A few weeks ago I was called upon to do an appraisal on a 1951 Buick Special Riviera hardtop. The car was located just a few miles from my new shop Gunner's Great Garage in Manawa, Wis. I was told that the car belonged to a local resident who had passed away. I was told that he lived in an old place that never had plumbing or electricity. What I wasn't told was that his Buick was just about a "new" car. I was not prepared for the moment when the garage door was opened and I stood looking at a 59-year-old car that looked absolutely "showroom new."
Well, you did have to look past a little dust to see how nice the car is. It could stand a gentle cleaning and some TLC, but the car has just over 20,000 original miles and I'm pretty sure it is sitting on its "factory" tires and has the factory-installed spark plugs screwed into its Fireball Eight" engine.
I appraised this car at $28,500 retail value and $30,000 if it was cleaned up and running. It was out of our personal price range, but easily worth that much on the open market. The last we heard, the family members who inheirited the car are getting anxious to sell it before winter. They are not collectors and are hoping to find a good home for this Special Survivor.