Harrison Ford had several movie and TV bit parts while he worked as a carpenter to make ends meet at the beginning of his career, but it was the role of Bob Falfa in 1973, that kicked of an acting career only dreamed about by most actors. One of his carpentry clients was Fred Roos, the casting director for George Lucas' first film.
Although Lucas didn’t want Ford for the role, in the beginning, it would be the smart alec, trashing-talking hot-rodder Falfa who drives a black 1955 Chevy that would eventually win him the part of the young Han Solo in Star Wars.
Harrison Ford became world famous for his lead roles as Han Solo in the Star Wars films and as the protagonist in the Indiana Jones films. Five of his films are among the 30 top dollar grossing movies at the US box office in the history of cinema.
At age 75 Ford’s career spans more than 60 years with roles in numerous Hollywood blockbusters. His credits include Apocalypse Now (1979), Presumed Innocent (1990), The Fugitive (1993), Air Force One (1997), and What Lies Beneath (2000).
Ford also played Rick Deckard in the first science fiction film Blade Runner (1982) and its sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017). For his role as John Book in the thriller Witness (1985), he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and he played Jack Ryan in the action films Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994).
Harrison Ford’s successful and lucrative career have given him the opportunity to pursue his passions outside of acting: cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. Here are some of his prized possessions.
In the 1960s, Harrison Ford began his flight training at Wild Rose Idlewild Airport in Wisconsin, flying in a Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer but he also learned some advanced techniques in the Cessna Citation. It was one of the first planes he flew solo. He later purchased a Sovereign at an estimated cost of around $18 million.
The Cessna Citation Sovereign is a mid-size business jet developed by Cessna and made in the United States. It can carry twelve passengers, sustain two crew, and is currently the third largest aircraft in the Citation product line as measured by take-off weight.
The 19-meter-long aircraft with a wingspan the same length, has a cruising speed of 852 km/h, a takeoff field length of 3,530 ft. and a range of 3,200 nautical miles.
A Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza is also a part of Harrison Ford's aircraft collection.
Ford says, “Flying is like good music: it elevates the spirit and it's an exhilarating freedom. It's not a thrill thing or an adrenaline rush; it's engaging in a process that takes focus and commitment. I love the machines, I love the aviation community. I used to own airplanes and have pilots flying them for me, but I finally realized they were having more fun than I was. They were getting to play with my toys. I was 52 when I started flying - I'd been an actor for 25 years and I wanted to learn something new. Acting was my only identity. Learning to fly was a lot of work, but the net result was a sense of freedom and a pleasure in seeing to the safety of myself and the people who fly with me.”
A high-wing, propeller-driven, single-engine aircraft capable of short takeoff and landing it was developed and manufactured by aircraft company de Havilland Canada. The DHC-2 Beaver was designed to be faster than a sled dog (among other criteria).
It was named one of the top ten Canadian Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century by the Canadian Engineering Centennial Board.
However, the aircraft may be better known for its role in the 1998 movie Six Days Seven Nights, an adventure-comedy that takes place in the South Seas starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche. Ford, already an accomplished pilot, learned to fly the trike-gear aircraft during the film production. The DHC-2 his first tail-dragger.
Ford says he loves the sound of the plane’s Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engine and he now has one (N28S) in his personal collection, which he says is an ex-CIA plane with patched bullet holes.
Harrison Ford not only flies for his own enjoyment, he often does it to help others.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Harrison Ford used his Cessna 208 Caravan to support Operation Smile, a charity which provides free reconstructive surgery. Not a traditional disaster relief organization, it is better known for its more than 25 years of providing cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries in developing countries.
Ford made several flights over two days in February transporting medical supplies and more than 20 volunteers including an anesthesiologist, surgeons, and nurses.
He said: “This is not about me, it is just about doing what I can to help Operation Smile and the people of Haiti.”
Ford has made his Bell 407 helicopter available to emergency organizations for rescue operations on several occasions.
