Spencer Rice’s ‘new’ engine and CC scolarship account

UPDATE: Included at the bottom in red is a thank you note sent from Spencer. I would like to point out that he didn’t  ask nor have any expectation of this type of generosity of spirit. He wrote me a personal note saying how stunned he was at the one day response. Read his letter carefully, it reveals a determination and character that are uncommon these days, and unheard of in 15 year olds. I’d say we have the right young man here.-ww


Good news, a few hours after the request went out for assistance with finding a core for Spencer Rice, JRB (Jr. Ranking Builder).  Pietenpol builder Terry Hand wrote in to say that he has a good core that he is willing to donate, and he came back with the idea of having a pay-pal account so that other builders could contribute to the shipping cost, and perhaps give Spenser a bit of a budget to make some solid progress on his engine and plane. Terry’s letter was followed up by two from Curt Cowley, who was tracking down a west cost core just as Terry offered his. It was a lot of quick action, as many Corvair builders found out about Spenser’s story of hard work on his project.

.Above, Terry Hand with his steel tube Pietenpol at CC#24


Terry wanted to point out that most of this engine was actually given to him by Pietenpol builder/flyer and Cherry Grove trophy recipient Kevin Purtee. Generosity is a powerful and lasting force. The account that Terry set up has the title:


I know Terry personally, and his is a classy guy who will put this into action smoothly and professionally. I look forward to hearing from Spenser that the engine arrived, and he is cleared for progress. If anyone has other ideas on assisting Spenser’s progress, feel free to write them in or contact Spenser. For Builders who wish to directly contact Spenser and offer him encouragement in his building, his Email address is



Below is a sample of the letters we received on this topic:

Contact magazine Editor Pat Panzera wrote:

Send me his info and I’ll send him all the Corvair back issues as well as a subscription.

Builder Marcus Wegmeyer wrote:

Hi William, I’m willing to write a check for $100, hopefully to be added to others who do the same, to further Spensers endeavor.  Do I make it out to Spenser and where do I send it?

Zenith 750 builder Blaine Schwartz wrote:

William, I do not have a complete core, but I have some extra engine parts that I will contribute. I think I can find an engine case at the junkyard my buddy has. If enough of us can contribute a few parts, maybe this will help get Spenser a complete engine?

Builder ‘Jacksno’ wrote:

Sure, I’ll have a piece of that.  25 years a teacher and just this year a study buddy with a Hispanic 15 now 16 year old that was going down the tubes due to a joyride taken in the depths of depression who blew the doors off everyone else’s expectations this year- No better high I ever found than encouraging a young person to be who they really are.  Your Mr. Kreiss just went to the top of my hero page.  You were blessed by the One Who Cares!

A Northern builder writes:

William, I owe a man named Al Buco. In his memory, and more important, in his spirit,  I would like to help Spenser fund his project. Preferably anonymously, maybe you just call it a Corvair College Scholarship.

I have been very moved by the letters that builders wrote on this subject. They each are examples of the diversity of individuals we have in the Corvair movement, but they also speak of the common values of generosity and community spirit. Well done, builders.-ww

Letter from Spenser Rice:

William could you please post this on my behalf:

I was extremely moved by the response from Corvair builders to your post and I would like express my gratitude to each of them. I really love aviation and the people I have met in the aviation community. Not being able to apply for scholarships till I’m 16 has put my dream of aviation on hold until I can financially afford all the things I want to do. I took flight lessons for 6 months until I ran out of money but then I decided that building a plane was at least a little more attainable at my age.  Having to be 17 to get my license has been very discouraging and building has helped me overcome that disappointment and gives me a goal to work towards. I want to sincerely thank each and everyone who has had a part in encouraging me to go after what I love. I thank Terry, Curt, Pat, Marcus, Blaine, Jacksno, William and others who want to remain anonymous. I also have to thank my mentor and Young Eagles pilot Roy Thoma for encouraging me to fly, build and for the countless hours he has given me. 

 With the utmost gratitude, Spencer


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