Vanderbrink Auctions set to sell a treasure trove of Michigan muscle
As the summer sun sets in the Midwest, builders are scrambling to find their upcoming projects for winter hibernation. If you’re one of those builders, Vanderbrink Auctions has a treasure trove for you, all at no reserve. The Tom Brown collection contains an array of mouthwatering projects, ranging from older restorations in need of a simple vetting to rolling shells awaiting a massive overhaul. Not to mention, the auction offers a slew of big-block engine parts to support the process.
Tom Brown has been squirreling away GM cars and parts for years. Since his youth, Brown made habitual trips out to the west coast and brought back trailer-fulls of rust-free Chevrolets, along with the occasional Pontiac or Ford. Some he would sell immediately. Others, he would stow away on his property in Michigan. On August 25, in Vicksburg, Michigan, you’ll have the opportunity to bid on assets from his nest egg.
For any muscle enthusiast, this is like auctioning off the undiscovered treasures of Atlantis. In preparation for this lauded liquidation, we previewed the auction and handpicked five cars you won’t want to miss as they cross the block late this summer.
Average value: $32,500 – $71,300
1957 was the first year Chevrolet offered fuel injection as an option. It was ahead of its time but ultimately lost the mid-century war to the simplicity of carburetion. This ’57 “Fuelie” comes with the original injection, corresponding badges, and trademark Bel Air trim laid over the faded black exterior. Deteriorating silver vinyl and black cloth lines the interior of the iconic finned coupe. The car has spent years in dry storage, and given the proper restoration could be returned to its boulevard-cruising glory.
Average value: $17,500 – $55,500
The fourth generation Impala debuted in 1965 and ran until 1970, setting industry sales records along the way. Chevrolet’s full size car came in many different flavors. Body styles and engine types varied dramatically. Six different body styles and ten different engine options were available in less than a five year run. This 1966 Impala Coupe features the 396ci big-block V8, married to an automatic transmission. Hagerty valuation expert Andrew Newton weighed in, “This one looks pretty rough around the edges but like a doable project. I would would expect it to sell at the low end of that range.” [$17,500 to $55,500] Come auction time, bidders may have the opportunity to snooker a deal for this muscular land yacht.
Average value: $58,800 – $173,000
Originally, the third generation of Corvette was to premier in 1967. Production was delayed and the C2 stuck around for another year. What Corvette buyers did get for the first time was 3×2 induction. This particular ’67 Corvette has three two-barrel carbs sitting atop the 427ci big-block. A four-speed and positraction rear end also add the promise of some smoky Bow Tie burnouts. The bombastic side pipes give some indication of the insanity going on under the hood, and only add to the Corvette’s value. This Corvette may be at the tail end of the second generation, but it has the potential to be the leader in your collection.
Average value: $58,300 – $126,000
A 1969 Camaro Z/28 RS coupe is guaranteed to be crowned the king of any Camaro meet and averages a 19-percent higher value than the Z/28 option alone. However, this particular Camaro is not a numbers matching car and the engine is actually a 350ci, not a 302ci. The Hugger orange was product of an older restoration as the car was originally silver with a vinyl top. With several desirable details including the 4-speed manual transmission, it has potential to fetch a fair price, though expected to fall just under our valuation bounds. This Camaro has been a part of the Tom Brown Collection for more than 30 years. If you’re not picky about the details and simply want a solid Camaro for an upcoming restoration, this is your coupe.
1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Concours Wagon
Average value: N/A
The Chevrolet Chevelle wagon came in three different trim-levels, the Nomad, the Greenbrier, and the Concours. Make no mistake, this particular Concours wagon is as fierce as it is practical. Underneath the gold exterior lies a 402ci big-block V8. And with a 4-speed on the floor, you’ll be grabbing gears all the way to the grocery store. Hagerty valuation expert Andrew Newton figures the wagon will sell between $10,000 and $12,000. He comments, “It’s hard to say because it’s in rough shape and the audience for wagons is limited.” If you happen to be a member of this audience, this may be your opportunity to own a top-tier supermarket cruiser at a reasonable price.