Air-Cooled Mother-lode In Iowa!

VW Collection In Iowa

Update 4/26/16 – After contacting the auction house, we’ve heard back and now have some addition information and photos! From Jodi at Hoge Auctioneering – About the seller; His dad was the original owner of the cars. This the cars have been stored in a old lumber yard barn for many years.  Dart (son) has worked on Volkswagen cars since his was a young boy. Many parts- doors, hoods, engines, transmissions along with the cars will be selling at this 2 day auction. Additional photos have been added to the end of the post!

Hiding in a barn outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a rather odd collection of cars to find in the American Heartland. Rather than a barn full of Fords or Chevys, this barn is packed with air cooled Volkswagens and mountains of spare parts. There are 25 cars in total and possibly thousands of parts. If you need a project to work on or parts for one your already working on, this collection is set to be auctioned off by Hoge Auctioneering on June 11th.

VW Collection

If you are a VW nut, this looks like a must attend event! I see a few desirable models, such as convertible Karmann Ghias and Beetles, plus a bay window truck!

VW Beetles

Even if you aren’t looking for a project to restore, you might want to attend just to buy some parts. The auction house is still sorting through all the parts, so we don’t know what all is here, but given all the piles of parts there definitely has to be some good stuff here!

VW Barn Finds

If we were closer to Iowa, we would definitely be attending this event! Even if we didn’t come home with anything, it would be fun to just go and have a look. So are any of you going to attend? Special thanks to Jim S for this tip! You can read more about this collection here on Hemmings.


WANTED 1972. -1975 Chev Vega or sunbird BuickSkHacke Chevrolet Vega or sunbird skyHack Just need abody Contact


WANTED 1988-1989 Chrysler Conquest TSI Wanted. Prefer Red. Will travel nationwide for vehicle. Contact

WANTED 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible Looking for the rear seats or bare frames. Must be from a convertible which are smaller. Contact

WANTED 1966-1970 Dodge W300 W500 Crew Cab Looking for a late 60s Dodge Crew Cab for complete restoration project. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Jeff Staff

    I would love to own that stake-bed Transporter. I’m also a fan of the green Ghia convertible. Nice find!

  2. Matt B

    How would he not know, man, its maybe two to three hours from Le Claire, or is he spending all of his time in Nashville these days?

    I’ll take a squareback or type two please, color doesn’t matter. :) Amazing collection!

  3. Mike H. Mike H.

    Goodness! According to the auctioneer’s website they have “Several Beatles & Supper Beatles”. I wonder if they’ll have any Harrison’s and Starr’s, or if it will mostly be Lennon’s & McCartney’s like all of the other Beatle auctions?

    Not sure what a “Supper Beatle” is. . . Perhaps it’s an effigy of one or more of them eating? Beatles did have to eat, didn’t they?

    • RichC

      I see that they also have listed a 1972 Karmann Ch-ch-ch-chia convertible. I guess it converts from no top to a fuzzy green top.

    • Db

      They don’t actually Eat, so much as draw blood. Time to time ;-)

  4. Paul

    Ill be there! Right near me and im looking at that Ghia with gotta have it eyes! Lol

  5. Tim

    So the owner can get ripped off?

  6. Blindmarc

    The owner probably already told woof & fatty frank to go away……id like a descent one of any model, a motor is easy to come by.

  7. R Wingert

    Having owned a Beetle from Iowa, I’d say there is probably more rust than car in most cases. Sure would be fun to pick through, though.

  8. roger

    I am searching for beetle for V8 swap right now.

  9. D. King

    This article starts, “Hiding in a barn outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a rather odd collection of cars to find in the American Heartland.” When we started looking for a home in Arkansas several years ago, I was astonished at how many old Beetles we saw. They were on the road, in parking lots, abandoned in fields, etc. It wasn’t at all unusual to see 10 or more in a weekend! I still don’t understand it, but now that we live in the Hot Springs area, we still see lots. There’s a large VW show in Little Rock that invites Porsches to exhibit, too, and we’ve shown both of ours (356 and 997). It’s not what I expected from this area…but I’m glad to see ’em rolling!

  10. Dolphin Member

    Back in the ’60s VW ran ads in magazines that were unique: funny, self-deprecating, and almost always pretty plain, usually in B&W. They were very different from the brightly colored ads for US cars that showed the cars and people at upscale places and houses. There have been books written about that ad campaign.

    You would not believe that the VW ads would have any chance of working, but they did—bigtime. It was partly because VWs were very cheap to buy—about $1,795 at one time (displayed prominently in some of the ads), cheap to run, reliable, and different. They were from Europe at a time when Euro cars were often unreliable to the point of things falling off them. I won’t name brands, but I think we can all guess what they were. It probably didn’t hurt that they came from Germany, and that most of the ads were ‘different’ and put a smile on your face.

    The VW Beetle and its elegant-looking-but-Beetle-under-the-skin pretty sister, the Karmann Ghia, were so different, and they were advertised in such a low key way, that they succeeded beyond most peoples’ imagination. And with the largest car market in the world there were bound to be hundreds of thousands of people who liked what VW had to offer, especially when the price of admission—and upkeep—were so cheap.

