Forgotten Dreams: Lesser-known 1950s concept cars
With little doubt, the 1950s marked the pinnacle of American dream cars. Prosperity allowed Americans…
By Ron Kowalke
Pierce, Neb., will have the feel of the past Sept. 28, when fall meant the arrival of the eagerly anticipated launch of new model cars and trucks at auto dealerships around the country. In this instance, the “new” vehicles will be vintage cars and trucks, dozens with fewer than 10 original miles and many still with their original MSOs that will be offered for sale at the auction of the Lambrecht Chevrolet Co. The no—reserve sale will be presented by VanDerBrink Auctions.
The auction will feature more than “500 true survivor vehicles, including many new cars with original MSOs, as well as hundreds of rare 1950s and ’60s Chevrolets ideal for restoration projects,” said Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell, daughter of Lambrecht Chevrolet Co. owners Ray and Mildred Lambrecht.
Yvette VanDerBrink, owner of VanDerBrink Auctions, stressed, “The fact that these are survivor cars and trucks makes this sale unique.” Among the low—mile original Chevys to be auctioned are a: 1965 Impala hardtop equipped with the 396—cid V—8 and factory air conditioning with 10 miles; ’58 Apache pickup with 5 miles; ’64 Bel Air station wagon with 326 miles; ’78 Corvette coupe Indianapolis 500 Indy Pace Car (without decals applied) with 4 miles; ’65 Impala hardtop powered by the 396—cid V—8 with 12 miles; and a ’59 Bel Air four—door hardtop with 2 miles. VanDerBrink added, “This is a true time capsule; a piece of automotive history.”
The auction will also feature the sale of new—old—stock Chevrolet parts as well as Chevy memorabilia such as literature, signs and dealership point—of—sale items.
In business as the Lambrecht Chevrolet Co. since 1946, Ray Lambrecht from the beginning focused on selling new vehicles and storing used cars and trucks. “Dad felt strongly about the issue of safety for families with young children,” explained Lambrecht Stillwell. “He would strive to put these families in new cars that were safe and reliable rather than selling them a used car. That was the genesis of his car collection. He sold lots of new cars and pickups. The trade—ins were parked on our farm outside of Pierce. Their numbers gradually grew into a massive collection. New cars that were left unsold were also stored. There’s a lot of history in that collection.”
VanDerBrink added that the hundreds of vehicles stored at the Lambrecht farm are mainly project cars and trucks. Among this inventory is a depth of tri—Chevys “in every body style with the exception of the convertible.”
The auction will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Lambrecht farm near Pierce. There will be a preview day, Friday, Sept. 27, beginning at 10 a.m. VanDerBrink cautioned, “No one will be allowed on site prior to the preview. Anyone trespassing will be prosecuted.”
VanDerBrink reminded enthusiasts to read Old Cars Weekly and visit her web sitewww.vanderbrinkauctions.com for updates on the vehicles to be auctioned. “These are amazing cars and trucks, and this is going to be a fun auction.”
Lambrecht Stillwell recalled, “Announcement Day at Lambrecht Chevrolet Co. was a huge event for the entire town. One special day in September each year was the first opportunity for anyone to view the new car models for that year. Dad would move one shiny new Chevrolet into the showroom. There would be balloons and banners, coffee and donuts, souvenirs, and lots of built—up excitement. Everyone in town would come to see the new car and truck models.”