BBC Autos

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For Chevrolet aficionados, the sale of the century

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.


Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction

Pierce, Nebraska. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Auction-watchers and car-collectors have used phrases like “field of dreams” and “wheels of fortune” and “mother lode” to describe the sale, on 28 and 29 September, of some 500 vintage cars – most of them Chevrolets from the 1950s and ‘60s, on a family farm in Pierce, Nebraska.

The auction featured cars that ranged from outdoor-kept rust buckets to garage-preserved time machines, along with a vast array of auto-dealer ephemera, including signs, posters and car parts. The collection represents what’s left of Lambrecht Chevrolet, a dealership that closed its doors in 1996. Owner Ray Lambrecht, now a spry 96 years old, had the unusual habit of storing trade-ins and model-year leftovers rather than reselling them. And that is how these survivors have passed time ever since, gathering dust in a Lambrecht warehouse or resisting the elements in a nearby field.

The two-day sale attracted some 10,000 Chevy aficionados – serious bidders and the merely curious – to this town of 1,700 residents, with online bidding attracting would-be buyers from all over the world.

The star of the show was the blue 1958 Chevrolet Cameo pickup truck pictured here. With a dented roof and a scant 1.3 miles on its odometer, the truck brought a cool $142,000. Other highlights included a red ’63 Impala with 11 miles showing and protective plastic on the seats that sold for $97,500, and a dusty 1978 Corvette Indianapolis 500 Pace Car edition with only 4 miles on its odometer, which brought $80,000.