Yvette VanDerBrink has made quite a niche for herself in the vast automotive auction universe. Beginning with the attention-grabbing Lambrecht Auction in 2013, in which her company sold some 500 cars from a closed Chevy dealership in Nebraska, VanDerBrink is proving that grime and neglect aren’t a deterrent to automotive enthusiasm.
According to theDes Moines Register, the “muscle car hoard” was unknown to most people and represented the life’s work of Coyote Johnson, who hid the cars in a series of sheds on his property. Among the classic muscle that the 65-year-old Johnson is letting go: Plymouth Road Runners and GTXs; Dodge Challengers and Chargers; and Chevrolet Camaros, Impalas, and Chevelles. Most are from the 1960s and ’70s; the oldest car is a 1955 Chevy two-door.
“It goes to show that there are still great barn finds out there,” says Hagerty valuation editor Andrew Newton. “This isn’t the discovery of the century, but anybody seeking out a project muscle car will be spoiled for choice.”
The Register reported that Johnson bought his first car from his grandfather at age 16 and continued to buy those he liked and could afford.
“Everybody’s got their own way of life. Some people collect dishes, money, farms,” Johnson says. “It’s just something that just grows on you, something about cars. You know, there’s music about ‘em... the Beach Boys sang about ’em and all them other people too.”
Johnson says he’s going to keep a few of his favorites—including his beloved 1969 Road Runner—but most of the automobiles will be finding new homes.
“There’s always a time for everything,” Johnson told the Register. “Sometimes it’s hard to admit you gotta do things in life where, you know, you don't want to pass a mess onto your kids. I've got one daughter. I really wasn't enjoying ’em like I wanted to and I’m getting old.”
The no-reserve auction will be held Saturday, September 14 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Potential buyers can preview the cars and speak with Johnson on Friday, September 13 from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. A detailed list of the cars has not been released.
“Cars were just one of those things that make life go on,” Johnson told the Register. “Some people enjoy ’em more than others. I just like having them around.”