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OK, it wasn't an HP-65, it was a 1971 Z28 Camaro and the buyer was John Schnatter of Louisville, KY, AKA Papa John of Papa John's pizza. John sold that very same car in 1983 to rescue his father's business, and he always dreamed of getting the car back one day. Well, today it happened.

So when you see an HP-41 or HP-71 sell for $800 or so, it just means that it was worth it to the individual who bought it.

I am not lucky with the estate sale bargains people boast about. I have paid at times too much for a piece and have often thrown quite a bit of money at Randy for repair or occasionally rerepair since I have no talent for such things though I pretend I do--i.e., once Randy refixes the HP-97 I recently buggered up through folly, I will be into that machine for about 400 or 500 bucks since I first got it. But 400 bucks for an HP-65 in good cosmetic and working condition with manuals is worth it, consider the original msrp of 800 in 1974 dollars and its historical importance.

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But 400 bucks for an HP-65 in good cosmetic and working condition with manuals is worth it

I agree, Les. In fact, I paid close to that for just such an HP-65 two or three years ago, and I have gotten as much joy from that grand old machine as Papa John will get from the car of his youth!

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HP-65 goes for $250,000

Posted by Don Shepherd on 25 Aug 2009, 7:20 p.m.

OK, it wasn't an HP-65, it was a 1971 Z28 Camaro and the buyer was John Schnatter of Louisville, KY, AKA Papa John of Papa John's pizza. John sold that very same car in 1983 to rescue his father's business, and he always dreamed of getting the car back one day. Well, today it happened.


Seeing an HP-41CV and an HP-34C for sale in a used-electronics store in 2002 got me started in collecting the fine (and expensive) HP calc's of yesteryear. I had coveted the unaffordable HP-41 as a teenager and been intrigued by the HP-34C shortly thereafter, then bought an HP-15C in 1983, turning down the HP-34C I had set out to buy. It's a powerful draw to acquire valued trappings of youth that were lost or never obtained.

Certainly, however, mass-produced examples of those two calc's did not compare even remotely to John Schnatter's particular prized car. It must be comfortable to have a quarter-million dollars of discretionary income (and certainly much more) to indulge such a wish.


Off-topic...

As for the 1971 Camaro itself: It is of the 1970-81 body style that I never found particularly handsome. The original 1967-68 and the crisp 1969 models are generally much more desired, to my knowledge.

It's also understandable why a young man would want to have a 12-year-old American "muscle car" Camaro in 1983 instead of a newer one. Cars in the early 1980's were virtually emasculated in order to comply with tough new emissions and fuel-economy regulations, before advanced automotive technology came along in the mid-1980's. A modest 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI was quicker, 0-60 miles per hour, than a base 4-cylinder 1983 Camaro.

-- KS

Edited: 26 Aug 2009, 12:24 a.m.