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What's a perfect original time capsule 63 Riviera worth?


Seafoam65

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                    The car in question is a flawless original everything 6,000 mile 63 Riviera with

the 401 engine, all original and flawless , only non original part the battery and oil filter. One owner, never

been in the rain ever, always garaged, not even one rock chip, leather interior. Even still has the

original tires on it. Probably the lowest mile most perfect original early Riviera on planet earth. What do

you guys think it is worth? (It is in perfect working order as it has been driven about 60 miles a year since 1965 to keep the mechanicals in good shape, usually at 5 a.m. to avoid traffic hazards.)

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                   For confidentiality reasons I can't really discuss details. It is a very nice color combo and nicely optioned.

I have no pics but have seen pics. It is not for sale right now but probably will be in the next few years and I'm trying to figure

out how much  money it might take to purchase it at that time. I have really no idea of the value as I've never seen such a car

change hands before.....just looking for opinions, perhaps based on the price paid for similar condition vehicles. 

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It's got to be as much or maybe a little more than a fully/highly restored model. These days, that might be $35K plus. People have crazy reasons for paying big bucks for survivor/time capsules. That said, this car sounds wonderful, but you'll end up being the curator rather than the owner. Every mile you roll on the odometer will feel too precious to really enjoy the car. I love the idea of a time capsule car. It's the reality that bothers me. PRL

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                       Pete, you make a valid point. If I bought this car I would not drive it except maybe 60 miles

per year to keep the mechanicals in good shape. I have an enclosed trailer to haul this car to shows and I have    several other old cars that I can actually drive without hurting the value. I've always wanted a time capsule sixtie's car but in the past when I ran across one it was a Chevy Biscayne or some other car I don't give a flip about....but this car is calling out to me. I would be perfectly satisfied

to be the curator of this one!

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Buying a low mileage original car has its drawbacks because every mile you put on reduces its value over the long haul.  Back in 2000, I bought a 69 Riviera with 6,700 original miles from the estate of the original owner.  It was all original except for the battery and was still riding on the original tires.  I would take it out to exercise it and drive to local shows but I would trailer it to ROA and BCA meets because of the distance and I didn't trust the tires, belts and hoses.  It ran very well and all said and done, it was a new car.

I sold it to a collector last year with 9,500 miles on it for just a tick under $30K.  The car did not have A/C.  I say this so you can guage the value of the one you are describing and I consider the first generation Rivs more valuable than subsequent generations with conditions being equal.  There are always exceptions though.

I was able to get my price because the car had all the original paperwork and was a proven trophy winner.  The BCA certified the car with the Archival Award and I was fortunate enough to win first place in the 66-70 Class at the 2 ROA meets that I brought the car to.

Why did I sell it?  The market was right as original cars are at an all time high right now and it was a car that I simply couldn't drive and enjoy as much as I would have liked.  As stated by someone else, you become a caretaker/curator of a car like this.  My other Riviera's have always been drivers that I can show and not have to worry about the mileage. 

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                   For confidentiality reasons I can't really discuss details. It is a very nice color combo and nicely optioned.

I have no pics but have seen pics. It is not for sale right now but probably will be in the next few years and I'm trying to figure

out how much  money it might take to purchase it at that time. I have really no idea of the value as I've never seen such a car

change hands before.....just looking for opinions, perhaps based on the price paid for similar condition vehicles. 

The color combo would compromise confidentiality? Really?  Guess it`s worth what someone is willing to pay for it....whatever the definition of "it" is. If the car is green over green versus black over red, silver over silver the difference is value could be over 30%....or more,

  Tom Mooney

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                 Whoa! my 65 Riviera is Green/Green and it routinely waxes brightly colored cars at shows

everywhere it goes and gets huge compliments about the color combo all the time, so believe it or not, some

people like green cars! At a car show last weekend, my green Mustang beat two red, a black and a silver and an orange

late model Mustangs to win it's class. I've found that having a green car gives me an advantage at shows, all else being equal.I used to own a Polo Green 96 Corvette and people always raved about the color on that car as well. My green cars do so well at shows I honestly wish that all my old cars were green. 

