Lambrecht Auction Reminder

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What is likely to be one of the most anticipated auctions of the decade is nearly upon us. If you haven’t already heard about the Lambrecht Chevrolet Company and its collection of untouched classic cars, you must be hiding under a rock. We featured the story a few months back and since then it has exploded. While we hope these cars go to good homes, we can’t help but wonder if all this publicity hasn’t gotten out of control.

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There has been a lot of speculation as to why the Mr. Lambrecht collected so many cars. Some believe that the unsold new cars were defective from the factory and Lambrecht was the only one who would take them, while others believe the owner had a serious hording issue and couldn’t let go of some of the cars. We will likely never know the exact reason why so many were kept, but the Lambrecht family has issued a response that the used cars were purchased and tucked away so that people would buy a new Chevrolet instead of a used one. This sounds like an expensive way to do business, but in a small town like Pierce, Nebraska, it actually makes sense. As to why so many new cars remained unsold, perhaps it was as simple as more supply than demand.

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We know that many of you aren’t the biggest fans of hoarders, but without individuals like this, we wouldn’t have much to talk about around here. We do wish the owner would have done more to protect these cars from the elements, but we are excited to see so many of them being saved, even if they are just used for parts. That being said, we doubt this event will be for bargain hunters. The media induced hype is likely to inflate prices and we have no doubt that there will be some deep-pocketed bidders there looking to own a piece of the historic Lambrecht Collection. Hopefully we are wrong and there will be some deals to be had, but we aren’t going to hold our breath.

The event has caused such a media frenzy, that even the major TV networks have reported on it. The video above is an NBC special and is worth a watch to learn more about the collection and the owner. All the attention has put a spotlight on the dealership’s founder and owner Ray Lambrecht. His daughter even wrote a short article about her father, his business, and their family.

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Even if you don’t plan on buying anything at the auction, this is one of the biggest finds of the year so it is definitely worth following. Many of our readers are planning on attending, so please let us know if you are going or have already been there. We would love to get a good photo for our upcoming calendar! We will be watching this one from a distance and will provide an update next week after the dust settles.

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Comments

  1. Horse Radish

    There are always deals at auctions, relatively speaking.
    Maybe not the one you came there for, but none the less, there will be that car that everybody overlooked and nobody will bid on.
    That just means you have to be there (Nebraska) and you have to sit all way through 500++. lots, some diamonds in the rough, as they don’t have enough (paid) manpower to clean them up, let alone start or more….
    In this case the geographical undesirability is a severe handicap for the auctioneers.
    My guess is that about 100 will sell for scrap prices, as the cost of moving them will exceed the final value.

    BY THE WAY, Jesse:
    I love hoArders, they are the lifeline for this old car scene.
    the more the merrier !

    • Horse Radish

      wow I was completely wrong.
      Most of the stuff went for three times it was worth.
      Just when I thought nobody had any money any more…..
      They bid like these were the LAST cars ever being offered.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Yep, things are getting crazy there. This would be a perfect time to go drive around a look in open garages… It is sort of like going to the store during a football game.

  2. twwokc

    Stunned that these cars have been off collectors radar for so many years. Surely people knew about them before now.
    Also surprised that the ones outdoors havent been vandalized over the years.
    Dont think the defective car theory is accurate. If there is a bad one in the bunch then its scrapped or its VIN tag is removed and donated to a school. At least thats what happens now.
    Think the guy just had an unusual way of doing business. How he surviced all those years buy keeping the trade ins is beyond me. Used cars have always been a huge part of a dealerships survival.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Having worked for a dealership for several years, I found out that used inventory could sink you like the Titanic. Lambrecht must have had some other magic touch to stay afloat. Obviously he didn’t have much money tied up in those (used) cars. I also understand that he used his own money to floorplan his inventory; that might have helped.

  3. jim s

    the online auction part of the sale shows strong bids on some of the items. it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. the auction company has some other upcoming autions listed that are worth looking at.

  4. jim s

    yes this auction should be part of the calendar but my choice for the cover is the first photo you showed of the gti that became the BF projecr car.

  5. NOSLEEPATALL

    Yeah so funny thing is the Dealership I am associated with called the auction company that is doing the Lambrecht event and got the cold shoulder cause this was going on.

    Well after seeing how bad most of the cars turned out to be here they laughed as most all of the cars at our sale are running driving cars! So everyone can have fun at a scrap yard auction while ours are in infinitely better condition!

