite clear: “It doesn’t fly.” That’s because Everett Kissick of Fallon, Nevada, who married a 1968 VW Beetle with a 1959 Cessna 172, gets the question. A lot.
“People ask all the time, does it fly? My god… you know?” Actually, Kissieck has heard that question too many times to count, this being the third airplane-car he has has built. “I’m retired and I had nothing to do, and I’m an ex-pilot,” he explains. Version 1.0 was based on a golf cart and couldn’t be licensed, so he put Version 2.0 on a Beetle chassis.
They both sold quickly, so six months ago, Kissick found a damaged Cessna 172 and a beat-up Beetle with a 1600 and four-speed and decided to build Version 3.0. It has a full complement of working car and airplane gauges and working lights and turn signals. And it’s the uniting of two of the most popular vehicles ever made. More than 20 million Beetles were built over 60 years, and more than 44,000 Cessna 172 Skyhawks were assembled over 50-plus years of production, making it the most-produced airplane ever.
In fact, new 172s priced around $370,000 are still coming out of Cessna’s Wichita, Kansas, plant today, after production resumed in 1998 following a hiatus that started in 1986. Kissick worked in public service and has been flying for more than 40 years, his last plane being an ex-military T-34 trainer.
But at age 80 he says he’s too old to fly, and with used Beetles getting more expensive, he’s decided to call it quits on the airplane-mobile thing too. “This was it for me, I’m gonna go back to woodworking.”