The Guy who Built a 1970s Pan Am Airplane in his Garage


5th Jul, 2013

Here on MessyNessyChic, I think it’s safe to say we all enjoy the thought of traveling back in time now and again, but there are some people who take it just that little bit further.

Self-confessed “airplane nerd” Anthony Toth has gone and spent nearly $100,000 on a partial replica 1970s Pan Am ‘747. He began building the Boeing 747 playhouse in the garage of his Redondo beach home, but upgraded to a 3,000 square foot warehouse when he realised he just had to have an upper deck. The setup includes all the bells and whistles of a real 1970s Pan Am 747, from the powder blue seats and spiral staircase to small in-flight accessories such as the genuine headphone sets and vintage magazines which Toth has travelled far and wide to find.

When he unveiled his new cabin to the local press in February of this year, he even tracked down real ex-Pan Am flight attendants to serve in-flight meals in their old uniforms. Controlled by an iPad, he played the humming of jet engines from hidden speakers.

Toth took his first Pan Am flight at the age of five and remembers every detail about his experience in that golden age of air travel. By the age of fifteen, he was already collecting airline seats which he kept in his room. In his 20s, he worked for United airlines, which had bought some of Pan Am’s decommissioned airplanes. Cleared out for a United re-brand, everything from Pan Am ice buckets, salt and pepper shakers to cocktail napkins were tossed, but of course, Anthony made sure he was there to get his hands on the loot.

Much of the plane’s structure is actually a former Japan Airlines 747 that Toth rescued from the Mojave desert boneyard, but even serious Pan Am enthusiasts would agree Toth has created an almost exact replica of the iconic American airline.

But Toth is still not content. He’ll soon be adding a full cockpit he purchased from a decommissioned Air Canada plane.

Source: The Evening Sun, Photos by Stephen Carr/Los Angeles Newspaper Group



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