NC7952 is a Lockheed Vega 5 (S/N 22; ATC #93) manufactured December 4, 1928 by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA. It left the factory with a Wasp CB engine (S/N 941) of 420-450HP. It was a 5-place airplane weighing 4,033 pounds gross. It was used by the manufacturer as a demonstrator in the east coast states for over a year, then it was purchased by Amelia Earhart on March 17, 1930.
She set two records and had a couple of accidents including one on August 25, 1930, at Langley Field, VA, when she "...fell backward through combination backrest/door in landing and aircraft went over on its back. Aircraft sent to Detroit plant of Detroit Aircraft Corporation. Wing, landing gear and tail surfaces repaired."
Those repairs included replacing the damaged fuselage with the one from Vega #68 and an upgrade to a 7-place Vega 5B under ATC 227. The ship was painted deep red, with gold trim. A new P&W engine (S/N 3812) was installed in 1932, and an "NR" registration was issued to Earhart. She then flew it from Harbor Grace, New Foundland to a bog in Ireland May 20-21, 1932.
Interesting note in the file: "Near accident 10/22/32 involving a Braniff Vega. Earhart was landing in crosswind and Braniff pilot got over her somehow."
The airplane was sold on June 27, 1933 to the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA for $7,500 (with obsolete Wasp engine S/N 888) and then transferred to National Air & Space Museum in 1966.
It's the oldest Lockheed airplane in existence.