The PA-12 was powered by a 100 hp Lycoming O-235 engine, was fully cowled, and had a metal sparred wing with two 18 gallon fuel tanks. It sported a red and cream paint design. Many PA-12s have been modified with larger engines and wing flaps.
When Piper dropped the J- designation system in exchange for the PA- system, the J-5C became the PA-12 "Super Cruiser". The Super Cruiser was more popular than the basic J-5A. They sold for $2,995 each. In 1947, two PA-12s flew around the world, and the worst mechanical failure they suffered was a cracked tailwheel. More than a thousand still fly today.