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jshtulman1

What have I gotten myself into?

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Hello,

I'm pretty excited as this is the first time I'm posting a thread on this forum. Unfortunately, my first post is marred by tragedy(A financial tragedy, at least). The story begins when I nabbed my license approximately a year ago, as I turned sixteen. I have been collecting and restoring vintage radios, televisions, and phonographs for the past ten years so I am mechanically inclined, and my uncle owns a garage where he assured me I would have access to the resources I needed to fulfill my dream. That dream? To own a classic car and employ it as my daily driver. Foolish I know, but at that time I was having an early-mid-life crisis. My goodness, I thought to myself, sixteen years already gone! That's about a quarter of my life right there! Social Security checks would start rolling in any day now. It was time to really start living. My parents agreed to go half and half on the vehicle and I saved up $7000 through working various jobs. To make a long story short, I ended up paying fourteen grand for a '51 Buick Special Riviera. Seriously, fourteen with three zeros behind it. The car is a nice, unmolested survivor with 51,000 on the OD. Sat in a barn in the Nevada desert for twenty five years. No major problems (Except for a cracked intake, but by the grace of god I managed to locate a cheap spare). I love the car to death, and plan to drive it for many years. However, I feel as though I've overpaid by at least $6000 if not more, and I need someone to check my sanity, because I'm seriously freaking out right now. I didn't expect to make an investment, let alone an extremely profitable one, but the idea that I overpaid by that much is making me nuts. I guess I just wanted to vent a little, sorry if I wasted your time.

Sincerely,

Jacob

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Well, that seems to be right on the "average" value that Hagerty assigns the car....price guides are just that, a guide, but at least it gives you something to reference....don't worry at this point whether you paid too much, enjoy the car, you're young and with your apparent enthusiasm you'll own more cars, I'd bet....and just get familiar with car values as you go... below from Hagerty site: (what they call average prices)

1951 Buick Special Convertible 8-cyl. 263cid/128hp 2bbl

$29,986

Trend

1951 Buick Special Sedan 8-cyl. 263cid/120hp 2bbl

$7,568

Trend

1951 Buick Special Sport Coupe 8-cyl. 263cid/120hp 2bbl

$10,868

Trend

1951 Buick Special Deluxe Sedan 8-cyl. 263cid/120hp 2bbl

$9,943

Trend

1951 Buick Special Deluxe Sedan 8-cyl. 263cid/120hp 2bbl

$8,561

Trend

1951 Buick Special Riviera Hardtop Coupe 8-cyl. 263cid/128hp 2bbl

$14,589

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Jacob,

I would suggest you do not "fret" about the cost. You agreed on the price, so that is what it is. The point now should be to make sure you get the enjoyment out of the investment. For a 17 year old, you are fortunate that you had the resources to do that. Not many young men do. I think everyone hopes to snag a bargain when they purchase a collectible car. You certainly are not the first to have thought they paid too much, but not many would admit to it. You only hear about the "steals".

Sounds like this is a nice appearing car that runs well and can be cleaned up as an unrestored original, In todays market, that is worth more than a poorly restored car. If you can, post some pictures, so we might share your excitement.

John

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Welcome to the forum Jacob. Post some pics of the car when you can. I am impressed with your desire and motivation to want to drive an old car daily. It can be a challenge but since you're young and have good resources available you'll have all the stamina and tools needed to make it happen. Are you sure you are only 16? seems like you have your act together vs other 16 year olds I know.

The value of an antique car can be measured in many different ways. If your car is road ready and you can drive it regularly after just a year or two you will have already got more out of the car in enjoyment and satisfaction value than people who paid half as much but have a car that sits in the garage. If I was going to pay too much I sure would want it to be on what is a mostly rust free solid low mileage car like you bought. At least you have a solid foundation to work with and can focus your attention on other areas besides rust repair which is the most evil of all old car challenges.

Good Luck

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Jacob,

You made a good investment. At least your car will appreciate with age rather than depreciate if you had purchased a late model car.

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You will only find a bunch of 'enablers' over here :D. It is best to buy the best example of a car, because the cheaper one will cost more in the long run to bring to that level. Enjoy it until you sell it and then divided the profit or loss by the number of years owned.

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I paid twice what 1964 Rivieras were going for 36 years ago this month. Hasn't bothered me. A person with any kind of skills can get money anywhere. Who has a '64 Riviera.

My big problem came from reading the post......... had the car 36 years....... was 30 when I bought it............. 16 years is a quarter of a lifetime......... we got trouble with a capital T.