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                 Whoa! my 65 Riviera is Green/Green and it routinely waxes brightly colored cars at shows

everywhere it goes and gets huge compliments about the color combo all the time, so believe it or not, some

people like green cars! At a car show last weekend, my green Mustang beat two red, a black and a silver and an orange

late model Mustangs to win it's class. I've found that having a green car gives me an advantage at shows, all else being equal.I used to own a Polo Green 96 Corvette and people always raved about the color on that car as well. My green cars do so well at shows I honestly wish that all my old cars were green. 

Me Too!!!!

 

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LOL!!!

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                 Whoa! my 65 Riviera is Green/Green and it routinely waxes brightly colored cars at shows

everywhere it goes and gets huge compliments about the color combo all the time, so believe it or not, some

people like green cars! At a car show last weekend, my green Mustang beat two red, a black and a silver and an orange

late model Mustangs to win it's class. I've found that having a green car gives me an advantage at shows, all else being equal.I used to own a Polo Green 96 Corvette and people always raved about the color on that car as well. My green cars do so well at shows I honestly wish that all my old cars were green. 

I am a fan of green also but in my opinion that does not represent what constitutes the best resale color, and consequently, best potential value, in a collector car. That is why the color red is referred to by car dealers as "resale red". The police like red also....as in "arrest me red". Certain colors attract attention more than others whether that attention is for resale or otherwise. Sure, a green car will do well at shows,etc, if the condition dictates it, but given the same condition certain colors will prevail. Greens and golds do not do well on the "attention scale". Color and condition, and to a lesser degree equipment, dictate value.

In terms of equipment, in my experience, I have noticed a trend in ultra low mileage collector cars over the years. It is usually the "mom and pop" cars that are cared for like a cherished pet. The buyers tend to be extremely conservative and order their cars to fit. Most very low mileage collector cars I have encountered are conservative color combos, which are not at the top of the desirability/value scale and very sparsely equipped. When was the last time you encountered a triple black FULLY loaded collector car for sale with ultra low original miles? They dont pop up very often because the personality type, and their financial situation which leads to purchasing such a car does not contribute to letting said car sit in the garage. People who ordered such a car drove the wheels off them and traded them after 2 or 3 years for a new piece of "eye candy". These are GENERAL trends I have noticed, not bible scripture, so there are exceptions, but they are few and far between.

  Tom Mooney

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A green car is sort of like a girlfriend your Mother would pick for you.

 

Grandma O'Brien always had a shiny black Roadmaster and if anyone would want a green car it would have been her!

 

 

Circumstances around low mileage cars can be interesting and generally follow a theme. One might find that the build date and the delivery date on that car was many months. It wasn't resale red and may have been in stock for a long time. In 1964 you could still save $1,000 by buying left over stock. My white 4 door '60 Electra was sold new in February 1961. I have the cancelled check for $3,000, about a grand under sticker.

 

Minimal use cars purchased by the elderly, or at least old, may be that lifetime dream that is fulfilled by a windfall  of cash. The car they dreamed of, didn't need , and finally had enough money to buy. A salesman can spot them pretty easy and guide them to the aging stock row. I owned a 1967 Electra in the late 1980's. The salesman who sold it new had opened a liquor store. I pulled up in front with the car and he greeting me saying "Oh, you ended up with that stripped job." It was a base black, minimal optioned post sedan. He said a farmer in the next county had sold land, called the dealership, and asked for a new Buick. At the time salesmen made house calls so he took the least desirable new car on the out to them; still a new Buick. It was parked in the barn since the hay lot was sold and driven infrequently.

 

On a low mileage car you generally find some or all of the elements of the story. Aging stock, aging buyer, windfall purchase cash. It is a story told over and over.

