If you’re a vintage-car enthusiast, Pierce, Neb., is where you need to be this weekend. The small town with a population of 1,800 has been turned into a vintage-car collector’s dreamland as its former local Chevrolet dealership auctions more than 500 classic cars, United Press International reported.
For about 50 years, Ray and Mildred Lambrecht operated Lambrecht Chevrolet until they closed it upon retiring in 1996, Fox News said. Devoted to selling only new cars, Ray Lambrecht would put any vehicle that failed to sell in storage. He would store trade-ins away from the dealership’s lot as well, leading to the collection of more than 500 unsold cars that is now being auctioned -- many of them sporting less than 20 miles on their odometers.
The auction has captured the attention of automobile lovers across the nation. But the hype hasn’t been enough to get Ray Lambrecht to make any comments on his amazing automobile collection. The 96-year-old former dealer has yet to give a single interview about the auction and his decision to finally sell the vehicles.
“These are his children, these are his babies,” said auto auctioneer Yvette VanDerBrink of Hardwick, Minn. “And he wouldn’t let anybody have any of it. It was his, kind of his legacy, and now he’s decided to turn ’em loose and offer them to collectors.”
By Friday, more than 3,600 people from all 50 states and seven different countries had registered to participate in the auction either in person or online, the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald reported. Several thousand potential buyers and car enthusiasts had walked through the auction grounds by mid-afternoon that day, ahead of the two-day auction that began Saturday.
Bel Airs, Cameos, Impalas and, of course, Corvettes are just a few of the models at auction. And online prebidding reached more than $700,000 Friday -- a hint of the excitement surrounding these mobile pieces of American history.