Many of you may know about the original Shuttlecraft Galileo's post-production history from a series of articles my friend Steve Thomas has written over the past year published here:
The shuttlecraft filming set, built by AMT and Gene Winfield in the 1960's, has had three owners and a storied, yet sad, history. It finally found its way to the possession of Lynn Miller, a lovely lady and Star Trek fan from Ohio, who rescued the Galileo from deterioration in the Southern California desert.
This past July, Lynn Miller decided to finally find an owner for the Galileo who could treat it with the respect it deserved and restore it to its former glory. The Galileo was auctioned off by Kiko's Auction House in Akron, Ohio. Myself and my collecting friend, Adam Schneider, won the Galileo for $70,000. We were happy to know that Lynn and Brooks Ames, the auctioneer, were both pulling for us as we had made it very clear the people and talents we could bring to the project.
So what next?
Well, the first thing we did was travel to Ohio to secure the Galileo in the storage facility it was at. The main hull has been inside for the past few years in a boat storage facility. The engines, doors struts and various other pieces were in Lynn's garage. Brooks was nice enough to arrange a crew for us to use to bring all the pieces in Lynn's garage to the boat yard. The engines were in stellar shape. We were missing one landing pad, and the front domes. But Lynn's attorney had the contact information for Gene Winfield, the guy who built the Galileo for AMT in the 60's.
Next, we contacted Gene. He is in his 80s now, but still owns a hot rod shop in Mojave, California. Gene also made all the cars for Blade Runner, as well as the DeLorean from Back to the Future II and the car from The Last Starfighter, amongst many others you have probably seen. Gene really is a well known hot rod and custom car maker who has a strong passion for his projects. He was very excited to hear that we have won the Galileo, and so I scheduled to meet him on my way up to Las Vegas for the Creation Star Trek Convention, the world's biggest Star Trek con. Fortunately, it wasn't that far out of my way.
When I met Gene, he had dug out a ton of old photos and he even had two of the shuttlecraft seats out in his facility. He still owns the original molds for them, so will be making a couple for us to put in the interior. He also has the molds for many of the pieces he used on Galileo and there are a couple that we need replacements for (like the engine domes up front). Gene was so excited about the project that he came to Las Vegas and joined Adam and me on the Galileo Restoration panel at the convention. He then signed autographs all weekend long at a table of a friend of mine, Craig Sheeler, in the dealers’ room.
In addition to Gene, other Star Trek luminaries, such as Doug Drexler, Mike Okuda, John Eaves and Dan Curry have all volunteered their help. The next step is to talk to various museums, as well as restoration shops, and see what the best fit is for Galileo. Eventually, Galileo will find its way into a museum for all fans to enjoy. But first we have to begin the process of restoration.
Stay tuned for more on that.
Photos By: Adam Schneider
Alec Peters has been a Star Trek fan since he first watched TOS on TV in the 60's. He started collecting screen-used Star Trek props and costumes at the big Christie's auction in 2006. Today, Alec works as a Star Trek archivist for CBS, looking after the permanent collection of Star Trek props and costumes that are part of the Star Trek Exhibition.