TULSA, Okla. — The search is on for the winner of “Miss Belvedere,” the freshly unearthed 1957 Plymouth that was pulled from a leaky vault this past weekend in downtown Tulsa after being buried for a half-century.
When the car was buried, Tulsa residents submitted guesses as to what Tulsa’s population would be in 2007, and the one closest to 382,457 gets the well-known Belvedere and a $100 savings account, worth up to $1,200 today with interest.
Hundreds of guesses were discovered on a paper list and postcards inside a separate time capsule buried in the concrete vault, supposedly tough enough to withstand a nuclear attack.
The elements could not penetrate the second capsule, which also held an unfaded American flag, historical documents, commemorative dishes and aerial maps of the city, among other items.
The entries were turned over to the audit, tax and consulting firm of Deloitte, where a team of volunteers will plug the names and guesses into a spreadsheet to determine a winner.
The name of that person, or his or her heirs, will be announced Friday at a local car dealership. If a winner can’t be located, the gold and white Belvedere will be held in trust for five years, according to Oklahoma’s Unclaimed Property Act. After that, a judge or court will decide what to do with it, said event organizer Sharon King Davis.
Supposedly, the guesses were to be found on a spool of microfilm buried with the car in a steel container. But all organizers found at Friday’s unveiling ceremony was a rusted-out canister in the back seat.
The winner will get the two-door hardtop, but the contents recovered from the trunk, including a 5-gallon can of gasoline and several rusted cans of Schlitz beer, will go to the Tulsa Historical Society.
The new owner can do whatever he or she wants with the antique. Suggestions from a few of the thousands who witnessed the unveiling Friday ranged from putting it under glass in a museum to restoring every inch of her.
Be sure to check out www.OldCarsWeekly.com this Friday to learn the fate of ‘Miss Belvedere.’