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jeff_a

1938 Series 90 Limited Limousine

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There will probably be little interest in this since it is WAY out west(2,000 miles west of Hershey), but I just spotted this in the Thrifty Nickel Want Ads , p. 22, 2/10/11:

"1938 BUICK Series 90 Limited Limousine. NICE CAR. $23,000 OBO. 208-238-3549, 208-242-6722."

***[Corrected wrong #] ***

I know zero about the car personally, or even where it is. This local weekly buy/sell paper is printed in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I'd guess there aren't zillions of these cars out there, though!

Edited by jeff_a
mis-typed 1938 the 1st time (see edit history)

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There will probably be little interest in this since it is WAY out west, but I just spotted this in the Thrifty Nickel Want Ads , p. 22, 2/10/11:

"1938 BUICK Series 90 Limited Limousine. NICE CAR. $23,000 OBO. 208-238-3549, 208-242-6762."

I know zero about the car personally, or even where it is. This local weekly buy/sell paper is printed in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I'd guess there aren't zillions of these cars out there, though!

If this is truly what the ad says it is, it is one rare car. Seventy Years of Buick states that there were only 423 produced for domestic sales and another 120 for export. Jeff are you sure there wasn't 1 in front of that 23,000. I believe these are recognized as true Classics.

edit> the production figures above are for a '39. Another source shows only 410 produced in '38

Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)

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I read this shopper paper every week and there's usually not much in it of note. This was an exception, and the paper just got distributed here an hour before I left the original post.

According to the prefix codes, the seller lives in the Pocatello, ID area. This is about 210 miles from where I live. Sorry I had the year wrong on the title when I first wrote the thread. It was supposed to say 1938. I was in a hurry to type it while it was still hot off the press. Thank you for calling up the TNOL citation, 1939_buick!

Mr Earl,

Could one of these really change hands for six figures?

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Mr Earl,

Could one of these really change hands for six figures?

I really don't know. I would think that an immaculately restored one could. $23k for such a rare car just surprised me. And they did describe it as a "nice car". If I was close I'd have to at least call and ask to take a look see.

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HEY, that's only a hard day's drive from where I live. I'll nip down tomorrow. Oh, right, I don't have $23,000, not even with the Looney soaring at $US1.01 (not to rub it in). Guess it's all yours, Jeff.

post-59990-143138444791_thumb.jpg

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No way I could afford it either. Notice it's still being listed in this weekly. Down to $20,000 or best offer for this Classic Car.

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I talked to the widow on the phone a week or so ago, and this car sounds like all it says it is. Has the intercom and divider window. I recently sold a 37 Limited 91, and these cars do drool quality. This same lady has a great deal (one would think) on a 62 Lincoln convertible. Incidentally, the lady also said her husband was an AACA guy, as I suggested this site as a sell medium.

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Guest BJM
I talked to the widow on the phone a week or so ago, and this car sounds like all it says it is. Has the intercom and divider window. I recently sold a 37 Limited 91, and these cars do drool quality. This same lady has a great deal (one would think) on a 62 Lincoln convertible. Incidentally, the lady also said her husband was an AACA guy, as I suggested this site as a sell medium.

Interesting development. In these cases, I find it interesting that we start with minimal information and slowly "peel" back the details of the 'possible' transaction.

We are now dealing with a widow selling her husbands cars.

At one point, I am happy that the fellow was an AACA member that enjoyed his cars to the end. We don't know what circumstances are in place that he passed away (sudden or expected).

But in any case, his widow is left to sell these great treasures. I am so glad we all enjoy the old car hobby. Life is tough enough, we need hobbies.

Now this widow probably does not know about this forum and may be ill equipped to navigate a posting. I say this, because (peeling back the layers...) she posted this to our surprise in a "Thrifty Nickle" local only paper - a certified CCCA classic of high intrinsic and extrinsic value.

Interesting story indeed.

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From what I've seen of selling prices, there's no way anyone would pay close to six figures for the car. Closed bodies, especially sedans, don't go for anywhere near those prices. I've seen a custom-bodied '36 Lincoln LeBaron coupe, totally restored, a recent AACA Grand National winner, sell for $89,000; and that was well above the Old Cars Price Guide. And only 25 of that model were ever made.

So go for the '38 Limited. The asking price is probably reasonable!

