Ray Lambrecht, the former owner of Lembrecht Chevrolet in Pierce, Nebraska had a nicely kept little secret. For 50 years Ray would hold on to cars and trucks that didn’t sell and store them around town in warehouses, his farm, and other random hiding places. Over the years he accumulated about 500 of what are now vintage cars and trucks! A great deal of these untouched gems have under 20 miles on them, oh yeah, and the best part is that all 500 of these cars and trucks will be auctioned off next month. Thousands of eager bidders coming from dozens of countries across the globe will flood the small town of Pierce, a community of about 1,800 residents.
The two-day auction will feature all of these previously unsold Chevy’s and some, including a rare Chevy Cameo pickup, are estimated to fetch well into the six-figure range. You’ll even see a 1959 Bel Air and a 1960 Corvair Monza, both of which have only 1 mile on their odometers.
Some of the most valuable vehicles were stored in a warehouse for decades until the roof collapsed under heavy snow. A few of these beauties were damaged sadly, but most escaped without injury and were moved to another location. As you’ll notice in these photos a great deal of them were also stored outside on Lambrecht’s farm subjected to the elements.
Lambrecht usually never sold cars that were more than a year old. Unlike most dealers of the time who lowered prices to move older inventory to buy newer models, he was a real visionary in that he assumed the older cars would appreciate over time.
"I believe that Dad's sales approach reflected his personal style," said daughter, Jeannie Stillwell. "He is a very honest, straightforward man who was focused on giving his customers the best price right from the start. Negotiating over price was a waste of time, and so that element of the sale was eliminated."
News of the auction has spread like wildfire throughout the collector car community. People would hear rumors from time to time about a Nebraska dealer who held on to his old vehicles, but nobody knew for certain if it was true. Today you’ll find a great deal of classic cars rebuilt and upgraded with new paint jobs, interiors, drive trains, etc. It’s a pretty rare occurrence to find a classic car in its untouched original condition, which is really what makes this auction special.
As their health has declined in recent years, Ray, 96, and wife, Mildred, 92, decided to sell their collection so others could enjoy the cars and pickups. The couple still lives in Pierce.
Preview Day: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 in Pierce, Neb.
Auction Days: Sept. 28-29, starting at 9:30 a.m.
The Lambrecht Chevrolet Dealership
Fields of Joy
Photo credit: VanDerBrink Auctions