 

I bought a new bright red 2005 Chevy Silverado conventional cab, 2WD, with a 5.3. The village the Chevy dealership is in also has a large fire fighting equipment dealer. On delivery, the sales manager said "I'm surprised you bought that truck, I had a fire chief in mind when I ordered it."

 

It was red with the bigger engine. How could I resist. These stories do reflect a lkot on the original purchaser.

Bernie

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It is a proven fact that certain colors have higher resale values but it always comes down to what a person is willing to pay for a car.  Regardless of color, mileage and condition dictates everything.  Limited editions will almost always play a role on values as well.  The 69 Riviera that I mentioned above was Burgundy Mist with a black vinyl roof and had a sandalwood (off white) deluxe vinyl interior with bucket seats and full console.  This is the way the original owner ordered it and only 2.2% of 69 Rivs were painted this color but the amount delivered in this combination was less than 2.2% and played a role in the price I got for the car.  I have never seen another one in person or in print.

 

Even though none of my Rivs have been green, my personal favorite would be a 65 GS (small emblems) in Verde Green with a saddle interior. 

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If you'll look back, you'll find a thread covering a very low mileage, mint '63.  As Tom stated above, it's not one of the "hot" resale colors, it's beige and beige, and it's not heavily optioned.  As a matter of fact, it even has the radio delete option.  While it's a great car as a time capsule, and answers a lot of questions for a restorer, it's probably not desirable as a collector.  On the other end of the spectrum is the  '64 that was at St. Charles.  Every available option but a rear window defogger but painted Coral Mist with white interior.  I don't know the mileage and I don't think anyone would care how many miles are on it if it were up for sale.

 

Ed 

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Ed, it's hard to believe that people who could afford a Riviera back in the day got a radio delete car.  Certainly a rare beast and I have only seen one in person.  I would be tempted to purchase one if the opportunity presented itself and leave it as is but hide a sound system elsewhere in the car.  It would be a great conversation piece at shows.

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I agree Pete.  I like the Seafoam Green on a 65.  Of the 3 65's that I have owned (all with deluxe interior), they were white/saddle, white/dark green and turquoise mist/black.  If the turquoise one had a white interior I would have kept the car!  I guess we all have preferences and if  the colors we have make us happy, then nothing else really matters.

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The very first '63 Riviera that I saw, Sept. of '62 under a tarp in the back of a dealership, was Spruce Green with Silver interior.  Striking enough to go out and buy a model when they were available and build / paint it to match.  I also owned a '70 Skylark, minty green with dark green vinyl top and interior.  When I sold it, it took a special buyer to want a green car.  Prospective buyers would call and ask what color it was.  When I told them Green, I'd get an "Uh."  I bought the car from a family that inherited it; they called it Kermit.  The kid in the family old enough to drive it said "I'd rather drive Mom's mini-van to school than this green thing."  I bought it cheap.  New top, new carpet, new paint, some new interior panels, and I drove it like I stole it, but it was still hard to sell.

 

Ed

 

 

 

 

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                   Getting back to the original subject of this post........I'm not hearing much love for the car in question.

What I've heard so far is that a flawless original 63 Riviera that looks like it just drove out of the Buick showroom

is worth less than someone's high mileage nothing left that is original restored car that is full of patch panels, Bondo

and repro parts. I'm also hearing that unless it is a certain color combo, this 6,000 mile perfect car should be discounted

30 per cent........oops I've got to continue this post later as my BSometer's siren just went off and is disturbing the entire

neighborhood. I'll get back to you when I get this siren shut off! 

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Moving away from the discussion of color values for a moment, in my experience driving an older car an average of just ~60 miles a year just to keep its "mechanicals in good shape" is probably not very realistic. Just for starters,the drivetrain and steering seals can dry out, as well original brake hoses, etc. Maybe this car has been kept in a temperature and humidity-controlled Carcoon or something. And we all know that an original car can only be truly original once.

