TV is well-stocked with shows about well-preserved classic cars found in storage in some out of the way location but in many cases—it’s merely show biz.
Despite the well-worn path of typical TV plots there is an element of truth to the car in storage plot.
For example, this ’58 Dodge Custom Royal 4-door sedan was accidently found in an estate sale and its new owner is part of a TV show that looks “at old stuff” in front of a TV audience.
The TV show is ‘Canadian Pickers’ and Gerry Frost has made a few appearances on the show as an expert in the antique world. He was appraising an estate sale as a “favor to a family friend” and he spotted the ’58 Dodge in the inventory—that’s when he really lit up.
Gerry had been kicking tires on the idea of a classic 50s car “for a long time” and he wanted “something different—not exactly a ’57 Chevy”. This ’58 Dodge was definitely “something different” and it lit Gerry’s fuse the second he saw it.
The Custom Royal was a one-owner car with 51,000 original miles on the clock and it had spent its whole life in a garage. That makes it one of the most well-preserved ’58 Dodge Custom Royals in the world and Gerry knew he wanted it.
Gerry is a veteran buyer and seller of all things old so he knew he couldn’t pressure the current owner into a quick sale—especially since the car was willed to the owner by his aunt—the original owner. Gerry simply left him with the message that he was a serious buyer of the car ever came up for sale.
The interior shows well too and Gerry explained how the aunt “never had kids” so it never took the wear and tear it may have with a seat full of young anarchists back in the 50s. Gerry had to do some repairs to the springs and the upholstery in the front seat but the door panels, headliner and rear seat were in great shape.
Gerry was definitely the right guy at the right time because his phone did ring and the car was for sale. The nephew had done a lot of work to the car on the gas tank, mechanicals, muffler and brakes (about 5500 dollars in total) because he wanted it to be mechanically sound before he sold it so Gerry expected the price to skyrocket. Instead, the seller gave Gerry a great asking price so the deal was cut on the spot. Gerry never charged him for the estate appraisal so he thought this was the seller’s way of saying thank you.
Karma was on Gerry’s side because he bought a very solid car with a great history plus it’s a rare piece of 50s history. In fact it came with a few 50s pieces like old ashtrays that were thrown in as part of the deal but the biggest factor was its garage life because that alone preserved this ’58 Dodge in a big way.
Gerry made one concession to the previous owner and it’s found on the hood in the form of a horse ornament. The original owner was into horse racing and Gerry said “it’s not something I’d do but it’s going to stay as part of the history”.
Gerry is new to the old car scene but he runs this ’58 Dodge at 70-75 mph on the highway and it runs “straight as an arrow with no effort on the wheel”. The Canadian Picker scored big on this episode.
By: Jerry Sutherland
Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post, Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.
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