"Nearly all of us have heard stories about prices received for various makes and body types. Some of the allegedly big prices paid for nondescript pieces in my opinion are "fish stories". Naturally, every so often we hear of a fantastic price paid for a car that far exceeds the car's current value. Undoubtedly some of these stories are true, particularly in the classic car area, but many are exaggerated. The purchaser may have sentimental memories of a particular car from his childhood days and wants that car, price being no object. But these unusual transactions are rare."
"Prices of antique cars vary all over the landscape. I have found that the uninitiated generally have inflated ideas as to the value of the car they wish to sell after the death of "Uncle Charlie". I recently took a look at a '37 Buick that allegedly was in excellent condition and had 20,000 miles on the odometer. The car had not been on the road for approximately five years but had been run once a month until a year before I saw the car. The time I chose to examine the car coincided with the owner's death, leaving his son responsible for the car's disposal.
When I called the young man on the phone, I was the recipient of the ever popular "cat and mouse" routine. By the end of the conversation, I wasn't sure whether he had a car or a diamond mine for sale! I finally made an appointment.to inspect the car. When I arrived, the son ushered me into a small frame garage at the rear of the house. In the dimly lit garage, I saw the "diamond mine"! True the odometer reflected 20,000 miles and the upholstery was new. The car being a 1937 Buick, four door sedan with side mounts, had not been washed in at least 10 years. The paint, a gunmetal gray, had years of dirt accumulation on all horizontal surfaces. All the brightwork was severely pitted and rusted due to the cinder floor of the garage. Due to a dead battery, the car would not run and the tires were completely dry rotted. A hydraulic brake line had also rotted away, so that too, would need replacing before the car could be moved.
The price? This man refused to state it categorically, but said he had turned down $1,200! I assume he wanted approximately $2,000. A real buy ? Heck no!! I felt the car's fair value was around $750. As far as I know the son still has his "diamond mine" and will probably have it for some time if he sticks to his ridiculous price. This is unfortunately not an isolated case. I have found time after time that there are better buys from an enthusiast than from an individual who has no experience with antique or classic cars and has a car for sale."