In 1951 Walter Zebel, a lifelong resident of Manawa, purchased a brand new 1951 Buick Special Riviera hardtop from Waupaca Motor Sales. Over the next 60 years, only 20,470 miles were put on the car, and Zebel was the only owner of the car.
That changed recently. After Zebel passed away, his niece Diana Kohlbeck of Appleton helped settle Zebel’s estate, and asked Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa to publicize the availability of the Buick throughout the United States.
The Buick was eventually purchased by Brad Randel of Sacremento, Calif. for $22,700. Randel became aware of the car after seeing it lised on Shane Hanke’s Waupaca based website www.shanes-british-classics.com.
John Gunnell, owner of Gunner’s Great Garage, said the 1951 Buick was one of Zemple’s most prized possessions and that he took great care of the vehicle, using it sparingly and showing it on occasion at the Iola Old Car Show.
On Saturday, Dec. 17, Carl Wallin, of Reliable Carriers, Inc., picked up the car from Gunner’s Great Garage to take it to its new owner in California. Randel is only the second owner of the car.