Road & Track reported on something special that happened at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance auto auction, involving comedian Jay Leno, former president George W. Bush, a 1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon and some unnamed bidders.
The ’57 Buick was being auctioned by David Gooding and was expected to sell for $100,000 to $125,000. The station wagon had been restored free of charge by Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage and autographed by George W. Bush to benefit the latter’s George W. Bush Military Service Initiative, which helps post-9/11 veterans transition back to civilian life.
To everyone’s surprise, the Buick sold for a whopping $300,000. Then something even more incredible happened: the car’s buyer went up to the stage and donated the car back to Gooding, and received a standing ovation. The car was resold, this time to the original runner-up bidder, for $280,000, leading to another standing ovation.
In total, the 1957 Buick raised $580,000 for veterans, after being expected to sell for one-fifth of that price. Not bad for a 50-year old car!
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