But it sure would be nice to have a full photo documentation just to see what factory-correct, as well as factory correct fit and finish levels, were back in the day.

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                   Getting back to the original subject of this post........I'm not hearing much love for the car in question.

What I've heard so far is that a flawless original 63 Riviera that looks like it just drove out of the Buick showroom

is worth less than someone's high mileage nothing left that is original restored car that is full of patch panels, Bondo

and repro parts. I'm also hearing that unless it is a certain color combo, this 6,000 mile perfect car should be discounted

30 per cent........oops I've got to continue this post later as my BSometer's siren just went off and is disturbing the entire

neighborhood. I'll get back to you when I get this siren shut off! 

 

I gather you only wanted favourable opinions, you should have mentioned that in your original post before you got offended. We all have varied opinions and most here are very informed at that. No doubt a very cool car so sock away your money and buy it when it comes up, you're the only one that needs to love it, whether it be it green or any other color.

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                    The car in question has never gone longer than 6 weeks without being driven a few miles. that should have kept

the seals in good shape. My 57,000 mile 65 Riviera still has it's original rear end seals  , p/s hoses , p/s pump and seals, steering gearbox and seals with no leaks. It's had the best possible care to keep it like new. There can't be but a few 60's GM cars in the world with this

kind of condition, mileage and originality. It has never been in the rain....not even once, and not washed with a hose for the last

40 years....can you say rust free? Only the driver's seat has been sat in since 1964. I don't know if I can ever manage to get my name on the title of this car but if at all possible I will.

Can you say Bloomington Survivor Gold?

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The only person who can answer this is the guy who is willing to buy the car.  A seller could put 60K on the window and not get a nibble, but one guy might be willing to spend that because it means that much to him.  Now does this car warrant a high dollar amount, thats what this discussion has turned into.  You arent buying a car, you are buying a museum piece.  Are you telling me you would have no problem jumping in that car right now and driving it across country.  No, you would buy it to store in a garage and pull out for a car show (and as you mentioned already) trailer to the show. While nothing is leaking right now, it hasnt had a true load put on it.  Just because its been sat and lightly used, have you seen the condition of the brakes, that hardware could be rusty.  What condition are the springs in and the shocks, they can sag and bleed down.  Is the coolant actually still good?  The tires are not safe for driving if they havent been replaced in that time frame.  This car is a show car not a 'real car'  The value is what YOU are willing to spend, not what its 'worth'

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                   Getting back to the original subject of this post........I'm not hearing much love for the car in question.

What I've heard so far is that a flawless original 63 Riviera that looks like it just drove out of the Buick showroom

is worth less than someone's high mileage nothing left that is original restored car that is full of patch panels, Bondo

and repro parts. I'm also hearing that unless it is a certain color combo, this 6,000 mile perfect car should be discounted

30 per cent........oops I've got to continue this post later as my BSometer's siren just went off and is disturbing the entire

neighborhood. I'll get back to you when I get this siren shut off! 

 

 

It's hard to give much love for the car when some of the most basic details are being kept from us.  Buick made 40K of these cars. How could something so basic as a color combination compromise any confidentiality?

How do we know this car is even real? Someone's BSometer's siren is malfunctioning.

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Hemmings seems to suggest $35,000 is a high point.

 

I have no idea what colors would be more valuable, but I must say my favorite is the butter yellow I've seen a 65 GS in at the LeMay Museum. That's the car that got me interested in these, and it's not red or black or silver!

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I usually get a chuckle out of the car discussions of $.  Folks with a selling angle value high $ and potential buyers seem to like low $-then when time to sell/flip they now seem to like high $!!     I think there are many interesting vehicles all over the country that are mostly unknown-tucked away in garages/barns/pole buildings that fellas just like owning. Some of those end up being Vanderbrink and other 'estate auctions' after they tip.

