Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction: The Story of a Legendary Car Collection

If you are a fan of classic cars, you may have heard of the Lambrecht Chevrolet auction, a once-in-a-lifetime event that took place in 2013.

It was the sale of over 500 vehicles from a small-town dealership in Pierce, Nebraska, that had been collecting dust for decades.

Some of these cars were brand new, never sold or driven, with only a few miles on the odometer. Others were trade-ins that were never resold, but stored away in a field or a warehouse.

The auction attracted thousands of bidders and spectators from all over the world, who were eager to witness the history and mystery of the Lambrecht Chevrolet collection.

A picture showcasing the  Lambrecht Chevrolet Auctioning in 2013.[photo courtesy: CNN]
The Lambrecht Chevrolet auction was more than just a sale of old cars.[photo courtesy: CNN]

Lambrecht Chevrolet Company

The man behind the collection was Ray P. Lambrecht, who owned and operated Lambrecht Chevrolet Company from 1946 to 1996, along with his wife Mildred and a single mechanic.

Lambrecht was a savvy businessman who had a passion for cars and trucks.

He was known for offering the lowest prices and the best service to his customers, many of whom were his friends and neighbors.

A picture of Ray P. Lambrecht[photo courtesy: The New York Times]
Lambrecht was a savvy businessman who had a passion for cars and trucks.[photo courtesy: The New York Times]
He also had a unique policy of not selling his used cars or his unsold new cars.

Lambrecht believed that new cars were safer and more reliable than used ones, and he wanted to keep his inventory fresh and updated.

He would move any car that did not sell within a year to a storage area, where it would remain untouched until he decided to sell it.

He also kept some of his trade-ins, especially if they were rare or interesting models.

Over the years, he amassed a huge collection of vehicles, ranging from 1950s Chevys to 1980s pickups.

Lambrecht Cars Restored

In 2013, Lambrecht decided to retire and sell his entire collection at an auction organized by VanDerBrink Auctions.

The auction was held on September 28-29 at a farm near Pierce, Nebraska.

The auction generated a lot of media attention and public interest, as it was a rare opportunity to see and buy some of the most pristine and original classic cars in existence. Some of the highlights of the auction included:

  • A 1958 Chevrolet Cameo pickup with 1.3 miles, sold for $140,000
A picture of the 1958 Chevrolet Cameo pickup with 1.3 miles, sold for $140,000[ photo courtesy: old Cars Weekly]
1958 Chevrolet Cameo [ photo courtesy: old Cars Weekly]
  • A 1964 Chevrolet Impala with 4 miles, sold for $97,500
A picture of the1964 Chevrolet Impala with 4 miles, sold for $97,500[ photo courtesy: Getty images]
1964 Chevrolet Impala[ photo courtesy: Getty images]
  • A 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza with 17 miles, sold for $42,000
A picture of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza with 17 miles, sold for $42,000.[photo courtesy: Old Cars Weekly]
1963 Chevrolet Corvair [photo courtesy: Old Cars Weekly]
  • A 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Edition with 4 miles, sold for $80,000
  • A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Sedan with 19 miles, sold for $62,000

Many of the buyers of the Lambrecht cars were collectors who wanted to preserve them as they were, with their original paint, tires, and paperwork.

However, some of them also wanted to restore them and bring them back to life. For example, Gerald and Betty Hixson, who had bought their 1957 Bel Air from Lambrecht in 1957 and traded it back in 1968, managed to buy it back at the auction for $14,000. They then restored it to its former glory with the help of Petersen Body Shop.

Another example is Dean Sparks, who bought a 1959 Bel Air at the auction for $10,000. He then restored it himself in his garage and documented the process in a time-lapse video.

Lambrecht Collection

The Lambrecht Chevrolet auction was a historic event that showcased the legacy of a remarkable car dealer and his collection.

It also sparked a renewed interest in classic cars and their preservation.

The Lambrecht collection is now dispersed among various owners who cherish and appreciate their vehicles as pieces of automotive history.

Some of them have donated or loaned their cars to museums or exhibitions, such as the National Corvette Museum or the Pierce Historical Society.

Others have driven or displayed their cars at car shows or events, such as the Hot Rod Power Tour or the Lambrecht Reunion.

The Lambrecht collection is a testament to the love and dedication that Ray Lambrecht had for his cars and his customers.

Conclusion

The Lambrecht Chevrolet auction was more than just a sale of old cars.

It was a celebration of a lifetime of work and passion by Ray Lambrecht, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 99.

His collection was not only impressive in its size and quality, but also in its diversity and uniqueness.

It represented the history and culture of American car manufacturing and consumption in the mid-20th century.

It also inspired many car enthusiasts and collectors to appreciate and preserve these vehicles as valuable artifacts.

The Lambrecht Chevrolet auction was an unforgettable event that will be remembered for years to come by those who witnessed it or participated in it.

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