KTIV News 4 was the first to tell you about the rare Lambrecht Auto Chevy collection in Pierce, Nebraska. With so much media coverage, the collection and auction are drawing world-wide attention. Car enthusiasts are chomping at the bit to get a look at the inventory.
Every piece of the Lambrecht Chevy collection will be sold to the highest bidder at the end of the month. Besides posters, parts, and pieces, the collection includes 500 cars and about 50 of them are brand new. They've never been sold, titled, or even driven.
For car enthusiasts, it's a dream come true, but for non-collectors you got to look past the dirt, dust, and rust to see the real beauty underneath. Many are wondering how much these priceless pieces of automotive memorabilia will go for at the auction.
To help us put a price tag on this automotive time capsule, we talked to the experts at Okoboji Classic Cars in Milford, Iowa.
Toby Shine loves cars, all kinds. They are his life, buying, selling, restoring, and displaying them. His collection includes some real classics, like Corvettes, Mustangs, Impalas, and Bel Airs. Shine is missing a few he'd like to have, but he knows where to find them. They're hiding in Pierce, Nebraska as part of the Lambrecht Auto Chevy collection.
"There's a car in there that's one of the first Suburban ever made," says Shine. "It's going to be a neat car to put on display somewhere."
This old rust bucket is just one of several in the car collection that Shine just might bid on.
"I'm just really excited to get out there and get a look at the cars," says Shine. "It's going to be an event. It's more than just an auction."
The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of the Lambrecht urban legend is drawing world-wide interest. As many as 10,000 people are expected to converge on the town of 1,700 in late September for the auction. It'll be a sale like never before.
"If this sale were being held anywhere in the United States, I assure you, that we would want to go to it," says Shine.
Shine says this rare collection of 500 cars, 50 of which have never even been driven, is unheard of.
"It gives you goose bumps just thinking about them," says Shine.
Many of them look almost road-ready.
"I think you could put a battery in them and change the gas and probably drive them," says Shine.
The ones that look like real clunkers will obviously need a little more work. Which is no sweat for Shine, since he owns one of the biggest restoration shops in northwest Iowa. His guys at Okoboji Classic Cars pour hours of work into bringing old cars back to life.
"Anything someone wants to bring in we take," says Ken Potter, the shop manager.
From muscle cars to family sedans, they've restored them all. These guys really know their cars, inside and out.
So who better to ask than these experts the value of some of these incredibly rare vehicles and what it would take to restore them to their original beauty.
One car in the Lambrecht collection is a '56 Chevy 4-door station wagon. It's been sitting in a Nebraska grove for dozens of years. It looks like a real jalopy.
"This body looks in very good shape," says Potter. "All the glass is still in it. It's got some interior issues and a little bit of rust on the floor."
But Potter says it's very restorable. As for the cost to make it shine again?
"You could look at $20,000 restoration or you could look at $100,000 depending on how you want it to come out," says Shine.
And with station wagons making a U-turn in popularity, it'll go for a pretty penny at the auction.
Many people have their eye on the '58 Cameo pick-up truck in the collection. Chevy didn't make a lot of them. The odometer reads just one mile on it. Also, it has a rare fiberglass top which makes it a popular model with collectors.
"It's unheard of," says Potter. "You just don't see this anywhere anymore and I'm sure there are more out there, but we don't see them. That's crazy."
For comparison, there is a similar one on EBay with a thousand miles that's going for $65,000.
A '63 cherry-red Chevy Impala has peaked the interested of car enthusiasts. Plastic is still covering the seats and it's only been driven 11 miles. Brand new, this car would have cost you $3,200 50 years ago. But now? It'll cost you 15 times that.
And someone could be the very first owner of a '78 Indy Pace Car Corvette with four miles.
So why is it such a big deal to be the first owner of these new, but old cars?
"It's a passion," says Potter. "It's a competition with your friends."
Potter says people are willing to pay a pretty penny for bragging rights.
"It depends on how bad somebody wants it," says Potter.
And with no known comparisons, it's nearly impossible to predict how much someone will plunk down for one of these would be clunkers.
"There's no purer way in the world to tell you what a car is worth than what it brings at an auction," says Shine.
But whatever the price, whatever the reason, each car will have a new home and the buyer will have a piece of automotive history.
And you, too, could be the owner of a piece of the Lambrecht Chevy collection. The upcoming auction is open to the public. The two day sale is Saturday, September 28th and Sunday the 29th. Gates open at 6:30 am the day of the auction and onsite and online bidding begins at 9:30. The preview day is Friday, September 27th from 8:30 am to 8 PM. For more information about the auction, visit VanDerBrink Auctions.
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