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There is a discussion in the Riviera section about a '64 Riviera at a recent televised Mechum auction. It seems to be a nice car bid to a fair price and unsold because it did not reach the seller's expectations.

I have never bought a collector car at an auction, although I have seen some cars that looked like deals in Atlantic City. That auction is off season and I think some of the museums and large collections move some excess through it to get some cash flow.

I have also found myself rolling in the aisle at Hershey, laughing at the misinformation and fractured automotive history while bidders were invited to join the "sip & bid club".

I am curious about the "Me and My Buick" members who are successful bidders and how their overall experience has been. It could be an interesting topic.


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Guest Rob McDonald

BERNIE, I bought one of my favourite cars at an auction and successfully disposed of one of my worst at another. Here's the story of my purchase of a '65 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, in 1994. It was originally a Washington State car that had been collected by a local businessman, who wanted a CdV from every year. When the poor guy died, he was up to about 1970. His business partner was disposing of the Caddys for the family and had several in this particular auction.

I spoke to him beforehand and was told that they were all No Reserve, that they just needed to be gone. I was feeling pretty punchy when the bidding stopped at my offer of $800. This was a straight, shiny but somewhat rusty car that ran very well and had all the options, including white leather bucket seats and automatic A/C. I was looking for a daily driver and this fit my needs (and wants) perfectly.

When the auctioneer announced that the reserve was not met, I was surprised and very disappointed, but I resolved to work out a deal anyway. Checking with the auction company, I learned that a reserve of $2000 had been set at the last minute. I said, okay, I'm willing to pay that, please let the seller know.

I heard nothing. After a couple of weeks, I called the seller directly. He said the auction company had presented my offer but he felt the car was really worth $2800 and wouldn't take anything less. I said, whoa, it doesn't work like that.

I called the auctioneer again and he was mad. He told me his company registers a lien on all cars that go across their block and that a Reserve price must be accepted by a seller. He said that this seller had many cars tied up with his auction house and that he would make things very tough, legally, if we couldn't come to an agreement. Besides my infringed rights as a bidder, the auctioneer was being screwed out of his commission.

I really, really wanted this Cadillac (BIDDER BEWARE: do not fall in love with a car at auction) but wasn't willing to hire a lawyer or risk having the sale bound up in a lengthy legal action. The seller and I eventually agreed on $2200 and I proceeded to thoroughly enjoy that car for eight years of more or less dependable, luxurious commuting. Happy ending.

(For those of you who insist on Buick Forum purity and feel that this post is Off Topic, please insert the words "Buick Electra Deuce-and-a-Quarter", in place of Cadillac Coupe de Ville. It won't change the meaning much.)

Edited by Rob McDonald
off topic apology (see edit history)
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Hi Rob, With the holiday and some working I missed your reply. So you took advantage of the limited interest in a semi-collector car at a collector car auction and made a good daily driver score; sounds like one of my tricks and a good deal.

I am surprised that there was only one response, and non-Buick, pretty much non-collector. No $150,000 Skylark buyers, $40,000 Riviera buyers, not even a Royal family Duke of Windsor 1936 Model 90?

Hmmmmm, lots of thoughts roaming around my head now..... and maybe an evil smile. Well, I just would have expected more.


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