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Getting a pricing value from an online group is tough, maybe entertaining as a spectator, but tough if one is seeking an answer. And Buick guys; they are some of the tightest guys in the whole car hobby. (BTW Cadillac owners spend best)

 

I'd say buy the car if you have the money. Be creative if you fall short. Money is fairly easy to get. A '63 Riviera is not. A good one is even harder to find. If the seller has a price in their head using logic and references is not going to dislodge where the little BB rolled to. Looking back on all the cars I can't remember regretting any I bought. If I have regrets it is over ones I didn't buy.

 

Buy it and post some pictures.

 

Bernie (an incorrigible color discriminator)

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               I'll buy it  if I get the chance.......may not be a chance for several more years. Thanks for everyone's input, but

I'm more confused about value than I was before I asked! I guess I'll just have to ask what they want for it and go from there.

As for this not being a real driveable car, all it would need is new tires, brake hydraulics, fuel pump, water pump and  fuel hoses and it could

be driven anywhere....a weekends worth of work. It's been garaged and driven every 6 weeks, not abandoned in someone's carport sitting

on flat tires in the rain. Most of the parts under the hood of my 65 are 50 years old and I drive it all the time. I'm sorry I can't reveal more about this car, but I've been screwed in the past out of being able to buy a car I wanted when someone else knew too much

info and did an end around, buying the car right out from under me when a handshake deal had already been done. Kind of like

what happened to Mark Cuban and the  Dallas Mavericks last night. I've since learned to keep my mouth closed when needed. I'd still like to hear opinions of value from the forum, especially if you've personally seen a similar condition and mileage car change hands recently.

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This is a difficult request hence the variety of comments. I think Pats assessment based on his low mile 69 gets you in the ballpark. That car had excellent curb appeal. There was an ultra low mile 67 on ebay maybe a year ago in beautiful plum color and while it wasn't perfect, it was close. Not sure if it sold as the dealer was asking I think $50+k but unfortunately can't remember for sure. I may have recorded info on that auction and will update if I find anything relative to selling price or what it bid up to. Based on your explanation of condition, I'd say conservatively $30k and as much as $45k to the needle-in-the-haystack buyer if its a killer color and loaded with working options. While originality of that level does boost the value, it is somewhat negated by removing buyers from the pool who are not interested in a museum piece.

 

After 20+ years of watching Riviera prices and ebay auctions, I have also seen cars sell for 20-30% more than expected just because of a killer color combo. Buyers with deep pockets don't care about the market value if they find a car that has major curb appeal and speaks to them. Remember color is personal but some color combos definitely appeal more to the distinguished buyer. Often, these buyers will completely ignore a pristine original just because the color won't look good in their collection. They want something that attracts the MOST attention and none of these folks who want an original paint car could consider repainting one. Over the years I have seen many excellent examples 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation cars that had a blah color and or low optioned struggle to find a buyer even at reasonable asking prices.

 

It sounds like it will be awhile before this 63 comes up for sale so start watching ebay completed auctions and the big auction houses and log selling prices as well as key attributes of the car. After 2-3 years you will have a good amount of data to help you establish market value then add or subtract based on how bad you want the car.

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  • 1 month later...

Ed, it's hard to believe that people who could afford a Riviera back in the day got a radio delete car.  Certainly a rare beast and I have only seen one in person.  I would be tempted to purchase one if the opportunity presented itself and leave it as is but hide a sound system elsewhere in the car.  It would be a great conversation piece at shows.

I have seen some strange configurations in my day -post-76046-0-22554300-1441300184_thumb.j

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One note about the info that goes with the radio delete plate that Dick posted.  The info also states that the car did not have a tilt wheel.  The tilt wheel was standard equipment on the '65 so the customer had to order a tilt wheel delete option, and probably with that came a credit on the window sticker. 