    I think that’s why there were so many old VWs hanging around the countryside back when they were “old”, and why every once in a while an auction like this one comes up.

    • D. King

      You are correct, Dolphin–I remember those ads! My father tore one out of a newspaper and handed it to my new husband one time, along with a similar ad for a Gremlin. At the time one was selling for $1999 and one for $1997. I can’t remember which was what price, but the point was, “for two thousand bucks, wouldn’t you rather have a brand new car, instead of that white car you have now?” My husband was very polite to his new father-in-law, but didn’t trade in the “white car.” We still have that white car, some 45 years after this conversation. It’s a ’64 Porsche 356 SC Sunroof Coupe. I think it’s appreciated a bit more than $2000, don’t you?

      • Dave Wright

        Best comment of the day…..or week. Quality always wins out in the end. Not new and shinny.

  11. D. King

    Yeah, Dave–I wouldn’t let him sell. He’s owned the car nearly 50 years! It IS nice and shiny, now, though–she was restored about 15 years ago.

    • Dave Wright

      You are a wise woman…….as is your husband for choosing you. Things can always be made shiny but junk is always junk…….a Gremlin……

      • D. King

        Thanks–I keep reminding him of that! And he didn’t pick me–I picked him, because of the Porsche. That’s how we met.

        My father knew absolutely nothing about cars. He once bought a brand new Ford LTD, a change from the usual Rambler because my mother wanted something “a little nicer.” I read the engine size off the window sticker–he perked up, said HUH?, ran out to the driveway and whipped open the hood. Yup, there really was a 428 cu. in. engine under the bonnet! He sheepishly said, “Well, I noticed that it really went fast when I pushed on the accelerator pedal.”

    • Db

      Had Ol’yeller for 44 :-) years

  12. Rudyracin

    I drive by this almost everyday, I always knew there was a large stash of VW’s back in there, I just didn’t know it was this large!

  13. Resident

    Just gonna give a heads up, they are flood cars from the flood of 08 we had.

    • Db

      Up in 2nd floor !!?

  14. GAS2HI

    I had a 68 red bug that I bought for $1500 and it had 9000 miles on it in 1969. Put 700 miles a week cummuting from Davenport to U of Iowa. Cost of gas was about 1.5 cents a mile and after putting 120k miles on it, sold it for $700 4 years later. COLD in the winter in a VW…but a great cheap car for a poor college kid. Taught me an early lesson on deprecation … The biggest cost of owning a newer car is DEPRECATION ….not gas, insurance.. And 95% of people buying a car never consider deprecation but it is their biggest yearly cost of owning their car.

  15. D. King

    Absolutely, gas2hi! Which is why we typically keep our cars 7 to 10 cars, or longer if everything’s working all right and we can financially justify any likely repairs. Someone wrote into a Facebook group I belong to the other day, asking which of two high-powered luxury sports cars would be the best buy. This kid (and he was a kid, about 20 or 21), figured if he saved everything he made on his $15 per hour job (really!) he’d be in high cotton in about a year, and could afford a $60,000+ car. Yikes! It was a long, interesting conversation amongst the other group members, but I think he was finally convinced the answer was “neither.” BTW, he was budgeting $6000…for insurance alone!

  16. Evan Wells

    I dont know everything i thought i would by now own land there but as a early adult i wanted and still do a old farm/40 acre who knows what in Iowa this is 1 of the bonuses possible on goodday i think

  17. Howard A Member

    Jim S. would be in heaven here. :)

    • jim s

      thanks. i did get my beetle and aircooled VW fix for the day. also reread 10 pages of John Muir’s ” how to keep a volkswagen alive ” manual just to maintain the high!

  18. Alan Brase

    I attended this. Both days, I only live about 50 miles away. Pretty disappointing lot of stuff, but I got the back story. This is about the 3rd sale he has had. Perhaps he is hanging on to some better stuff? I have to say, a couple of the type 1’s, 58, 62, 64, 65, 66 and 67 and the squareback might have been okay to restore cars. I did not much notice the price, but I think the blue 65 went for $120. I was mostly interested in the 69 single cab. It was pretty original, but medium rusty: windshield lower, front floor both rocker assemblies, both treasure chest doors. Back glass crazed ready to fall out. They already removed and sold the engine. Non original gates made from wood, but using all original fasteners. I was thinking I’d be tempted if it was around $1000 or less, but it went to $2000. The 58 convert went for $2500. Quite rusty, but most key parts still there.
    Most of the others were VERY rusty. And the market reflected that. The parts quantity was mind boggling, but very much of it did not even sell. I bought several stacks of wide 5 wheels, 2 early bus 15, about 10 bug wheels, and about 20 64-70 bus wheels. gave about $30 for all of them.
    My compliments to the Hoge Auction company. They did a good job, got through the stuff rather quickly enough and had about 10 staff there and a skid loader. They earned their money and I’m sure it was not easy as the property is long and skinny and only one track between the sheds.

  19. Dave Wright

    Great report………this kind of information is the most valuable to understand current market trends.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.