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The Bullock Auction Results

Old Packard

From JL Schmidt – GRANT, NE — Vanderbrink Auctions had another automobile dealership auction in a small Nebraska community. But this one was definitely different from the storied Lambrecht Chevrolet auction in Pierce, Nebraska, almost a year ago. The cars at the Bullock GM auction were in better shape overall, there were fewer of them and fewer people attending the event. There was even a whole row, about 20 cars, of beautifully restored vehicles that were done by the Bullocks since they surrendered their GM dealership a few years ago.

Guys Gather

Many locals had cars with “For Sale” signs displayed all around town. Everything from a 1940 Ford pickup (stock) to a 1956 Desoto 4-Door, a 57 T-bird and a Chevy Monza coupe with an awfully big homemade ​hood scoop. Bidding started high (an internet bid of $60,000 was pending at the auction’s start) ​on a restored 1959 Cadillac convertible which went for $88,000. A beautifully restored 1957 Chevy Cameo pickup brought $33,000. That’s a far cry from the $140,000 paid for a 1958 Cameo with one mile on the odometer at the Pierce event a year ago. Bullock’s white pickup had red trim and a red interior.​

Old Rusty

But there were still high-priced oddities.A 1959 Cadillac hearse (project) brought $28,000. Many of the parts were inside the vehicle. As you can tell from the pictures, it was a mixed bag. A 1941 Graham shark-nose sedan with a turbocharged engine, a project at best, brought $2,800. The owner of Smitty’s chrome shop in Oshkosh, a small community about 60 miles away, was lamenting the use of pot metal for the chrome trim which was the practice of manufacturers at the time. He said it’s difficult to work with.

Pepsi Truck

Even the rusty cars, some with major dents, were purchased. In some cases, just for parts. But it was a day for car guys who could look and reminisce​ and dream. Check the Vanderbrink website for the final list of prices when they post them. Sorry, I was too busy looking and dreaming.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us JL! Looks like there were plenty of interesting projects on offer and even a few bargains to be had. We love to hear from you guys, so please keep your stories coming!


  1. Brian

    “Graham shark-nose sedan with a turbocharged engine” I believe the Graham was supercharged. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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  2. Alan (Michigan)

    There still may be a few of these leftover dealership collections around, but there can’t be too many. That there have been any at all is a surprise to me. I think that bidders expected that the Lambrecht auction was the last one, bet there were some disappointed people when this one came to light.

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  3. jim s

    they have another auction on 10/4 under the name big john’s ford. i wonder how many stashes of vehicles like this there in england and the rest of europe!

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  4. Mark in Medford

    The Graham was supercharged I bet, they started doing that about 1930, Grahams were Muscle cars in that era. Supercharged 6s and 8s were available and were pretty quick.

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  5. JL Schmidt

    The October 4 auction is in Minden, another south central Nebraska community. Some of the cars are from the old Ford dealership in that town (pop. 2,600) and some are from two other private collections in nearby communities. Everything from a 1906 Sears to a 2002 black,black,black Thunderbird. Lots of old automotive-related neon signs and other signs. It’s hard to tell how many of these people were motivated by the Lambrecht auction, but it’s interesting to see. That’s 3 auctions in a year in just one state. Imagine what is lurking out there in the other 49! Yes, that Graham was supercharged. I happen to know that there are a couple more of those, unrestored, at Speedway Motors in Lincoln. That could be interesting.

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  6. z1rider

    re: the Graham’s with blowers.

    At the risk of being called pedantic, what we all like to call a turbocharger is technically an “exhaust driven supercharger”. Superchargers come in many forms, or pump types but they can all be reduced down one of the two ways they are driven. By the exhaust or some kind of mechanical connection to the crankshaft. The crank driven ones have the most variation, from large turbine styles (Paxtons fitted to Thuderbirds, and Shelby Mustangs), to positive displacement (think GMC, some Rootes, and blower Bentleys) and even one (I cant recall the name) that has multiple compressor stages like a jet engine.

    The exhaust driven types are all essentially the same with a turbine wheel connected to a compressor wheel. They spin much much faster than the crank driven types, up to 200,000 rpm. The latest technology for these is the incorporation of electric motors to help reduce the lag time for building boost. Some WWII era aircraft engines attached a shaft to the exhaust turbine for drive back TO the crankshaft.

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