Field of Dreams: 500-vehicle Lambrecht Auction set for Sept. 28-29

Anticipation is mounting for the Sept. 28-29 auction of more than 500 cars and trucks that have been stashed away for decades by the owners of a small-town Chevrolet dealership in Pierce, Neb.

Lambrecht Chevrolet, owned and operated for 50 years by Ray and Mildred Lambrecht, closed its doors in 1996. The Lambrechts, now in their 90s, held onto customer trade-ins and purchased outdated inventory to make room for new models. The extensive Lambrecht collection of survivor cars and automobilia will be auctioned in a field near the Pierce Community Golf Course, about 125 miles northwest of Omaha. Minnesota-based VanDerBrink Auctions is handling the sale.

According to the the Lambrechts’ daughter, Jeanie Stillwell Lambrecht, “the decision to auction the inventory was a difficult and painful one.” She also said in a press release that the cars “comprise a lifetime of hard work, tears and joy.”

The collection, once considered an urban legend, has drawn attention from collectors, history buffs and the media. According to the New York Times, it also caught the attention of thieves, which is why the Lambrechts decided to sell.

Auctioneer Yvette VanDerBrink said that since little was known about the collection until recently and the majority of the cars hadn’t been moved since the Lambrechts closed their dealership, the collection is basically a “barn find.” The best cars were stored indoors and left untouched –“preservation through neglect,” VandDerBrink said – while the rest were exposed to the elements in a wooded area on the family farm. Now they sit side by side in nine rows, each about 100 yards long, awaiting the auction. VanDerBrink calls it a “field of dreams.”

While she admits that none of the 500 cars is rare or priceless, nearly 50 of them have been driven less than 50 miles, which should certainly make them desirable. Some even have the original shipping plastic on the seats. The Lambrechts had a particular interest in 1964 half-ton pickup trucks – 12 are up for sale. In addition to more than half of those, other vehicles with less than 10 miles on the odometer include:

According to the Times, by Sept. 12 more than 700 bidders had registered for the auction and more than $500,000 had been offered in absentee bids.

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