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EAA Sweepstakes Cub Ready for New Owner
By Megan Esau, EAA Assistant Editor
July 21, 2018 - A 1941 Piper J-3C-65 Cub fresh from the restoration floor will go to the lucky winner of the 2018 EAA Sweepstakes airplane giveaway.
With a zero-time Continental A65-8 engine, new Grove disc brakes, a new Sensenich wooden propeller, Poly Fiber covering system, and the traditional Lock Haven yellow with black trim paint scheme, this Cub looks even better than it did when it rolled out of the factory in January 1941.
Two young men, John Dacy and Joe Perenchio, scooped up NC35303 right away in early 1941 and flew it as their pride and joy throughout the summer and fall seasons of that year. Then, when the United States entered World War II that December, John received a telegram from the War Department to separate the engine from the airframe and store both in separate locations.
After the war, John’s family continued to fly the Cub and owned it for 51 years until 1996. It changed hands a few times before ultimately finding its way to airplane restorer Don Wade, EAA Lifetime 1118917, in Alabama.
His shop, C&D Aviation, specializes in breathing new life into forgotten vintage aircraft. Shortly after starting the restoration, Don also acquired an engine repair shop called Don’s Dream Machines from Don Swords, EAA 475841, who was equally excited about the Cub’s restoration.
“It’s trying to make an airplane that is period correct, trying to bring back something that was found behind a barn that was left for dead, and you can bring it back to life,” Don Wade said. “This airplane here is really the culmination of that.”
Don Wade said all new parts were used in rebuilding NC35303, and he stepped back to 1941 to make sure every nut, bolt, and washer looked just as it would have back then. He meticulously covered and re-covered the airplane until the job was flawless. The result is an impeccable restoration.
“My hopes and dreams for the next caretaker of this airplane is that they’ll love and cherish it, they’ll take extremely good care of it, and in 51 years after they’ve had their children and grandchildren have the opportunity to fly in it, they’ll bring it to a shop to do a restoration on it and continue it on,” Don Wade said. “That’s what I hope.”
Sweepstakes entries can be filled out and submitted at the Sweepstakes area, which has a new location just outside the EAA Member Center, or via www.EAA.org/sweepstakes.