    • jim s

      please tell us more about your sale. thanks

    • leroy hutton

      by the way where is your auction and when

      • NOSLEEPATALL

        No auction as of yet as this one seems to have slowed down anything that was trying to be set up. It will be East Coast in NJ or Eastern PA however when it happens. Only car I have on my website is a ultra rare1960 Henney Kilowatt Electric Car with 4000 some odd miles on it. Not sure if it will be part of Auction or not?

  6. Dolphin Member

    If you sell a lot of cars because you are well known in the area and popular, and because you allow a good trade-in value when someone’s buying a new low-cost car, then it might make business sense to reduce the supply of used cars in the area by stashing them in a field so they aren’t competing with you for new car sales.

    I guess it’s either that, or hoarding.

  7. Vicki

    The Story show an old Corvette. I didn’t see it in the list of cars or a picture of it till now. Will it be there at the Auction that day? Thanks

  8. Dutch 1960

    You put one or two or three cars out back, then a few more, suddenly it is 30 years later and the back lot has filled up! Until a few years ago, these would have been nothing but scrap. The way to get a good deal is to go to the auction with no fixed idea of what you want, and see what happens. Something you never gave a second thought about comes up, and no one else bids. At the right price, it gets interesting, and there you go, you just bought a great old hulk for very little money. Or not. But that’s how to play it, so you do not get sucked into a bidding war.

  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    I was counting on going to this sale and was making travel arrangements shortly after the announcement. Unfortunately but too many other things started getting in the way so I had to back out and, like so many others, will have to settle for watching the TV broadcast. I was thinking I could bring home an Eyebrow Chevy pickup but I guess it wasn’t in the cards, at least for this sale. I sure wish them luck.

    • Horse Radish

      What TV coverage/schedule do you know of ?
      And is there a live stream online ?
      Thanks

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I hope I didn’t mislead anyone but I understand that there is supposed to be some coverage or story about the auction on the History Channel. I also understand that there is going to be online bidding so there would have to be some sort of way to stay in tune with the auction. I don’t know if the networks are going to be televising it like Speed has done BJs. With the popularity of this sale going mega viral I would be very surprised if it wasn’t picked up by several broadcasters.

  10. Michael j.

    I find all the criticism on this couple’s business strategy to be interesting. They were successful for 50 years and finally retired. Good for them. Why there are 500 cars sitting in one spot for sale is irrelavent. They are now there for the taking. If they were out on the road years ago they more then likely would’ve been driven and ended up in boneyards. Insread this is a grand opportunity to ressurect a few, preserve a few, and use the rest for parts. If this was a scrap yard, they would’ve crushed for the cash. My dad and I are heading down there from minnesota on friday for the weekend that is too good to pass up. The fact that this is in the dry nebraska climate makes it even better. We booked a hotel room three months ago and are fifty miles away. Now if I can just convince him we should take one of our ’68 impalas for the road trip.

    • NOSLEEPATALL

      Looking at a lot of the pictures I am seeing Mud Lines like a lot of the cars were in a Flood?

    • Don Andreina

      It’s not so much criticism as it is unravelling a perplexing riddle. Putting all these used cars aside to sell new ones doesn’t make economic sense in today’s car dealer market. Perhaps used cars were so cheap back then, the margin on new ones covered this ‘loss’. Good luck on your trip. Tell your Dad some guy in Australia reckons you should take the Impala. Just don’t park it out in the field…

  11. CarGuy

    I plan on being there for the “sociology” of it all. I am a retired newsman (30+ years) who now manages a classic car collection (180 cars in pristine condition inside a building) in the heart of Nebraska. I’ll share pictures and story after the fact with the Nebraska Press Association member newspapers and post something here as well. I have heard rumors that his success dealt with government contracts for vehicles over the years. That could explain a lot.

  12. Dolphin Member

    The auction was covered by one of the major network’s news shows. Not a long report and not a lot of detail, but it did show shots of a very big, happy / interested crowd. And it was a nice clear day. I don’t know the sell percentage but I heard some big bid $$ numbers mentioned. From the little I saw on the news, it looks like the auction was a success.

  13. Brian

    Now that the cars and parts are gone, I wonder what will become of the dealership building itself. Would seem like the next logical step would be sell or demolish?

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