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Guest my3buicks

Value today and value even a year from now can be vastly different. As mentioed by others, color, can make as much as a 30 percent swing in value - of course the "flashy" colors have a larger audience but with a Riv color can change i's personality from very sporty to very elegant so it may not aways be the flashy colors that win out on a Riv. I think if the Riv is as described, is a desireable color combo and was nationally marketed and advertised properly it could shatter the known market value. Original cars are hot now on the market. If you are buying this from someone you know you may get it for high book value, but if it is a savvy seller and they do thier due diligence in the sale of the car i could see you paying $50k for the car if all the T's are crossed and i's dotted. At a ajor auction on a hot bidding day it may blow past that.

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I sold this very, very nice original 1965 Riv for about $30K. No A/C, but cloth interior in an unusual and attractive color combination:

 

007.jpg

 

 

A few years ago, I also sold this one for $32,000, which I think was one of the finest I've ever seen and loaded with most options:

 

001.jpg

 

I think it's silly to withhold pertinent information about a car for confidentiality reasons, but I'd say that a car like that, regardless of color, could probably command an above-market price, but not a massive one. What that price might be is hard to say, but you have to weigh the ultra-low mileage and originality against functionality. Do Riviera owners prefer to drive or do they like static art? Because every mile that car drives is going to be expensive in terms of diminished value--you can't just start driving it (well, you can, but you'll pay dearly for every mile you add).

 

Will a buyer be willing to pay a premium for such a car with the knowledge that he will probably not be able to drive it any significant distance without losing his investment? Or would that buyer rather have a car like those two above, exceptional examples that can be driven without worries, and available at a significant discount compared to the "perfect" car. In essence, would you pay a 40-50% premium to get a 10 instead of buying an 8 or a 9 for a lot less money? That's what puts a pretty hard cap on values, even on exceptional cars like this. If you want to be "the guy" with "that car" then no price is too high, but I suspect most guys just want a nice Riv to enjoy and will be unwilling to pay a massive premium for such a car.

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Guest my3buicks

I think a first year Riv with it's Milestone status would appeal to more than just your regular Riv collectors and those wanting a beauty to drive - the early Rivs continue to be on all the "lists" as solid collectibles and future collectibles.  I think something like the one being described (again If it is everything it is said to be, in a good color, and well equipped) would appeal to many as an investment car for a collection. These are the kinds of cars that end up in the big boys collections like Bulgari's.   

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                    The car in question has never gone longer than 6 weeks without being driven a few miles. ...

 

Typically driven about 60 miles a year;  driven maybe 8 or 9

times a year.  While frequent use is better than long-term idleness,

those numbers mean the car may be driven only 5-10 miles on

each outing.  Are all those short trips really enough to keep everything

in good condition?

 

Instead, people would probably agree with devoted collector Jay Leno.

When we interviewed him in 2013, he said, "...you need to get the car

really hot.  If you're not driving your car 25 miles minimum, don't

take it out.  At least that's my thing.  You get everything nice and toasty,

get it all up to temperature, get the oil warm, let it burn off all the junk

that's in there, and you'll be fine...."

 

And automotive author Tim Howley, writing for the Lincoln and

Continental Owners' Club, warned about low-mileage cars, saying

they come at a high cost--initially and in repairs:

"So the buyer puts the car back into service, and everything goes

bad within a few miles.  There are rotten hoses and belts.  The

transmission goes out.  A head gasket blows.  The air conditioning

system collapses...Some of these cars were actually run occasionally

and sound pretty good.  But when you buy one, the whole thing

collapses like a car from Honest John's Used Car Lot the minute

you drive it off the lot..."  He says it's often better to opt for a

high-mileage car that runs well.

 

Mr. Seafoam, you'll have a piece of history--and someone needs to

preserve it for the future--but I think the FUN FACTOR might not be there! 

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Hey Mr. Matt Harwood, I would agree with your assessment of the 65 Turquoise Mist car mentioned above.  I owned that car for a number of years and I was really pleased with it.  If it had a deluxe white interior instead of black, I would have kept the car!!  I have spoken with the current owner in California and he is pleased with it as well.

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