April 2014 DACC FEATURE CAR
 

 

Jack Stewart
Dallas, Texas

Search For A Special 1955 Chevy Convertible

When I was in high school in a small town in New York, my older sister purchased a two tone blue 55 Chevy convertible.  It was her most precious possession.  I would take care of it for her in order to be allowed to borrow it on rare occasions.  One of those occasions was my high school Prom.

A few years later, she got married and started a family.  The convertible was no longer practical.  She reluctantly sold it.  It broke her heart.

We talked about it often.  Over the years, I would occasionally find a picture in a book about Chevys  and bring it back home to New York at Christmas time.  Once about 20 years ago, I spotted an actual car like hers for sale on the Internet.  I downloaded the picture and she had it attached to her refrigerator for the next 20 years.

I made a promise to her that I would someday find that color convertible, buy it, and bring it back to New York.  For some reason that I have not been able to determine, the color combination is unbelievably rare (#610 -Skyline Blue in the front, and Glacier Blue in the rear).  I looked everywhere.  I go to Barrett-Jackson every year (as well as the 4 other auctions that are going on).  I searched the Internet, went to local shows, swap meets, and auctions.  I basically searched everywhere I could think of with no luck.

Over the years I developed a relationship with RM Auctions and I was on their regular mailing list.  One day in October of 2013, I got a brochure advertising an auction in Grapevine.  RM was handling the sale of a private collection of 150 cars to be held at the Gaylord Hotel.  Normally I would give a mailer a brief look and then throw it away. This time I read it thoroughly because it was a local auction and low and behold, there was a small picture of the car I'd been searching for.  Unbelievable!

I realized a museum quality car from a private collection was probably going to mean a ridiculously high sales price.  I almost didn't go to see the car, however at the last moment I received an invitation to a free preview party (with lots of drinks).  I went out the Gaylord, saw the car, took down all of the numbers, drank a lot of wine and went home and did my research.  The next day, I went to the actual auction (with a major hangover).

I paid $150.00 to register to bid (ouch).  When the car came up for sale, I knew I was in trouble.  There were a lot of dealers present plus RM had Internet coverage around the world.  It eventually came down to a dealer from Tampa and myself.  As the number kept going up (a $1,000 at a time), I realized there was no way to outbid him.  I dropped out and he won the sale.

I was depressed.  I started roaming around looking at the other cars in the ballroom.  I bumped into the dealer who won the car and I told him about my story and search for this particular color car.  When I was finished he looked at me and asked, "do you want the car"?  He then told me he would flip the winning bid ticket to me for $2,000.  I told him I didn't think they wouldn't allow him to do it but he assured me he did a lot of business with RM and could get it approved.

At first I declined and walked away.  Suddenly, it hit me.  "What was I thinking"?  I had been searching for this car for over 30 years.  What's a few thousand dollars?  I went back but couldn't find him.  After an hour I finally tracked him down and made the deal.  Luckily I had an old folded up blank check in my wallet.  I FINALLY HAD THE CAR!

This story is one of extreme highs and major lows.  The low part is that my sister had passed away two months before the auction.  As I was standing there that night with "bid ticket", I suddenly realized what day it was.  October 19th, it was her birthday.  Unreal!  She must have orchestrating the sale!

 

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