On March 14, 1970 the Buick dealership in Mt. Airy, N.C. had a customer who knew exactly what he wanted on the new 1970 Buick LeSabre Custom hardtop coupe. He was ready to order with 25 optional extras.
The 18-foot, 4-inch-long Buick had Bamboo Cream body topped with a Glacier White painted roof and a base price of $3,507.
With the Buick order form optioned to his satisfaction, the customer left a $100 deposit with the dealer and then went home to Roanoke, Va., to wait for his Buick to be built. Once he was notified that his car had arrived he wrote a check for $4,275 and the car was his — and remained so for the next 40 years.
Paul Puff had been searching for a Buick Wildcat for about five years when in May 2010 he saw this Buick advertised for sale in a magazine published by the Antique Automobile Club of America. The incredibly original, well-kept Buick captured his attention, even though it was not a Wildcat model.
Puff telephoned the man who had handpicked all the accessories on the car so many years before. The condition of the car sounded so exceptional that Puff enlisted the aid of a friend who lived near Roanoke. The friend inspected the Buick and was so impressed that he sent a report to Puff saying, “If this is the kind of car you want, you had better grab it.”
Puff contacted the owner and informed him that he wanted the 1970 Buick LeSabre Custom and he would send him $1,000 as a deposit. The owner said that wouldn’t be necessary, however, Puff sent the money anyway.
On June 2, 2010 Puff made the 200-mile journey to Roanoke towing an enclosed trailer to take ownership of the Buick. It is one of 35,641 such models built that year. The 80-inch-wide, 54.7-inch-high Buick LeSabre Custom, rolling on a 124-inch wheelbase, was loaded onto the trailer and securely tied down.
On the way home to Centreville, Va., with the 3,921-pound Buick in the trailer, Puff encountered what he describes as the worst rain storm that he has ever had the misfortune in which to drive. As he motored through the Shenandoah Valley he was lucky to be near a rest stop where he could get off the rain-soaked highway and sit out the storm.
When he arrived home and opened the trailer he got good news. The trailer had leaked not one single drop of water on the pristine Buick.
“I would like to drive this car every day,” Puff says.