I arrived Wednesday morning on site to set out some posters to help market the book. It was the first official day and I signed a few books as the hard core enthusiasts began to settle in. There were three Official Merchandise locations and the Race Officials set me up in a great spot at the Main Gate store. The weather was perfect all week with blue skies and little wind.
Sunday is always the biggest day of the Races so I think I could have sold another 200 books! Between the sales at Oshkosh and Reno I have sold over 1000 books. Internet sales are beginning to increase and we have yet to do any major marketing. It’s exciting to have made a significant dent in the initial order of 5000 printed.
While it was a lot of work, it was fun to connect with eveyone and great confirmation I’ve a created a great product. Next year I’ll bring more books, do a better job of marketing them, and bring Gee Bee clothing for the kids.
On a side note, I visited my Boeing projects at Roy Rehm’s shop in Gardnerville, NV. After my original 1929 Boeing 100 was severly damaged during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Roy contacted me about buying it as he was working towards building several; one for himself, one for a museum, and several for other customers. I wasn’t interested in selling it but was interested in having it rebuilt. In the end, Roy began building eight aircraft, three of which are for me.
I originally acquired the Boeing 100 when I acquired the Tallmantz Collection in 1985. The previous owner was famous movie pilot Frank Tallman and had it painted in Navy colors. After Roy picked up my damaged airplane from Miami I made the decision to restore it back to its orginal factory civilian configuration and colors. Not one to pass up a great opportunity, I also commissioned Roy to construct a Army P-12 C/D and a Navy F4B-2 version for me. Each of my three aircraft will have slight differences in armament, landing gear, ailerons and paint schemes and be powered by the orginal engines.
My original Civilian Boeing 100 will be the first of the eight to fly. The wings are now finished and painted. The fuselage is on the gear with the engine is mounted with the instrument panel installed. The fuselage is scheduled to be covered next summer with assembly and testing to follow in late 2009. It seems like a long way away but Roy is still building lots of parts for the other aircraft.
Soon, I’ll be the only kid on my block with a complete set or the famous Boeing Biplanes!
Thanks to everyone for helping!