Collectors of older cars have had this weekend circled in bold red pen for about six months now...it's the weekend of the long anticipated Lambrecht Chevrolet auction. Here's the background: The Lambrecht family had a Chevy dealership in Pierce, Nebraska, for over 50-years. Ray and his wife, Mildred, Lambrecht loved their Chevys...so much so, that if a car or two didn't sell, well, they just kept it. Every year. Some of the cars were squeezed into a warehouse in the back of their dealership and others were parked on their nearby farm. Years passed, the dealership closed and the couple passed away, leaving their family with a huge find. Of course, everyone knew the Lambrechts had kept some cars but few realized just how many--over 500. Some of the cars date back to the early 1950s and some are as recent as a 1980 Monza (remember them?) But most amazing of all, a significant number of those automobiles were never driven...ever! Over fifty of the cars have less than ten miles on the odometer....some with only one or two miles. It was like auto archaeologists entering King Tutankhamun's garage. Now there's no question most of these cars will need a little love--new rubber belts, tires, a good washing. But imagine hopping into a "new" 1958 Belaire....or a 1959 Impala.
That's the car that caught my attention.... there are four '59s in the auction with single digits on the odometer. Mom and dad had a cream colored, '59, two-door Impala--it was the first car I remember and I can still picture, from the dank depths of my memorybanks, the rust colored interior, large chrome speaker grill dividing the back seat, unique steering wheel and dashboard, and the trunk that could haul a B-29. Although I was only about 5-years old when my parents sold it, I remember running my hands along the big, bold rear fender fins and cats' eye taillights. Sigh...I won't be in Pierce this weekend and couldn't afford to participate in the auction even if I was there. But if someone out there lands one of those '59 Chevys and you're passing through Cincinnati, let me know. I'd love to see it and run my hand along the fins.