On one operation, he flew his helicopter in search of a hiker who was lost and disoriented. When she boarded the Bell 407, she immediately vomited into one of the rescuers' caps. Unaware of the pilot who was flying the chopper until much later, she commented, "I can't believe I barfed in Harrison Ford's helicopter!"
The Bell 407 is often used for emergency transport, for law enforcement, as an air ambulance, for electronic news gathering, and for making films.
The helicopter is ideal for small military operations in countries such as United Arab Emirates, Jamaica, Iraq, and El Salvador. Several different models are manufactured but Harrison Ford spent an estimated $2.5 Million for the purchase of his 407.
The 55 Chevy driven by Harrison Ford in the film American Grafitti has its origins with three Chevy 150 sedans that were purchased for the movie Two-Lane Blacktop.
The three cars were modified by Richard Ruth of Competition Engineering. One got a leftover 1969 L-88 427 Chevy big block while the other two cars were equipped with the newer 454 cubic inch engine. On the two main cars, Ruth fitted them with a Weiand tunnel ram and dual Holleys. The stunt car had a single four-barrel and a full roll cage. It was equipped with a left and right braking system so that it could be deliberately thrown into a skid and rolled over.
The studio installed brackets on one of the two main cars to support the cameras for filming interior shots while the actors were driving. The exterior of the other main car was filmed while it was on the road.
While the 55 Chevy did not become part of Harrison Ford’s car collection, it represents the beginning of a passion for moving vehicles.
One of Harrison Ford’s favorite airplanes is a yellow PT-22. He is often seen flying the two-seater vintage plane in and out of Santa Monica Airport.
A silver metallic body with an eye-catching yellow trim, the Ryan PT-22 Recruit was built in 1942 for use primarily as a trainer for the U.S. Army Air Corps.
In an interview with The Mail On Sunday, the Blade Runner, Indian Jones and Star Wars film actor expressed his love of flying and airplanes: “All of my planes are great to fly, and that's why I've got so many of them…I'm so passionate about flying I often fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.”
In February 2017 Harrison Ford had another near disastrous airplane event.
While on approach at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California Ford nearly collided with a commercial airliner. Flying his Aviat Husky, a single-engine taildragger, the 74-year-old action film star mistook the taxiway for the runway and almost took out a 737 flying a holding pattern.
Ford radioed to the tower, "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?" He aborted the approach, then circled around and made a successful landing.
Used by the US Department of the Interior and Agriculture, the Aviat A-1B Husky, with its high wing is ideal for observation and patrol roles. It has been effective for border patrol, glider towing, fisheries patrol, pipeline inspection, observation duties, and other utility missions.
Decades ago Harrison Ford arrived in Hollywood driving a VW camper. His choice of transportation has changed over the years facilitated by his success and ample budget. While many celebrities prefer to go the old-car route, driving classic bangers, usually vintage British or domestic sports cars like Morgans, Corvettes or MGs, Ford prefers a classic Austin Healy 3000.
Although he has a passion for airplanes and often selects one of several models he owns just to get from point A to B, he usually chooses the Healy while on his ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The 1966 British Racing Green Austin Healey 3000 two-seater is a stark contrast to his old utilitarian step-side Chevy pickup truck.
Harrison Ford is often spotted cruising around Los Angeles in his $150,000 Jaguar XK140. With a net worth estimated at over $200 million, expensive exotic vehicles suit his taste.
Manufactured between 1954 and 1957, the XK140 is the successor of the XK120. It features numerous improvements, including rack and pinion steering, increased suspension travel, improved brakes, telescopic shock absorbers, and more interior space. The DOHC Straight-6, 3442 ccengine with C-Type cylinder head produces 210 bhp gross at 5750 rpm.
The first Jaguar sports car to be offered with automatic transmission was the 1956 XK140. Although dual exhausts and wire wheels were options, most XK140s imported into the United States had wire wheels.
