This 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan has been stored inside, but does not run. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
This 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan is one of the less-patinated cars in the sale, and should be easy to get running. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
On the opposite side of the preservation spectrum, though not at the very end of that spectrum, rests this 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
This 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door hardtop is in the top tier among the field-stored cars, but will require more than a cleaning and a new battery. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
There will be a wide selection of Bel Air sedans from the late 1950s, obviously. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
Just gas it up and go! Not quite. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
Apparently this 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monza didn’t find a home the first time around. Either that or Ray Lambrecht just wanted to keep this one. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
There will be several 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Monzas to choose from, just pick your favorite color. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
One of the headline cars of the sale is this 1964 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
This 1965 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop appears complete, and should be easy to get running. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
Another 1965 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop, in approximately the same condition as the the light blue one. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
This 1966 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door sedan appears ready to run, but it’ll still require some sorting. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
One of the few true muscle cars of the auction. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
Nobody will be laughing when the hammer falls. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
This 1963 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop has sat inside the dealership. Photo by VanDerBrink Auctions.
The Lambrecht Chevrolet auction begins bright and early tomorrow, and we’ll be covering this historic sale from beginning to end. Pre-bidding on the best cars has already exceeded what new Chevrolets typically go for, and this is before any of them have even been started. Day one of the auction is loaded with the cream of the crop, with the headline cars scheduled to go in quick succession. Among other things, this means that the underbidders won’t get a chance to cool off, and will be tempted to blurt out higher figures on their second- and third-choice cars. But there will be plenty of action throughout the weekend, and the entire car-collecting world will be watching this sale.
Even though the sale has already generated a buzz bigger than anything within the last five years when it comes to sell-offs of large caches of barn- and field-stored cars, there will be a lot of realistic bidders here collecting parts cars for their restoration businesses.
This will be one of those auctions where it makes sense for the actual buyers to inspect the cars themselves, rather than thumbing through a glossy book smelling of high-quality German ink mailed out by the auction house and letting their proxies do the bidding on auction day. Even though the auction house has done a good job of presenting the lots in the online auction, the very nature of these cars demands an up-close inspection if any serious money is to trade hands. There are definitely some less-than-serious lots here, such as late-’70s compact hatches that have been sitting in a field, but the cream of the crop definitely deserves a first-hand look, even if just to try to remember the smell of cars that haven’t been touched in 40 years. Our auction reporting won’t be coming to you in Smell-O-Vision (Sony is still working on that), but even if you won’t be attending the sale, we’ll give you a complete rundown of all the important cars…and some less-than-important cars.
A few days ago we took a look at some of the trucks in the upcoming Lambrecht sale. With just hours left to go before the auction starts, let’s take a look at some of the sedans and coupes that’ll be sold in the next couple days.
One of the most watched cars of the sale will be this 1964 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop.
One of the headliners of the sale is undoubtedly this 1964 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop. A 327 V8 with a three-speed manual transmission on the column, this car has just 4 miles on the odometer. This example sat in the dealership window for years, and is therefore an excellent candidate for a restoration. This car does not run, which should surprise no one, and the auction house will make no effort to make it run. This car is in the very top tier when it comes to condition, so it’ll attract top dollar. This is lot #1L and it’s scheduled to be offered for sale on the first day. With one day to go before the sale, pre-bidding has already topped $31,000.
This 1963 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop has sat inside the dealership.
Another headliner of the sale is this 1963 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop. This one has just 11 miles on the odometer, and its 327 V8 is paired with an automatic transmission. The interior is red cloth over a vinyl bench seat, and even though this car was stored inside the dealership like lot #1L above, its windshield has turned opaque due to the dust and grime. This one does not run either, and is stated to be complete. The major cosmetic issues here consist mainly of paint degradation from birdbombs in the trunk area. The carpets for the interior are still in the trunk and are said to be new. As with lot #1L above, the auction house won’t make an attempt to start this car, which is a wise thing with any sale of this kind. There’s just enough air in the tires of this example for it to move around, so the winning bidder should be able to take delivery without too much hassle.
On the opposite side of the preservation spectrum, though not at the very end of that spectrum, rests this 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan.
Here’s a good starting point for a restoration. Not just because it would be a shame to keep it as-is, but because it has 1 mile on the odometer, and because the parts that it needs would be easy to source. This 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan is now faded green with some surface rust, and even though some trim is missing it does appear largely complete. The plastic is still on the seats and paper covers remain on the sun visors. The interior of this example is going to need some attention, but these are not expensive cars to make right. Not a basket case, but a good project that should be pretty straightforward. The biggest question is: Would you drive it afterwards? We certainly would, especially after the five-figure restoration, if only to find out how a V8 two-speed automatic feels. This lot is scheduled to run on Saturday.
This 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan has been stored inside, but does not run.
The doppelganger of the lot above is this relatively nicer example with 34,279 miles on the clock. The mileage doesn’t change the fact that this example doesn’t run, but it is reported to be complete, and it was actually stored inside. This would would be relatively easy to get running, and if there is no surface rust, the paint could be kept as is. The only downside is that you’ll have to explain to people at car shows that even though this is a Lambrecht Chevrolet, you weren’t the person who put 34,279 miles on the car after buying it in 2013. This is one of the nicer cars in the sale, and its mileage will make buyers bid with confidence, knowing that they’ll be able to drive it without the need to explain themselves. This is lot #3L, scheduled to run on the first day of the auction.
This 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan is one of the, ahem, less-patinated cars in the sale, and should be easy to get running.
Another solid bet for a straightforward restoration without the subsequent philosophical debate over whether you should drive this car is this 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door hardtop. This one’s got 50,220 miles on it, and is perhaps something that Ray Lambrecht took in as a trade. It has white-and-black cloth over vinyl seats, and is a six-cylinder automatic. This one reportedly does not run, but its needs appear modest. Another great car that could be ready to drive in time for spring. This is lot #10L, and it will be sold on the first day of the auction.
About the Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction
On Sept. 28-29 roughly 500 “new old” cars from Lambrecht Chevrolet in Pierce, Neb., will go across the auction block. Autoweek will be in Pierce, Neb., to cover the sale and to preserve a sample of the dust on the dealership floor for scientific study. Check out our Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction page for all our past updates and complete coverage from the auction, or follow us on Twitter @autoweekusa or Facebook.
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