Mecum Chicago - October 24-26 - Schaumburg Convention Center
Donald Pulver became the king of B-body Chevys, but he probably didn’t set out to take the throne. He bought more than half a dozen new Caprice and Impala Chevys and kept the mileage low — he usually stopped driving them before the odometer hit 20,000 miles. Before he hit the magic "20,000- mile mark," he'd park the car and then buy another new one. About half of the B bodies in his collection were sold at Mecum Auctions’ Kissimmee sale. Now the rest will be crossing the block at Mecum’s 2019 Chicago sale.
“Box Chevys” from 1977-1990 are cool today, but when they were new, Impalas and Caprices were simply the standard Chevrolet that retirees bought for strolls to church and the grocery store. These buyers were used to driving the tanks of the 1960s and 1970s and they wanted to stay in a big, safe car. Sure, a few young families with the means and the headcount bought big Impala or Caprice wagons during this period, but Chevrolet had other people carriers by this time and the full-size wagons faced strong internal competition.
Pulver was no retiree when he began hoarding very well-equipped Box Chevys. His first was a jet black 1977 Caprice Classic coupe that it’s believed he drove to 13,600 miles and parked. It was followed by a 1979 Caprice Classic sedan that he appears to have driven 21,245 miles. Then came a 1981 Caprice Sport Coupe driven to 17,000 miles, followed in turn by a 1982 Caprice Sport Coupe parked at 14,042 miles. Both coupes were jet black like the 1977 Caprice before them.
No full-size Chevrolet coupes were built in 1983, but when the Caprice Classic coupe returned for 1984, Pulver bought a 1984 Caprice Sport Coupe — his first white Box Chevy coupe. Like the 1977 Caprice coupe, he drove it to 13,600 miles before parking it. Pulver didn’t stop at buying the new Caprice that year — he also bought a new Impala sedan, a Monte Carlo SS and the all-new Corvette. The salesman at Sun Chevrolet Co. in McMurray, Pa., must have loved him.
Pulver’s last new Box Chevy was a black 1988 Caprice Estate Wagon driven to 12,271 miles, then he appears to have taken a break until 1996. That year, he splurged like it was 1984 all over again and bought two new Impala SS sedans and a Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. He drove one Impala SS to 193 miles, the other to 30,000 miles and the Buick to 21,000 miles.
Mecum Auctions began selling Pulver’s bounty of B-bodies and other GM products at its 2019 Kissimmee sale last January. https://www.mecum.com/auctions/kissimmee-2019/collections/don-pulver-collection/
There, we bought the 1984 Caprice Classic Sport Coupe, which was sold alongside his 1981 and 1982 Caprice Sport Coupes, his 1988 Caprice Estate Wagon, his almost no-mile 1996 Impala SS, his 1984 Corvette and his 1996 Roadmaster Estate Wagon.
We expected the low-mile Caprice coupes to sell in the $10,000 range. Instead, they sold for around $8000 each, a fact we attribute to market saturation for rare cars that would have otherwise sold for more if offered individually. In fact, the 1981 Caprice coupe from the auction is currently offered by a dealership for $12,995. The 1982 Caprice coupe is also offered by a dealership for an unlisted figure.
The second wave of Pulver’s stash is heading to the 2019 Mecum Chicago sale. https://www.mecum.com/auctions/chicago-2019/collections/don-pulver-collection/
This group includes the 1977 Caprice Classic coupe, the 1977 Caprice Classic sedan, 1984 Impala sedan and 1984 Monte Carlo SS, among other low-mileage cars such as two 1982 Camaro Z28s and a 1982 Firebird SE.
Pulver cars to be sold in 2019 Mecum Auctions Chicago sale
- 1977 Chevrolet Caprice coupe, 13,600 miles*
- 1979 Chevrolet Caprice sedan, 21,245 miles*
- 1982 Pontiac Firebird SE, 509 miles*
- 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, 45 miles*
- 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, 4470 miles*
- 1984 Chevrolet Impala sedan, unknown miles
- 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 15,800 miles*
*The mileages stated here are those that the auction company believes to be correct. In our experience judging cars and in specifically inspecting Pulver’s cars, as well as purchasing a car from the Pulver collection, we believe these mileages may very well be correct. However, prospective buyers should inspect the cars themselves and verify these odometer before bidding.
Pulver cars ALREADY SOLD in Mecum Auctions’ 2019 Kissimmee sale
1981 Chevrolet Caprice coupe, 17,000 miles ————— SOLD at $7975
1982 Chevrolet Caprice coupe, 14,042 miles ————— SOLD at $8800
1984 Chevrolet Caprice coupe, 13,600 miles ————— SOLD at $8800
1984 Chevrolet Corvette, 1719 miles ———————— SOLD at $12,100
1988 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon, 12,271 miles——SOLD at $9075
1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, 193 miles ———————— SOLD at $23,100
1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, 21,317 miles — SOLD at $19,800
We’ll be covering Mecum’s October sale to see how this round of time capsules do when they cross Mecum’s auction block.