Any car nut worth his weight in grease dreams of the barn find. It's the classic car you find for sale undisturbed in a barn or garage. In this dream, one finds an amazing vehicle under a layer of blankets and dust, a time capsule representing the joys of motoring from years gone by. You negotiate with the owner and pay a ridiculously small price for the car. A little fresh gas in the tank, then you and the car amble off onto the blacktop.
If you happen to be anywhere near Pierce, Neb. on September 28 and 29 you may be able to purchase one of those dreams. Over that weekend VanDerBrink Auctions will be selling more than 500 classic cars and trucks from the Lambrecht Chevrolet Company collection. These are not restored show pieces or one-of-a-kind concept vehicles. There is really nothing special or unique about these cars, other than many of them are still new.
There's a 1963 Impala two-door hardtop with 11 miles on it. Another one to consider would be the 1958 Apache 1/2 ton pickup with five miles showing on the odometer. How about a 1978 Corvette Indy Pace car with five miles on the clock? If that's too used up for you, try to get the 1958 Cameo pickup with 1.3 miles on it. Many of the cars have the original plastic still covering the interior. Some may still have the original motor oil in their engines. All in all, there are 48 vehicles with less than 20 miles on them.
For folks that don't necessarily like GM products, there are many non-Chevrolet trade-ins up for sale as well.
Ray Lambrecht is the man that accumulated all these vehicles. Ray and his wife Mildred opened their Chevy dealership in Pierce in 1946. They ran the store as a team, with Ray doing the selling and Mildred keeping books and running for parts. They had one employee, a mechanic. As the dealership grew, unsold trade-ins and previous model-year new cars accumulated. All these cars were meant to be sold, but for one reason or another never found a home. Many of the unsold units were moved out to a field behind the dealership, others were moved from parking spot to parking spot. Ray closed the doors in 1996, but kept the land, the buildings, and all the cars he had accumulated. Ray, now 95, and Mildred, 92, have decided to auction their inventory of cars. According to their daughter Jeannie, the decision was a difficult and painful one.
Some of the cars have been in a Nebraska farm field for decades, and could be considerable restoration projects. There are many that have been indoors for virtually their entire existence. There is already talk that in the future some of them might be more valuable just because they came from the Lambrecht collection.
For a car nut, this could well be a once-in-a-lifetime event. The sheer volume of cars, and their condition, is the stuff of urban legend.
Maybe even the ultimate barn find.