Friday, March 14, 2014

The gas station B 17 of Art Lacey, near Portland Oregon is getting restored to fly again... it's going to take about 7 years

full post of how a B 17 came from WW2 surplus to be a gas station tourist draw at

For info about its restoration:

in the 1990's the fuselage was removed and restored, and that was all the funding they had put together.

So, in 2012 someone got fed up with the lack of interest and lack of give a damn, and fired up the troops, and pulled the engines down for a rebuild

The engines are so flippin rare... and these are the rarest of them all... unless you know of a quartet still in the crates. These ones are only 37 hours of run time used. The lowest run time 1820-97s that exist.

In the summer of 2013 they sent the cockpit roof and tail turret to a master craftsman repairman in Atlanta

In the fall of 2013 the pulled the rudder and elevators.

Individuals, groups, or organizations interested in providing sponsorship for the B-17 Alliance Group project please contact:

A lot of people have asked why don’t you just get a crane and bring it down? It is not quite that simple. We have done our homework. Besides hiring a crane company, there is the 2 months of security fence rental so that once the airplane is down people don’t just show up in the middle of the night armed with a battery powered sawzall and help themselves to a piece of the plane as a souvenir. Then you have equipment rental. Transport costs, etc. Add it all up and it gets expensive fast. We are currently launching a fundraising campaign in order to cover these costs so that we may not only get the Lacey Lady out of the elements before there is nothing left to save, but to also continue the restoration.

Once inside she will not just be tucked away and forgotten about. The bomb bay and radio room will join the cockpit in the jig. The rear fuselage will be also placed in a jig. Once placed in the jigs, the work will continue. Even though we are picking up momentum, it is still going to take 5-7 yrs to complete this restoration. One thing we have going for us is that our airplane has not been crushed or burned, but with the corrosion and missing components from theft and vandals, we have our work cut out for us. But we believe this is a very doable restoration. All the work that has been done so far has been done to airworthy condition. When we are finished with the restoration we plan to fly her as a tribute to the men and women who served in WW2.”

info from


  1. Is it just me, or does anyone else think that a really cool landmark that thousands of motorists just happen to come across and remember for the rest of their lives, has more value than just another restored plane that can only be seen at airshows or at a museum?

    1. I'm with you... the nostalgia for Amerciana isn't going to happen much from now on... there is no room for expressions of cool stuff as roadside attractions, too many lawyers, permits, etc etc have killed the cool stuff. Once upon a time you could fly a plane because someone, anyone who could fly said you were good enough. Now? Cripe, how many months of classroom, hours of trainee time, etc to get a flippin license? Give me a jenny anyday

    2. Holy cow! I never dreamed that you would feel the same way as I do on this, since it was your post. I just can't tell you how much I admire you and your blog. Reading it has been good therapy for me, because it has caused me to open up my eyes and mind, and admire other types of vehicles besides just old American cars. Everything has its own unique beauty. Thank you. There are so many more things for me to appreciate now. You might not know that from reading the latest post on my blog's car page, but if you look at the few before that, you'll notice that I am starting to come around.