Harrison Ford developed a passion for flying somewhat late in life. At the age of 52, the actor first seriously started flying lessons. Since then the Star Wars and Indiana Jones star has amassed an impressive aviation collection.
He has embraced aeronautics with enthusiasm and he claims to fly his planes as much as he drives his vintage cars.
The experienced and respected pilot keeps several of his aircraft at the Santa Monica Airport, one of which is a 1929-vintage Waco “Taperwing” open cockpit biplane. Founded in 1920, the Weaver Aircraft Company, established themselves as producers of rugged and reliable planes that were popular with the postal services, explorers, and traveling businesspeople.
Celebrities occasionally want some privacy and Harrison Ford perhaps more than most. Driving a less conspicuous car to the grocery store (or the airport where private airplanes are kept) can reduce some unwanted attention.
For Harrison Ford, that mode of transportation is often a Mercedes E-Class Wagon. In Los Angeles, it is a fairly common car that blends into the traffic and provides the cargo space Ford needs for his flying activities.
The winner of a Car and Driver 10Best Cars for 2018, the new E-Class wagon is a comfortable, practical, and exceptionally quiet car which offers SUV features including an air suspension. The powertrain is a 329-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 coupled to a nine-speed automatic that drives all four wheels.
The E-Class includes all the modern amenities typical of a modern luxury car, such as an infotainment system with touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and a semi-autonomous driving mode.
Harrison Ford has been married three times which produced five children and four grandchildren. The 75-year-old actor is currently married to Calista Flockhart.
The couple is sometimes seen in their Mercedes SL Convertible, usually on the way to the airport to fly one of Harrison Ford’s many aircraft.
Best known for playing the title character in hit legal drama Ally McBeal, Flockhart met Ford at the 2002 Golden Globes. At age 52 she is 22 years younger than Ford, but when asked about the age difference she said, “It doesn’t faze me. Sometimes I even say, ‘Wow, I keep forgetting that he’s 22 years older than me.’ “It doesn’t factor into our relationship at all. I like the way he looks first thing in the morning. It’s not handsome, it’s more cute. He looks like a little boy.”
While Harrison Ford’s wife may occasionally drive a Toyota Prius, he prefers the Tesla Model S for his high-efficiency vehicle.
With a base price of $75,000, the 2018 Tesla Model S was ranked in the top position for Luxury Large Cars by cars.usnew.com.
The electric vehicle has a spacious cabin loaded with tech features and delivers world-class performance. The standard Model S has a 0 to 60 mph time just over 4 seconds, better than many sports cars. The high-performance P100D, which accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds, is one of the quickest street-legal cars in the world.
The Model S is more agile than many large cars, and, of course, it provides the excellent efficiency expected from an EV. The Tesla’s range is also much higher than most other electric vehicles.
Harrison Ford doesn’t limit his passion for moving vehicles to cars and planes. He also loves motorcycles. He said, “I also have more than my fair share of motorbikes - eight or nine. I have four or five BMWs, a couple of Harleys, a couple of Hondas and a Triumph; plus, I have sports touring bikes. I'm a single rider, and I love being out in the air. I like the focus that comes when you're riding - you really have to be very keyed into what you're doing. I ride up into the mountains in LA on twisty little canyon roads on Sunday mornings with a group of other enthusiasts.”
While Harrison Ford takes his flying seriously, having gone through extensive training and practice, he has a philosophical view of the minor accidents.
He says, “Crashing your plane is like scraping your bumper…One time when I was landing I got caught in a dramatic wind shear, which resulted in about $9,000 worth of damage. That's small change. But it was a troubling couple of minutes. I've had other weather-induced misadventures. I got caught in a microburst (a sudden downdraught) in my helicopter - I ended up doing an aeronautical rodeo. I was OK, but it gave me the opportunity to buy a new helicopter.”
Sources: thedrive.com, dailymail.com, topspeed.com, quora.com