Massive Truck Hoard in Nebraska!

There’s massive and then there’s massive. This upcoming auction in Nebraska claims to have near 1,000 trucks up for grabs (with a few interesting cars sprinkled in) and based on the photos, there’s no reason to question those claims. What’s amazing, too, is it’s not all junk. There’s loads of good stuff here and the majority of it appears to be free from extensive rot that would otherwise plague vehicles stored on the dirt in other parts of the country. From tow trucks to cabovers to pickups, there’s something for everyone here on, like this cool 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside pickup.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader BFjunky for the find. This is the kind of listing where you’d really like to know the story behind how one individual or business managed to collect this many vehicles. And, while we often see true salvage yards with this many vehicles inside, this doesn’t look like a traditional salvage operation. The vehicles are neatly stored in rows and it appears care was taken where possible to protect body panels and glass. This Willys Jeep Station Wagon is another one of my favorites and the patina is perfect.

This is perhaps the coolest find in the entire collection: a claimed 1-of-1 made Diamond T “Whiskey Bus” that was apparently used as a marketing gimmick by Seagram’s. These are the sorts of finds you hope to uncover in a collection like this, as whoever snagged all of these trucks as they neared the end of their useful life had an eye for the weird and wonderful, even if the vehicle’s value was a question mark. This Diamond T will hopefully be restored back to the way it looked when it was peddling Seagram’s spirits.

This is a very cool find from among the expansive assortment of cabover trucks: a GMC “crackerbox,” an aluminum body built between 1959 and 1968. It earned the nickname due to its unusual proportions, as the length of the cab was just 48 inches! You really have to look at these from the side to understand how wonky they are. Driver safety was seemingly an afterthought, and it looks downright claustrophobic when you stick your head inside. Regardless, this barely even covers the extent of what’s up for grabs, so take a look for yourself and comment below as to what you’d take home.


  1. Todd J. Member

    I scrolled through the entire catalogue and I was struck by the number and variety of Diamond T trucks. The man who put this together, Rob Van Vleet, operated a scrap metal and recycling business which probably gave him an inside track on a lot of these vehicles. Quite generously, buyers are being given a year of free storage after the end of the auction to pick up their vehicles.

    Like 15
  2. Howard A Member

    Clearly truck overload for me, and possibly Geomechs. ( Hey Geo, got room for 500 trucks?) Of the hundreds of thousands of trucks made, someone, preferably in a place like Nebraska, was bound to collect them. In this case, it’s no surprise, like Todd mentioned, a man, the late Robert Van Vleet, of Sidney, NE. had a trucking operation and scrap biz,, among other things, I think he was the mayor too and obviously, this guy knew of every truck within a 500 mile radius. Not unusual, I’ve known of many “collections” like this, and eventually, they rot in the sun and all meet their demise, like here. Mr. Vleet had a hankerin’ for Diamond T’s, but many times, I’m sure he went to get a Diamond T, and came home with several others. Back then, there was no reason to get a new truck until the old one gave up, and then they ended up here. Most, I’d bet, for free.
    I’d say maybe 25 years ago, there was a call for vintage trucks, but again, cost of rebuilding trucks, especially big trucks, is off the scale today, and for what? An old “Crackerbox ” Jimmy? To add to Jeffs story, the GMC F series cabover was named “Crackerbox”, because saltine crackers came in a square metal tin container, and the square cab resembled the cracker box,,they were awful trucks, but gave way to the GMC Astro,( or Chevy Titan) which was, I feel, the nicest cabover made( as if). Very cool find, as usual, “mom” in me can’t help but feel a bit sad, this is happening all over our country these days, and doubly sad, most of this will no doubt go to the crusher,,,
    And on a worldwide site like BarnFinds, I’m not an overly religious man, prayers aren’t going to put peoples houses back together, I have a hard time making rent each month, but if you can help these folks in Florida, rather than bilking them 5 figures for a rusty ( fill in blank), send it to the Red Cross, who I can only hope will actually help the folks, whose lives were sucked into the ocean. We don’t have many disasters in Colorado, but if we did, I’d be the 1st to volunteer. Try and help, if you can.

    Like 16
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Thanks for your thoughts about Florida Howard. My big Brother lives on a canal that runs to the Gulf from his home in Cape Coral. At 82, I was hoping he would have evacuated. He did not. All I know is he is OK. No power or cell service. Take care, Mike.

      Like 8
  3. Mike

    Never seen a lot of these vehicles before. Anybody know what lot 783 on page 14 is? Looks like a part of something special.

