Daughter of Lambrecht Chevy owner discusses father's wishes to s - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Daughter of Lambrecht Chevy owner discusses father's wishes to sell vehicles

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PIERCE, NE (KTIV) -

After a whirlwind weekend of wheeling and dealing at the Lambrecht auto auction in Pierce, Nebraska, it's time to take stock of this one-of-a-kind event...by the numbers.

The most expensive vehicle was the 1958 Chevy Cameo pickup, which sold for $140,000.

The least expensive was a Ford Fiesta which went for $150.

That "kiddie Corvette" pedal car sold to an online buyer in New York for $16,000.

While no one is saying how much money the auction generated, online auction house Proxibid says 5,000 registered bidders showed up on site to try and take one of those cars and trucks home.  Another 5,500 bid online.  Those online bidders came from 22 countries outside the United States including Japan, Germany, and Sweden.

Many want to know why Ray Lambrecht held back his inventory and stock piled so many cars.
KTIV'S Sarah Te Slaa sat down with his daughter and shows us the legacy Ray Lambrecht left behind.

As cars are carted away, all the action from the Lambrecht Chevy auction slowly winds down.

Buyers took home the bits, pieces, parts, and cars of Ray and Mildred Lambrecht's collection.  Their daughter, Jeannie Stillwell, reflects on the last few emotional days.

"For dad, it was kind of bittersweet.  He approves of the auction and he's very happy with how everything has progressed, but it was 50 years of his life in business, and there were some emotional moments watching the cars coming out of the dealership and heading towards the auction site," Stillwell said.

But it was time for Ray and Mildred's nest egg of 500 classic cars to go.  

"We had always planned to have an auction one day but my parents are in their 90s now, and we just felt it was time," said Stillwell.

With such a unique and rare collection, many are left wondering why.  Why did Ray keep so many cars?

"There's really no mystery to it.  My dad was a smart businessman and he knew all the cars would appreciate in value and he knew that they would be worth more one day to collectors," Stillwell explained.

And he was right.  The auction drew thousands from all over the world to the small town of Pierce.  But Ray's legacy and business motto began 50 years ago when the Lambrecht's opened up their Chevy dealership.

"My dad loved to sell new cars.  That was his priority was to sell new cars, especially families with young kids for safety and reliability reasons he wanted to put them into a new car."

Ray would keep the trade-ins and year old models which he stowed away for safe keeping.

Ray and Mildred lived through the Great Depression which Jeannie says shaped their views and values.     

"It changed people forever and that was part of my parents' philosophy was to save-never throw anything away and so that's part of the collection process."

His collection grew, as did his business, and he kept his customers coming back.  His slogan: "It will pay to see Ray."

"He lived by that slogan and he actually put his customers first," Stillwell said.

Stillwell describes her parents as hard working, honest and humble.  In fact, they never drove a new car, only trade-ins, even though he owned dozens of brand new, and nearly new, vehicles.

"I asked Dad one time why he wouldn't drive a new Corvette and he said 'why?'"

And now that 'why' has been answered.  Others, too, see the value in his prized collection.  And pieces of the Lambrecht Chevy collection will be loved by so many around the world.

"I think it's a wonderful legacy for the Lambrecht Chevrolet company and for the people that purchased a vehicle here they have a piece of Lambrecht Chevrolet," Stillwell said.

Stillwell also said she and her family would love to hear from people who bought cars at the auction and how they plan to love them as much as they have.

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