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Holder of Guinness record for model planes lives in West Jordan


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John Hollenhorst reportingName a plane, any plane, and chances are Rob Humphrey has a model of it in his basement. The West Jordan man has spent the last half century working on a boyhood passion. And along the way, he wound up in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Behind locked doors, Rob Humphrey indulges his passion for plastic planes. He's like the mom who can't say which child is her favorite. "My gosh, I've got so many now, it's hard to say. They're just starting to stack on top of one another," he said.

No one in history, apparently, ever had so many. "In this room right now, I've got 1,909. I just double checked my records upstairs," he told us.

He'll build anything with wings and plenty of things without them. Humphrey said, "Built this Creature from the Black Lagoon. Put this one together here. It's a little dusty," he said. Just imagine trying to dust all of the stuff.

Guinness verified 1,642, not counting duplicates. Humphrey figures he had over 4,000 at one time but sold or gave away many duplicates. "I would also go out and shoot them with bb guns, blow them up with firecrackers," he said.

He admits he's an extreme example of a dying breed. In this era of electronic entertainment, kids just don't have the patience for something like this. He tells us he built his first plane when he was just six years old, back in 1958.

Humphrey also has thousands of kits he hasn't built yet. "I came to realize I'll never live 700 years to build all of them."

It's a passion that's cost him a lot of money. "Almost a quarter-million dollars, which is kind of ridiculous, ha, ha, but it was a hobby," he said.

And oh yeah, he says he has a very understanding wife.

Guinness rated Humphrey's collection as the largest in the U.S.A. four years ago. He says he's unaware of a larger collection in any foreign countries.

E-mail: hollenhorst@ksl.com

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