Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair: Above & Below.

The Carvair was a project of Freddie Laker’s Aviation Traders Ltd to convert surplus DC-4/C-54s into fast car carriers, mainly to serve in the English Channel crossing services -supplanting there Bristol 170’s. First flown in 1961, the Carvair was the company last original design, and surely its more recognizable. Aviation Traders rebuilt those Douglas with a weird-looking “747-style” cockpit raised above the fuselage in order to create an unobstructed interior. Some aerodynamics improvements were also necessary, and an enlarged tail took care of that. The cars entered through a hinged nose door. Around 5 cars and more than 20 passengers could fly in one of these hilarious creatures. 21 were built.

The Carvairs saw a lot more World than originaly envisaged, and for quite a long time. The final three aircraft converted were from Australia’s Ansett-ANA. One of those Aussies in this lovely “time machine” photo.


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