​​​​​​​

Durant Motors Internet Forum

Our Purpose

  Preserve the automobiles manufactured by the Durant Motor Company, provide enjoyment for each member with meets, tours & technical assistance.


This forum is provided by the Durant Motors Automobile Club located at durantmotors.org





How to Add Pictures 

General Discussion Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
Billy Durant's Airplane ???

Hi All.....

I was selling at a Tractor & gas engine show over the week end. Got to talking with a fellow who had some old Chevies and Olds cars.

Of course the subject of Durants came up. He asked me if I knew about Billy Durant's airplane. I had not heard of this before. He said he knows a guy who knows a guy that owns Billy's airplane. Said the fellow has the log books that prove it. Suppose to be located at a private air strip near Greenville Pennsylvania.

Anybody have any information on this ????

I will try and track this down (in my spare time !!)

See y'all in Auburn ...Frank ---

Do You own a car built by Durant? 13 Durant & Star cars & a Durant Dort Buggy

Re: Billy Durant's Airplane ???

Frank
I've read all the books, lots of research on the man, but have not heard about an airplane. I know he traveled in a private rail car named the Patriot which was destroyed in a rail accident in 1926 in Florida, but never heard of him traveling via air. Cliff his son might have flown, since he was a kind of dare devel, racing cars etc. Be interested in more on that lead.

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Model 65 4dr

Re: Billy Durant's Airplane ???

Although there were Lockheeds and Bellancas, etc., the business executive plane to have was the Stinson. And when you're talking about Stinson, you're just a step away from talking about E.L.Cord, the automobile and aircraft tycoon. So I wonder if the guy is confusing Durant with Cord.
Stinsons started getting a terrific reputation in the latter 20's, so Durant could have had one before the crash.
Just saw that the discount stores have dvd's of Shirley Temple movies. "Bright Eyes" features a 1933-34 Stinson.
If you run out of things to read about Durant, just start in on the stories of Eddie Stinson and E. L. Cord. Incredible guys.

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes

Re: Billy Durant's Airplane ???

I have seen many pictures of planes used by Durant/Flint dealers for promotional purposes. Some can be found in the original Durant Standards. However Cliff Durant had many planes, crashed at least two of them and walked away. He did have a 1936 Stinson SR-8A TN17100, a 500 hp Stearman C-3-B. When he died he left his widow with a 1935 Ryan STB NC 14953.
Cliff (Mr. Durant's son) had two airports named for him, Oakland and Roscommon, MI. He had a number of mail contract with Eddie Rickenbacker around 1920.
Cliff was also part of a group of flyers that had flown solo before 1916.

I doubt you would have gotten Billy in an airplane, he didn't have the best of luck with trains.
Bob

Re: Billy Durant's Airplane ???

Hi All....

UPDATE....

If you are a member of the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America, look on the back cover of the latest Generator & Distributor magazine.

There is a modern color picture of a 1914 Chevrolet Royal Mail Roadster parked next to a 1931 Fleet Model 2 Biplane that is documented from the maintenance records to have been owned by Billy Durant.

Interestingly the owner of the 1914 Chevy is from Stoneboro PA, not far from the tractor show I mentioned in my old post.

I've got the owners name from the VCCA roster, so the rest of the story may be coming!!

Frank ---

Where Are You From? Hookstown Pennsylvania

Do You own a car built by Durant? 19 and counting !

Re: Billy Durant's Airplane ???

Hey Frank, that would be interesting and very new information about Billy. Like Bob, just can't see him flying though. Dig deeper and let us know what you find out.

Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes 1928 Durant Model 65 4 door sedan

Re: Billy Durant's Airplane ???

Seems to be in the family

http://oaklandwiki.org/Cliff_Durant

In 1919 Durant had his own flight school, airplanes for sale, and 72-acre air field, Durant Field in Oakland, which was located at 80th Avenue, 83rd Avenue and Snell Street.

http://margerydurant.com/

Aviation historians believe that she was the first American, and certainly the first American woman, to fly in Africa.

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2013/05/margery_merrick_granddaughter.html

Following in her mother's steps, she took flying lessons and became an accomplished pilot in small single-engine airplanes, according to her obituary.

Just found this of Cliff's 1931 Fleet Model 7 Biplane
http://www.antiqueairfield.com/homepage/page/88

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ont

Do You own a car built by Durant? Dominion built 1932 614 Sedan

Re: Billy Durant's Airplane ???

Can you email me an image of the Durant plane? thank you

Where Are You From? New York

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 Model 666

 

The Durant Motors Automobile Club