I love cars; always have.
No one was more anxious to turn 16 than me so that I could get a driver’s license. Finally, when the day arrived, my mom took me to the Brookings Country Courthouse to put an end to my anxiety. I zipped through the written test but, during the driving part, with the examiner sitting next to me, I nervously but carefully pulled out of the courthouse parking but apparently failed to make a complete stop before entering the street. That brain fart brought a groan from the examiner and a realization for me that, even though I’d been illegally driving for a year delivering groceries for the local food store, I was about to be given a big fat fail. To make matters worse, my buddy, Don, who not only had his license but a beautiful Mercury car, asked, that night, to see my new license as we drove to Castlewood to meet up with our girlfriends. All I had was the yellow certificate which would have satisfied most inquirers but Don noticed that it didn’t have the official stamp and seal. The jig was up and I had to confess about flunking.
My mom, bless her heart, somehow convinced the examiner to waive the usual 7day waiting period and let me re-take the test the next day. I made darn sure I stopped this time and passed with flying colors.
I couldn’t wait to show Don my fully notarized license.
Don shared my love of automobiles but he actually possessed the ability to work on them and make repairs if need be. He also talked me into helping him build a genuine hot rod out of an old Model T shell located behind a shop his dad owned. I wasn’t much help during the construction process but it was sure fun..albiet a bit scary..to drive the thing when it was done.
This is the hot rod that Don and I ..well mostly Don..built in the early sixties. We eventually sold it to Denny Nagel who is seen here behind the wheel. Sadly he doesn’t know what happened to it.
My first car was a 1949 Ford that belonged to my Uncle Arnold and Aunt Mabel. It was anything but cool, but got me through the first few years of my early married life. Next, was a 1959 Thunderbird that had belonged to a friend. It was gorgeous and absolutely fantastic to drive but it had a bad engine and was a money pit. Next was a 1967 Mustang..a car I’d dreamed about since they first came out in 1964. It was fine until an accident on the way to Milwaukee one winter. My friend, Don, actually fixed the damage but the car was never the same.
Since then, I’ve owned a fleet of Lincolns, an MGB, and a Chevy Camaro Z 28..none of which were what you might call “classics” but still designed to turn a few heads which is fun.
As mentioned, I have a real limited mechanical ability but I love watching others work on cars and tune-in all those TV shows that feature automobile restoration and repair.
Okay, so where you going with this Lund?
Well, many years ago, Linda and I were enjoying a distilled beverage with our desert daughter in a Phoenix, Arizona watering hole. A gentleman seated next to me struck up a conversation about the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction taking place that week just up the road in Scottsdale. When he learned we were from the Midwest and that I was a TV news guy, he perked up and asked if I’d ever heard of a dealership in Nebraska with a huge number of brand new vehicles that have been tucked away in storage; some for over fifty years. He then proceeded to tell me this tale about an old guy and his wife who had run a highly successful Chevy dealership in Pierce, Nebraska since 1946. If a new car didn’t sell, they’d park it in the warehouse and pretty much forget about it. I had my doubts about the validity of this fella’s claims which, if true, would amount to the Holy Grail for collectors. But my affinity for automobiles and the reporter in me pressed for more information. Unfortunately, that was about all he knew. He’d never actually seen any of the cars but swore they were there.
The internet back then wasn’t quite as advanced as today and I didn’t have much luck searching for information about this mysterious stash of new\old vehicles and I pretty much wrote off the guy’s story….until just a few weeks ago when I learned that the car collection not only exists but is going to be sold at auction at the end of September.
Warehouses are jammed with new old cars. Most have never been licensed or driven more than a mile or two.
Yvette VanDerBrink, “the little Nordstrom gal” who grew up in Garretson and whose dad and brother run Nordstroms auto recyclers, will conduct the sale and has unveiled a couple videos on her web site about this automotive time capsule. VanDerBrink Auctions
Ted and Mildred Lambrecht, who owned and operated the dealership until 1996, are both in their 90’s now and decided to let everything..including thousands of car parts and automobilia..go to the highest bidder at the Pierce, Nebraska golf course September 28th and 29.th
Mildred behind the wheel of a first year Chevy Corvette in 1953.
Ray behind the parts desk of his dealership. He was one of GM’s top Chevy franchises from 1946 to 1996. That’s his son Mark on the left and Roy the mechanic.
What follows are more photos of this incredible discovery and sale which promises to bring-in collectors from all over the country and hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Lambrecht family.
A 1959 Chevy sees the light of day for the first time in over fifty years. It’s dusty dirty but Yvette says it still has that new car smell when you open the door.
Imagine the feeling of driving off in a brand new 55 Chevy. (I’ve been advised this is a 56 not 55)
With just ONE mile on her.
How about being the first owner of this Vette?
Never had the plastic seat protectors removed.
Nor has this sixties era Impala.
While many of the new old cars have been indoors..some were not.
Ray and Mildred’s kids had the ultimate pedal car; a 53 Corvette.It’s for sale too.
I sure wouldn’t mind attending this sale but I can’t find our checkbook.