Varney Speed Lanes
(Southwest Division) Lockheed Vega 5C N965Y
detest presenting images of restored aircraft in this series as
representative types, but this is the
only photograph I have of an
aircraft type in the markings of a true predecessor of Continental
Airlines. This shot was
taken at an air show at Palm Springs circa 1964.
Incidentally, this actual
Vega had an interesting
history and was originally registered NC199E and never was owned by
Varney. It was re-registered
N965Y in 1962 by Paul Mantz in anticipation of its use in a movie
Amelia Earhart (965Y being Amelia's old number). It was then
later painted up in Varney/
markings. Anyway, back to Varney Speed
Lanes. In 1934, when the new Air Mail
contracts were issued, Walter T.
awarded the route from El Paso, Texas to Pueblo,
Colorado To fly this
he acquired a small
fleet of four Lockheed Vegas and named the enterprise
Division of Varney Speed Lanes, the name of
his company in California. He left the
running of the Division to his partner
lawyer) Louis H. Mueller. At the end of 1934 the
renamed Varney Air Transport.
In 1935 Robert F. Six purchased a controlling interest
airline and slow, but steady progress was
made. In July of 1937 Varney Air Transport
was renamed Continental Air Lines.