|Sopwith Pup/Culp Special/MonoCulp builder Steve Culp didn’t start his career dreaming of WWI bi-planes or big barnstorming biplanes. He felt the need for speed at an early age and that need for speed involved wheels, but no wings. When Steve was 9, he began racing go-carts. At 14, he made the transition to off-road racing, then to road racing...well, you get the picture. Culp stirred up more dust and grit in his years of racing than most people do in a lifetime but enjoyed every adrenaline-packed minute of it. Along the way, he became a highly-sought after fabricator, building Indy cars and restoring antique racers. Those were skills that would serve Steve well in his next career.
That career began in 1992 when he bought a Piper Tri-Pacer that had seen better days. One year later the reincarnated Pacer, by then a sleek and shiny red-and-maroon eye catcher, was voted Classic Custom Champion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The bug had bitten and Steve was hooked. In 1994, Culp sold his Pacer and began work on a plane of his own creation, the Culp’s Special. The big yellow and green biplane was Culp’s personal show-stopper. Culp flew the plane to airshows around the south, but Special Number One went to a new home with a buyer who couldn’t wait the several months it would have taken to fabricate a new Special just for him!
Now, four Specials, including one for European aerobatic champion Zoltan Veres, one MonoCulp, two Sopwith Pups and multiple other projects later, he is eager to continue his search for the Red Baron.
Culp and his planes have been featured in a number of newspapers, magazine and websites including: Sport Aviation, Kitplane, Flight Journal, www.avweb.com, www.aero-news.net and a number of European and Australian publications.