This 1954 Taylor Aerocar flying car is coming to Barrett-Jackson

Joe Lorio

The dream of a flying car is the stuff of a future we have (so far) been denied, but such a vehicle actually did exist briefly 60 years ago, in the form of the Taylor Aerocar. Engineer Moulton Taylor designed this flying car in 1949, and a handful actually were built in the early '50s. Now, one is going up for sale at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction in January.

The two-seat Aerocar is powered by a rear-mounted Lycoming 0-320 (320-cubic-inch) horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine paired with a three-speed manual transmission. In road mode, it drives the front wheels, while in airplane mode, it powers an aft-located propeller. For street driving, the wings, propeller, and fuselage detach and are towed behind the car on a trailer.

Skittish about taking to the skies in such a machine? This Aerocar is said to have logged 781 flight hours — along with 15,000 road miles — so maybe that will allay your fears. It is FAA certified and claimed to be both air- and road-worthy.

What will it take to bring this baby home? We'll find out for sure in January as this is a no-reserve auction, but the vehicle had been on display at an air museum in Minnesota, and previously was listed for sale for $895,000.