    Like 2
    • Matt Watson

      My guess is a 1936 Buick Century

      Like 1
      • Mike

        Comparing pictures and I think you’re right Matt

        Like 1
    • Madladdj

      I think it’s an old early Plymoth truck. The grill looks like one, if I could find the movies of my dad’s old one i’de be thrilled.

  4. Mr Dave

    That GMC Crackerbox came out of Meade county, South Dakota, western side of the state.

    Like 1
  5. steve

    With that much metal, he was not only depressing the local real estate market, he was PHYSICALLY depressing that end of the county….Aircraft and bird flocks departed their normal routes due to the magnetic anomaly.
    If I had 50 more years and 50 times the cash, many of these vehicle “speak to me” and they’d be sitting here waiting for my attention. But having neither, I can only ponder the stories that each of these vehicles has. HOW a military half track crane ended up in that field… What roads did those cars and vans go down? Did the person who slapped down the money for a new vehicle have any idea that it would still exist and be up for sale 40, 50, 60 years later? It’s just too much…

    Like 3
  6. PaulG

    Funny, Junior Brown sings a song called “Semi Crazy “ and mentions Crackerbox Jimmy in the lyrics!

    Like 7
    • Howard A Member

      One of the more famous Crackerbox Jimmy drivers, was Pigpen on the hoaky, yet powerfully entertaining, TV show, Movin’ On. Hollywood wanted Pigpen to drive what his name implied, hence a very tired Crackerbox was chosen. To be honest, every Crackerbox Jimmy I saw( never actually drove one, thank God) looked just like this. That show, and SatB were responsible for my life long involvement with those dang diesel rigs, 10-4,,,

      Like 1
    • Edward Sel

      Junior! Yes, “My hours are long and my pay is low, I’m just-a doin’ my job I’m the Highway Patrol.”

      Like 1
  7. LMK Member

    That was a long journey getting through that entire lot. There are a lot of interesting items there. They’ll probably be a lot of decent deals found there by the end of this auction.

    Like 2
  8. Glenn Schwass Member

    I counted 35 or 36 55-57 Chevy /GMC trucks, which blows my mind. I can’t believe there are still this amount in one place and so many are restorable.

    Like 1
  9. BleedNRed

    The Diamond T and REO truck aficionados have got to be salivating… there’s probably five times as many of those vehicles available in this one location than available across the entire country and Canada.

    Like 2
  10. Eric B

    I’m just speechless. This is why I love this site; this is something I probably otherwise wouldn’t have known about. The only downside is if you don’t look at them in person, you don’t know what lies beneath. They should’ve hired Steve Magnante to do deep dive videos on them, but that would be a lot of work!

    Like 5
  11. Jeff

    This absolutely blows my mind!

    This must be the nicest collection in the world for my taste.

    All my favorite cars in one place – all the Diamonds, the Dodges, the Datsuns, the Divcos, the Studebakers, the Internationals – would take them all in a heartbeat if I had the space and the coin –

    Hope many of them get saved and put back on the road!

    Like 2
  12. Todd Zuercher

    I’m guessing that most of these won’t get any bids and they’ll end up getting scrapped, which makes me sad. Still working my way through the catalog but there’s a lot there to like! If I was retired, I’d already be on my way with my hiking boots packed to check out all these treasures!

    Like 2
    • Rallye Member

      I just looked at the sale prices.
      Glad much is being saved instead of scrapped.
      Might be time to advertise some Diamond Ts and stuff.

  13. DON

    There’s a rolled over 56 Chevy coupe that the auction states was wrecked when new. The body plate says “special” where the paint code is. I’d love to know that cars short history !

    Like 1
  14. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    As I used to collect automotive/truck mechanical cut-aways, I WANT that Gray-Marine cut-away engine, sadly I now have no place to even store it, much less put it on display. So I hope this goes to a collector who will appreciate it as a VERY rare piece, probably a WW2 teaching prop for the military.

    Like 1
  15. chrlsful

    supprised on all the wood carring members in the Wiskey Bus. A tig’n some alu channel or box MIGHT bring it back more rapidly?
    Afriad to go thru much of the catelogue. B stuck in there all day and end up sad’n angry at the loss & inability to help ‘save’. (I had nitemares when ‘Cars & Crush’ (cash4clunkers?) happened thinkin of all the dry land destruction goin on to some ‘fine ol machinery’.
    We need more ‘Lars Anderson’s’, Peterson, Miles Thru Time, NAM, Gilmore, LeMay, ‘the Hague’ (netherlands I think)…

  16. Michael

    Out of these lots I bought the 1962 Chevy bel air lot number163 a 1957 international truck tow managed lot 430 and a 1973 international harvester 1/2ton pickup lot number 486 and I am planning to put all three back on the road

    Like 2

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