The plane, owned by the late William G. Simmonds, Jr., an aviation collector and enthusiast, was purchased in 1962, Simmonds' brother-in-law Stephen Young said Saturday.
The Taylorcraft L-2, dubbed "the Grasshopper" by pilots during the war, was only used for enemy reconnaissance. Its slow top speed (93 mph) and inability to fly very high (top altitude, 10,000 feet) made its use limited.
The plane itself hasn't been flown since the 1980s, when Simmonds had to give up his pilot's license due to a medical condition, Young said.
The asking price for the plane during the estate sale was $22,000. Several individuals inquired about it but none offered up the cash immediately, the salesman for the Sacramento-area estate sale company told The Sacramento Bee.