This morning a “Rip Van Winkle” 1951 Buick Special Riviera hardtop that a man named Walter Zemple preserved in almost new condition for 60 years was loaded on a Reliable Carriers auto transporter for its trip to a new home in Sacramento, California.
The car was picked up and inspected by Reliable driver Carl Wallin at Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wisconsin. Angelo Van Bogart, the editor of Old Cars Weekly and Bert Lehman of the local newspaper group were on hand to photograph the pick up of the car. Wallin said that Brad Randel, who will be only the second registered owner of the Buick, should be seeing his new vehicle soon, with delivery anticipated the following Tuesday, if the weather along his route permits.
Mr. Zemple, a lifetime resident of Manawa, purchased the car new at Waupaca Motor Sales. Manawa is in Waupaca County. The car was driven only 20,470 miles over six decades and looks, smells and drives like a car possibly a year old. It was Walter Zemple’s most prized possession and he took great care of his Buick using it sparingly and showing it occasionally at the Iola Old Car Show, a national event that takes place 15 minutes west of Manawa, in Iola, Wisconsin, the second weekend of each July.
Gunner’s Great Garage is shop owned by auto writer John Gunnell that deals in restoration work, appraisals, automotive gifts and books. Diana Kohlbeck of Appleton, Wisconsin helped to settle the estate of her Uncle Walter and asked GGG to publicize the availability of the Buick to Survivor (R) car collectors throughout the United States. Brad Randel learned of the car after seeing it listed on Shane Hanke’s Waupaca based Website www.shanes-british-classics.com.
Shipping with Reliable Carriers, Inc., was arranged through the Canton, Michigan based company’s General Manager Robert Sellers, Jr. Reliable operates a fleet of 300 auto transporters and has additional locations in Chandler, Arizona, Orlando, Florida and Sun Valley, California.
Gunner’s Garage with John Gunnell
"Gunner" is one of of the most prolific authors and most visible characters in the old car hobby. He has written dozens of books about old cars for Krause Publications and is the former editor and publisher of Old Cars Weekly. His collecting pursuits range from old Pontiacs, to MGs, to retired police cruisers, to Indian motorcycles. He remains a frequent contributor to Old Cars Weekly and owns and operates Gunner’s Great Garage, a classic car restoration and gift shop in Manawa, Wis.
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