Rare car auction attracts huge crowd - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rare car auction attracts huge crowd

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PIERCE, Neb. (KTIV) - The Lambrecht auto collection just might be the best kept secret in Pierce, Nebraska. Everybody in town knows about it and now car lovers around the world are talking about it.

When you open the doors to Lambrecht Chevrolet Company, it's like a step back in time.

"It's pretty amazing that it's pretty much just how it was," says Yvette VanDerBrink, with VanDerBrink Auctions. 

Books are still stacked on the counter and car parts fill the stock room of Lambrecht Chevrolet in Pierce, Nebraska.  Not much has changed since the dealership closed 17 years ago.  But if you head past the clutter and into the old showroom, that's where you'll find the stuff urban legends are made of.  An automotive time capsule so rare and so valuable it's hard to believe it actually exists.

"This collection has been an urban legend amongst the Midwest for years about some crazy Chevy dealer who's had cars packed away," says VanDerBrink.  "  Well, he isn't crazy and he's a great guy and a great family, but it is true."

That dealer was Ray Lambrecht. During his 50 years in the business, he sold a lot of Chevy's out of his corner dealership in town.

"He just loved to sell cars and his slogan was, 'it pays with Ray,' says VanDerBrink.

While Ray loved to sell cars, he didn't like to sell old ones.

"He wanted people to buy the latest and greatest from Chevrolet and I believe that is part of the reason that he would hold back inventory," says VanDerBrink.

So when customers would trade in, often he wouldn't resell the older cars. The newest models would always get a prominent place in the showroom window. The brand-new, but year-old models he'd keep. That's how Ray's collection grew.

"They've never been sold and that's what makes this collection so rare is that there are so many new, old vehicles in one spot," says VanDerBrink.

There's about 50 of these vintage vehicles that have never been sold, titled, or even driven.

"These are his babies," says VanDerBrink.  "This is his 401K.  This is what's going to take care of them in their older years and like any collector I've worked with these are their children and they mean a lot to them." 

But you've got to look past the years of dirt and dust. Underneath, you'll find the true beauty of these hidden treasures.

"This is unbelievable," says VanDerBrink as she  points out some of the beauties in the dealership.  "You just don't find this thing."

There's an incredibly rare '58 Cameo pickup truck with one mile on it.  The '64 Chevy Impala is a real cherry. Just 11 miles logged on her odometer, the original plastic covers the seats, and the yellowed window sticker still shows what she'd cost you if you bought her new 50 years ago.

"It's a beautiful car," says VanDerBrink.  "It'd be a real nice cruiser."

This is a car lover's dream come true.  But Ray's collection doesn't stop at the dilapidated, corner dealership. Head outside of town to an empty field and the urban legend gets bigger and better. Hidden in the trees you'll find about 400 more amazing automobiles.  From Corvairs and Bel Airs to Chevelles and Biscaynes, some new of them are new, others aren't. 

"Many have seen some Nebraska weather, they have some interior conditions, or they may have some rust on them," says VanDerBrink.

And they are all up for auction. Every single piece of the Lambrecht Chevy collection could be yours.

"I got a lot of emails when this first broke asking 'is this real or is this fake?' because once in a while you do fake stories, but no, this is real.  She's right here," says VanDerBrink.

And she's been hiding underneath this crumbling ceiling long enough.

"This car right here isn't doing anybody any good," says VanDerBrink.  "It needs to be loved and in a collection and enjoyed or showed in a museum. So it's time for them to go to a new home."

Now 95 and 92-years-old, Ray and Mildred Lambrecht won't be able to attend their auction in Pierce, Nebraska, but it is open to the public.  

This incredibly rare auction has put Pierce on the map.  They are expecting between 8,000-10,000 people in the town of only 1,700.  People from all over the world are coming in just to get a piece of the rare, Lambrecht Chevy collection.  

Everything will be sold "as is,"dirt, dust, and all.

"We're not cleaning them and we're not getting them running, because some collectors will want them just as we found them and put them in their collections just like this, while the other guy might wash them up and clean them up, so we are not going to make that determination and sell them as is where is," says VanDerBrink.

The two day auction is Saturday, September 28th and Sunday the 29th.  The preview day is Friday, September 27th from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m..  The gates open at 6:30 a.m. the day of the auction and onsite and online bidding begins at 9:30 in the morning.  For more information, go to VanDerBrink Auction's website. 

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