QOTD: Estate Sale Miracle! Can You Identify This?

When I read about this on the C Body Forum, I thought, “The odds of this happening are approaching Powerball levels!”  I myself would have passed right by it.  But somebody knew the secret, and made the buy of a lifetime . . .

There are at least 3 factors at play here:

  1.  The item in question survived in excellent condition;
  2.  It was made available for purchase at an estate sale;
  3.  A person went to the sale, knew what it was, and bought it.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

In 1955, Dodge offered a super-deluxe 2-door hardtop model with special paint and trim.  Christened “La Femme”, it was designed to appeal to upscale women.  A previous CC post provides more details.


Standard equipment included a shoulder bag purse complete with matching accessories–and our lucky estate sale shopper just happened to find one–with the accessories!  After finding it, he scoured the entire sale looking for more car stuff.  But there wasn’t any, and no ’55 Dodge La Femme automobile in sight either!


Purse and accessories on display at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.


Special seatback compartments were designed to fit the purse.


The La Femme model was offered again in 1956, but the unique purse was dropped.  According to this article I found, only 600 La Femmes were produced.

And, like the ultra-rare silver tumblers and perfume atomizer that came with each $13,000 1957-58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, little trinkets like these quickly get lost or damaged, especially when the cars become used-car “has-beens” and traded to new owners.


It’s hard to know what the value of a fine example of the 1955 La Femme purse and accessories would be.  I’m presuming our buyer paid just a few bucks for it.  But apparently there was an eBay listing in 2011 for just the purse with a Buy It Now of $4500!  Whether it actually sold for that I can’t determine.  A surviving 1955 Dodge La Femme is rare enough, but having the car with the purse and et cetera would, I imagine, significantly enhance the car’s value.


Did I ever tell you that I found a $20 bill in a 50 cent tobacco tin at a garage sale once?


The world is filled with hidden treasures;  you just have to be in the right place at the right time (and know what to look for).  If you were at the sale, would you have known what it was?