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updated: 9/2/2014 10:52 AM

No words for 1961 LeSabre found through indescript ad

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  • 1961 Buick LeSabre

      1961 Buick LeSabre
    Courtesy of Prestige MotorCar Photography

  • Andy Demco of Round Lake Beach knew he would never find another low-mileage, 1961 Buick in such good shape.

      Andy Demco of Round Lake Beach knew he would never find another low-mileage, 1961 Buick in such good shape.

  • Demco answered an ad for an "old Buick" and discovered a car that had been parked in heated storage for 45 years.

      Demco answered an ad for an "old Buick" and discovered a car that had been parked in heated storage for 45 years.

  • The interior required only light cleaning after Demco purchased the Lesabre.

      The interior required only light cleaning after Demco purchased the Lesabre.

  • The speedometer, which advances left to right, rather than in a semicircle, sends out a 1960s vibe.

      The speedometer, which advances left to right, rather than in a semicircle, sends out a 1960s vibe.

  • The Cordovan Iridescence metallic paint color was only offered by Buick for one model year.

      The Cordovan Iridescence metallic paint color was only offered by Buick for one model year.

  • The "Nailhead" V-8 engine got its name for its small valves that resembled carpentry nails.

      The "Nailhead" V-8 engine got its name for its small valves that resembled carpentry nails.

 
 

It was a touch of discontentment that led Andy Demco to his 1961 Buick LeSabre.

During the late 2000s, he owned a classic 1968 Ford Torino. He found every drive left him feeling less than satisfied.

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"It was a big car paired with a small motor," the Round Lake Beach resident said. "It just wasn't doing the trick."

He had just put it up for sale in 2010 when his sister alerted him about another vehicle listing that she thought her car-loving bro would be interested in. "The ad simply said 'Old Buick for sale.' "

With his curiosity piqued, Demco met up with the family selling the car to learn more. "Their grandfather owned a plumbing business here in Chicago. As the company grew, he would buy different cars to reward himself," Demco said.

The Buick was first purchased in September of 1960 at Ray Buick on W. 63rd Street. "He used it to check on the progress of different job sites. He also drove it to Palatine where he was a volunteer firefighter."

In 1962 the Buick, which had accumulated 9,100 miles, was parked. Its replacement was a shiny new 1963 Lincoln Continental. A year and 8,600 miles later, a comfier Cadillac was the new acquisition. "Unbeknown to the family, he put both (Buick and Lincoln) in a heated warehouse and left them. They were left forgotten and undisturbed for 45 years."

After the grandfather passed, the family began going through the storage facility. They uncovered both parked side by side under a tarp and covered by boxes. "The family remembered the cars but thought he had sold or traded them. They were simply lost in time."

Other than some dry-rotted tires, the vehicles were in like-new condition. "You always hear about these kinds of finds but never know they're true," Demco said.

Demco's father drove Buicks and the auto enthusiast was enamored with this Cordovan Iridescence metallic-colored LeSabre. "The paint is a Buick exclusive color and only offered one year."

Other curiosities include a working radio, compete with vacuum tubes and the original silver laced "starlight" carpet.

To make sure his Detroit beauty was in tiptop shape, the 364-cubic-inch "Nailhead" engine was removed and serviced. The Dyna Flow transmission and oil pans were also removed and found to be spotless. The carburetor, fuel pump and generator were rebuilt and the bumpers were rechromed.

"I knew I would never find another car from this time period with this kind of mileage," he said.

While doing some light cleaning on the all-original interior, Demco found some clues that add to the car and owner's past. "Under the back seat were Air France and Pan Am luggage tags."

With the rolling treasure unearthed, Demco enjoys getting it back out on the open road. "It drives like a cloud. It handles extremely well -- better than my modern driver."

He has also invited the original owner's family out to see the Buick.

"After seeing it in the light, it brought back a flood of memories. They said it looked just like the day when grandpa bought it."

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