Bernie

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At 16, one might not think of going past 65, at 75+ 16 is just a dot in the far distance, a long time ago.

John

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Appears you have a talent for both repairing electronics and writing. Putting together $7,000 at your age is impressive (think Michael Dell). The price you paid for the '51 is "water under the bridge" ...... so lets get on with the other 3/4 (more likely 4/5) of your life.

You have a drivable old car (not a classic) as someone said above, at least it will not depreciate like a new car. Use that to your advantage. Maybe you can get it in a movie or use it for wedding, the prom, etc and make a few extra $$. If there is a downside, the old Buick will not get great gas mileage, hope you don't live far from school and work. Get some sun glasses as your future looks BRIGHT

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I paid twice what 1964 Rivieras were going for 36 years ago this month. Hasn't bothered me. A person with any kind of skills can get money anywhere. Who has a '64 Riviera.

My big problem came from reading the post......... had the car 36 years....... was 30 when I bought it............. 16 years is a quarter of a lifetime......... we got trouble with a capital T.

Bernie

That's funny :D

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If you really want to get excited, just bring that unmolested 51 Riviera to a BCA National Meet. Your price of entry to this sector of the hobby will seem like a great investment. Where do you live? This years National is in Portland OR.

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You are doing just fine! You obviously have a talent and interest, and at the same time you understand the value of a dollar. The car you bought will always be worth something, unlike all of the late model cars that people love to buy.

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Jacob,

What value is there to put on the enjoyment you will have with the car? What value of the smiles put on your face and on those who see you with it? How many others your age will have a car that cool? Those straight eight engines are smooth and, assuming it has the Dynaflow automatic, won't be a performance car, but doesn't have the jolts of hard shifts.

Enjoy the car. The car is already 63. Imagine 37 years from now, while you are still relatively young, being able to own a 100 year old car. How cool is that? What price can you put on that? Besides, the longer you keep it, the more you will have put into it in licensing, insurance, and repairs, the annualized cost of enjoying a nice car is reduced.

Take care. Welcome to the forum and the world of Buicks. Based on the price guide posted earlier, you didn't necessarily overpay for the car.

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When you get behind the wheel and enjoy driving the Buick, receiving accolades from those you pass, get the thumbs up and or approached by a questioning admirer, the money spent will be a long faded memory. Enjoy it.

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)

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Just to let you know your investment is already paying off.Look at all the flowers you have recived already and more to come in your young life.just reading the members remarks let's you know you are welcome here Welcome to the B C A and the form looking forward to seeing you and your Buick at one of our nationals.

Have a great BUICK day

FRANK (BUKE)

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Hey guys! After quite a long vacation I am indeed at home. I will be posting pictures of the vehicle as requested. One of the few things I knew going into this was that Buick collectors have probably one of the best communities out there, and the support is outstanding! Thanks for all the kind thoughts. Note: The car was repainted (rather poorly) in the seventies before it was stuck in the barn. I also recently finished undoing a hack job freeze plug replacement. For all the seasoned collectors out there, how often are you stuck undoing someone's sloppy restorations? And just out of curiosity, what's the worst repair job you've ever dealt with made by a previous owner?

Best Regards,

Jacob

post-100412-14314249228_thumb.jpg

Sidenote: The threads I post keep getting deleted, so if the post is duplicated, my apologies

post-100412-14314249227_thumb.jpg

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And I though my leaky freeze plug job was bad! Haha. Thanks for the good read, and good luck with your restoration! I wish you well.

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Reading post #1 of this thread, I thought; "yep. You overpaid"

But, after seeing the photos, I'm thinking; Maybe not overpaid....

Show us more photos... Nice Car !!!

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JACOB, your photos prove you did not overpay for your beauty. Can't go wrong with black and shiny. I've had my Buick since I was 19 years old. Gotta say, it has aged far more gracefully than I have. Take your time, an old car is very patient - mine's been waiting over 40 years for me.

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Jacob:

Thanks for joining us! I teach high school Tech-Ed and would be delighted to have more 16 year old students with your drive and attitude. When somehow ??? I manage to discuss vintage car matters with my class they are not the least interested in them. Or cars in general for that mater. It was quite the opposite 30 years ago when I started teaching. At the time I was a collector of antique radios also and this brought me into contact with others of similar interest in the era these artifacts represented. The 1920s and 1930s. That is what I have concentrated on ever since, except I have been working down the radios since the fellows who kept me interested in them have since passed on. I have tried to get some of my students interested but to no avail.

Still it is great to have you along. Let us enjoy the ride.

Larry

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