Car enthusiast’s collection to be auction off, benefit Pfeiffer

By Karen Kistler, Salisbury Post

To those who knew Joseph Scott Shaver, he was described as a shy, quiet man with a love for his cars.

Shaver died unexpectedly on Nov. 24, 2023, at the age of 77, but his legacy will live on through that car collection. His collection was bequeathed to his beloved alma mater and is set to be auctioned off Friday and Saturday in Greensboro.

Shaver liked to be called Scott by his friends, said Tonya Judge, the director of alumni and community engagement at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, where he graduated in 1969.

He went on to graduate school, earning his doctorate at the University of Florida and becoming an analytical chemist, said Mike Riemann, one of Shaver’s professors at Pfeiffer, who remembers him as a shy individual who would often visit his office and ask lots of questions.

Shaver was smart, Judge said, and came to Pfeiffer right after graduating from high school. While he was good at technology, he didn’t want to have a computer in his home, saying he would waste too much time playing around on it and therefore would visit the school’s library to check emails and other necessary things.

Riemann said he had been to the University of Florida himself to do research and he was able to share some advice about the school, noting that “coming from a small school, it’s not always easy to adjust to a larger school, but he did quite well.”

Following graduate school, Shaver went on to Washington D.C. to work for a government agency, and after developing an allergic condition to what he was working with, Shaver returned to Salisbury and worked locally, Riemann said.

The two kept in touch over the years, he said, just visiting and talking about everyday facts. In fact the two visited just a week before Shaver died.

Riemann said that Shaver was “very loyal to his community. He was proud of Salisbury and his connections to it and his connections to Pfeiffer” and that can be seen by his actions.

“He left his estate to the school,” said Judge.

However, plans on how the money will be used at the college are uncertain at this time as Judge said, “everything is new to us. We are just in the process of finding out more about it.”

Shaver grew up as the only child on a family farm, located on West Innes Street, and Judge told the story he passed along to her. He joked about his dad saying he would only pay him a penny per pound to pick cotton so he knew when he got old enough and graduated, he didn’t want to work on the farm.

He loved the farm, and as shared in a previous article from the Three Rivers Land Trust, the 165-acre Shaver Farm was donated by him for permanent conservation.

He also had a great love for his muscle cars, and these prized possessions are being auctioned off over the weekend.

Riemann said he thought Shaver had 11 of these cars, and they were all “in pristine condition. They were beautiful,” and he maintained them and hand waxed them.

Judge likewise said he kept the cars in meticulous shape and kept them garaged.

“He had probably three or four double garages,” she said.

Shaver never married and never had children, Judge said, but “his love of cars and the passion for them, the cars were like his children. He was very proud of them and he liked to go to car shows and show them off.”

And not only did he keep the cars in garages, but he also collected extra replacement parts for each car in case he needed them and had them on the walls right in front of each car. Some parts were hard to find and so he kept them on hand.

“He was a planner, so he planned ahead on everything,” Judge said.

Shaver did take the cars out to car shows on weekends, a different one each event, Riemann said.

“They were his family, the guys who had the muscle cars.”

Shaver lived a quiet, private life, Judge said, and a simple one, telling that if you went out to lunch with him he would always order a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of water.

However, he spoke loud and clear about how he felt about his hometown, his family farm and the college he loved as he remembered them.

“Yes, that would be Scott,” Riemann said.

The Greensboro Auto Auction featuring Shaver’s vehicles is taking place this weekend. Visit www.gaaclassiccars.com to see the entire collection.

Karen Kistler is a writer for The Salisbury Post. She can be reached at karen.kistler@salisburypost.com.