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John_S,

There was a Series 90 that sold two Saturdays ago at Amelia Island for $110,000, outselling both a 1929 Franklin Cabriolet and a 1948 Chrysler Town & Country. It was a 1934 Club Sedan with a 136" w.b. I'm sure it was an over-the-top restoration. The RM auction site said it had won third-in-class at Pebble Beach, behind a Duesenberg and a Packard V-12.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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The Classic Buick is still for sale in Idaho after two months. I picked up a copy of the Thrifty Nickel today and saw that the ad now reads:

1938 BUICK Series 90 Limousine. NICE CAR! $16,650...

Maybe there's a fan of this type of car out there somewhere in Buickland...who has a really big trailer.

----Jeff

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Sorry I got to this late, I assume the car has sold?
Phone & ask ?

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Guest BJM

Send a PM to Jeff Brown. He is a close friend of mine and will find out the details. If he can.

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Since I started this thread, I thought I should leave a post about what happened to it. Someone asked me to look into the car, so I called the owners to see if it was still for sale. Turns out they managed to sell it and the '65 Lincoln Convertible at an auction last fall.

I did get to see some pictures of the 1938 Limited. Color: black. Odometer reading: 2524. Has radio for driver, radio for rear seat passengers, 2 jump seats, intercom, nice wood-graining on instrument panel, a 120 mph speedometer, a divider window, and was a 40-yr. ground-up amateur restoration. It was clear there was new tan leather upholstery in the chauffeur's compartment.

Listed here on the Buick Buy/Sell Forum for $23,000 OBO, then $20,000 OBO, and after 8 weeks $16,650. Sold at Sun Valley Silver Auction for $11,800.

I don't know who the new owner is, but it sounds like he might have gotten himself a nice "starter car" if he ever thinks about joining the Buick Club of America. Maybe this will re-start the discussion "Can anybody afford a Classic Car these days?".

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Guest BJM

Wow. How soft is the market for these grand old cars. $11,800 is a huge bargain.

It's a shame that this car was not "persuaded" to end up in the hands of the Buick Club collection fraternity. We had several months to do so and no takers.

I remember reading Richard Langworth's "Buyers Guides" years ago on Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillacs. One thing he brought up again and again about the really special cars was that many "changed hands among club members by handshake deals." and never saw the general marketplace.

I have seen some of this activity amongst 2 Iowa BCA members when Rick Young and Mark Lob exchanged cars last year and I think Rick got his car back, not sure - for example.

How times have changed. 1st, few 2nd generation family cars or "widow owned" cars stay in the family. These grand old cars are seen as a burden and a cash cow rather then for their intrinsic value (and even more intrinsic value when you consider it was family owned and loved)

Times have changed, thanks largely to the speculation driven and auction market place of the late 1980's.

Thanks for updating us Jeff.

Edited by BJM (see edit history)

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I sure wish that I had known about this car. I would have purchased it immediately

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Maybe someone can post some of the photos from the auction(Silver Auctions, Sun Valley, 9/4/11). Looking at the list of cars, it wasn't a big venue for classics. I think there were only two others that may have been, a '41 Lincoln Continental and a '35 Auburn Convertible Sedan, and they didn't sell. A 1950 Chevy pickup went for about the same money as the Buick Limo. A '68 Chevelle and a '65 Mustang fetched in the neighborhood of 30K -- some of the highest sellers.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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I was very interested in the car. The seller, son of the amateur restorer and admittedly not a car guy, was very helpful and sent me many detailed photos and videos. First off, it was far from a "ground up restoration" as stated. All the glass had either cracks, stars, or delamination. The rubber gaskets of course were shot too. Not good for a "new" interior if you ever plan on washing the car. Running boards and rubber also poor. This was quite a while ago so I don't remember exactly what it was, but I believe some key parts were unaccounted for (missing). Might have been the sidemount covers or wheels and radio? Paint had it's share of problems. undefined coolant leaks, most instruments inoperative, etc.

I did see pre-auction pictures also. Of course they looked much better than the detailed pictures; that's what they mean by a "20 footer". Bottom line: If you bought that $11800 car and put 20,000 into it, you'd have a really nice $32,000 car. The car was by no means a total project, but it was far from a "ground up" restoration. My 2 cents worth, and probably others, as it did sell for $11, 800 at that auction. "you don't get something for nothing"

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JoeShmoe,

Thank you for your post. I'm glad to hear there was at least one more person interested in this car. Most of the data in my last 2 posts came from the auctioneer's site. As you know, some auction catalog descriptions are written in auction-speak rather than English. Thanks for pointing out some of the details like paint, windows and instruments. The online description did rate the 90L Buick as "Condition 3.0"...and I wondered if that had something to do with No Engine Pictures(usually not a good thing) or just general condition. There were 8 or 9 color photos...but they weren't clear enough to tell what condition the rear upholstery was in. At least the car sold, unlike the 1935 Auburn and 1941 Lincoln.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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