Federal officials at the General Services Administration are set to hawk an extraordinary item this week: a plane that once served as Air Force One.
The plane flew every president from Ford to George W., VPs and VIPs -- and it can be yours for as little as $50,000.
“It's not often we get to sell a piece of history like this, but GSA Auctions is selling this plane that flew Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton & Bush (as well as the Vice-President, First Lady, Cabinet secretaries, 4-star generals, admirals, foreign dignitaries and more), writes a GSA official on the department’s Facebook page.
“Anyone got $50K…?” wrote one wise-cracker in reply to the social-media-borne advertisement. “We could buy it and fly to work every day and avoid the Beltway or Metro!”
“Not sure I want to fly on a 40-year-old plane,” wrote one more. “If it would fit into my garage, I might have a dinner party on it on occasion.”
The auction – which includes the vessels, vehicles, space-shuttle parts, real estate, heavy machinery and scientific items now considered surplus, or excess, federal equipment -- is set to begin Wednesday at 11 a.m. (EST), with the minimum, or starting bid, pegged at $50,000, according to the GSA’s site.
The DC9-32, with tail number N681AL, is currently stowed at Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz., although GSA officials caution that inspections of the property are “by appointment only,” and that the successful bidder better have a way of removing the plane from the site.
“Successful bidders are cautioned that they will be responsible for loading, packing and removal of any and all property awarded to them from the exact place where the property is located,” reads the advertisement on the GSA’s website.