Jay Leno, George W. Bush, Anonymous Bidders and a ’57 Buick Give Back to Veterans

Most of the news that came out of the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance auto auction was about $38 million Ferraris and other big ticket items. But Road & Track reported on something a bit more heartwarming that also happened at this year’s auction. It involved comedian Jay Leno, former president George W. Bush, some unnamed bidders, and a vintage 1957 Buick Caballero Estate Wagon.

The ’57 Buick station wagon, which was being auctioned by David Gooding, was only anticipated to sell for somewhere in the range of $100,000-$125,000. Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage had restored the vehicle at no cost to benefit the George W. Bush Military Service Initiative, a charity which helps post-9/11 veterans transition back to civilian life.

The Buick, which was also autographed by the former president, was auctioned for an incredible $300,000. Then, to everyone’s shock, the Buick’s buyer went up to the stage and donated the car back to Gooding. The auditorium “erupted into a two-minute standing ovation.”

The car was then resold, this time to the original runner-up bidder, for a whopping $280,000. This prompted a second standing ovation.

The classic 1957 Buick Caballero wagon raised $580,000 in total for U.S. veterans, after being expected to sell for just one-fifth of that amount!

This is one case in which car buyers did the right thing by overpaying for a vehicle. Of course, you will never have to worry about overpaying here at Gjovik Auto!

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