Although more than 40 people put in bids when “Dago Red,” the word’s fastest P-51 Mustang, was auctioned on eBay, no one wanted it enough to meet the $1.5 million reserve price.
The plane, a perennial favorite on the air race circuit, was put up for auction Oct. 10. Bids were accepted for 10 days. The highest was $1,201,100.
People who place items up for bid on eBay do not have to disclose the reserve price, which is the minimum price they are willing to accept. If the reserve price is not met, the seller has the option to relist the item or sell it to the highest bidder.
“We have not heard from the highest bidder yet,” said Terry Bland, “Dago Red’s” owner. “We are trying to sell the aircraft as a package and, of course, we hope that it continues to race so that the fans can enjoy it. But I have no control over what the new owner will do with it.”
The package that Bland refers to consists of engine stands, some spare parts and other accessories.
eBay is a worldwide auction site. Several people left comments on the bid page begging the sellers not to let “Dago Red” leave the United States.
Not all the hits came from aviation buffs.
“We sure got a lot of interest,” notes Dan Stout, one of the “Dago Red” crew who has been helping coordinate the sale. “When we put the airplane up for sale on eBay, we got emails from people outside the aviation world.”