By Joe Roberts @jrobertsjourno
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Videographer / director: JP Steele
Producer: Joe Roberts, Ruby Coote
Editor: Ross Dower
Mark is known for turning heads in his home town of Roswell, Georgia with his unusual car designs, having previously showcased a boat car and his fusion of a 2003 Cirrus SR22 plane with a Chevrolet Tracker.
But since selling his original plane car and deciding he needed to go bigger for his next project, Mark has created an even more ambitious plane/car hybrid that measures an incredible 32ft long.
Mark told Barcroft Media: “When people see the plane car they smile, they laugh, they point, they honk the horn, they are waving at me.
“It’s always the same question, ‘Does it fly?’ And I say unfortunately it doesn’t, because there are no wings.“
For his latest creation, Mark fused a GMC Sierra 2500 heavy-duty pick-up truck with a 1974 Cesna RAM Aircraft.
The street-legal creation also features a spinning propellor on the front grille, a custom front bumper, and can reach speeds of up to 80mph, thanks to the 6-litre V8 GMC engine.
“This is the largest project I’ve ever had,” said Mark. “The last plane car could only seat two people and I’ve got four kids, and my fiancé. I can't shove them all in that little three-seater, so I wanted to build something much larger.”
Mark started his ambitious project by buying the GMC truck which would form the new plane car’s foundation.
He then removed the cab, all four doors, and the roof, before tearing the sides off the truck’s 8ft-long bed so he could mount a plane on top.
The aircraft itself was a twin propellor Cessna that came from a local bone yard – a site used as a set in the recent ‘Black Panther’ movie.
Fabricators then helped weld the plane and truck together, filling in any gaps with aluminium and making the new vehicle look like one cohesive piece.
Two other engineers, with Mark’s help, then finished the project, sanding down the outside and painting it before turning their attention to the interior.
Mark said: “They put insulation and foam padding and vinyl around the walls and installed my new seating and the radio and the back-up cameras.
“They made the interior and exterior look like factory new, they did make a beautiful job of it.”
All that work took six months to complete, and the car will now be used to compete at car shows and advertise businesses.
In the mean time, Mark’s fiancé, Doris, enjoys taking trips in the quirky machine.
“I think it's perfect,” she said. “Mark’s done a fantastic job with the people he’s worked with, inside and outside.
“When people see the plane car, it's just a look of joy. The kids have a ball with it, but you see all the grown-ups become children too because it's just so much fun.
“I mean how do you not smile when you see something like this?”
While both Doris and Mark say the car provides a smooth ride, at 32ft-long and 12ft at it’s tallest point, it’s a bulky vehicle and Mark has to be careful on the road.
“I’m constantly looking to my right and my left and making sure that I am staying in my lane and not hitting someone or hitting a curb,” he said.
Otherwise, the car is proving a hit, with people stopping to take photos and ask questions wherever Mark goes.
“I could sit at an intersection and everyone’s taking pictures,” he said. “The first week I had the plane on the road, I was driving and when I looked on my left I noticed all these cars started slowing down and stopping.
“I’m thinking, ‘What’s going on, there’s no ambulance, there’s no funeral, what is this?’ So I’m looking and these people were getting out just to take pictures of my plane car.
“I found it hysterical. I couldn’t believe people were slowing down to a stop to get out to take pictures.
“So when I drive this it’s like driving in a funeral procession but there is no-one dead. I’m very much alive.”
For now, Mark’s not revealing how much he’s spent on creating the new plane car, but says he may consider selling if the right offer came along.
“If the price was right, I would sell it,” he said. “I would probably just go out and build another one – bigger and larger.”