Harry Gross: Sell or play with wife's inherited Pierce-Arrow?

DEAR HARRY: My wife's uncle was a widower with no children. Last month, my wife got a letter from his lawyer telling her that she was his nearest relative and had inherited his entire estate. We went to visit his farm just outside Honey Brook with a real-estate appraiser to see what she had inherited. We discovered an old Pierce-Arrow car in his barn that he kept in mint condition. I guess he rarely used it because of the culture of his area. The odometer reads only 3,200 miles. My wife wants to sell it, but I'd like to keep it as an antique car for fun and appreciation. It's worth in the area of $40,000 now, and we don't need the money.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: The Pierce-Arrow was a luxury car competing with the Cadillac and Packard. There were few foreign cars here in its heyday. Remember, despite that low mileage figure (could it be wrong?), the upkeep could be murder. To begin with, you'll probably need new wheels to go with new tires, and other parts may be hard to get or may even have to be created from scratch. I believe that there's a Pierce-Arrow Society that can give a you a lot of info on maintenance and value. Keeping such a car could be more nuisance than it's worth. By the way, this is your wife's car, and her opinions should bear more weight than yours.


Email Harry Gross at harrygross@phillynews.com or write to him at Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, Box 8263 Philadelphia, PA 19101. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.