Lambrecht auction

This 1960 Corvair, with just 1.7 miles on the odometer, is up for auction again after the original bidder defaulted.

The bidder from New York who bought 14 cars at the Lambrecht Chevrolet auction in Pierce defaulted on the deal, claiming a truck driver disappeared with his money.

One Nebraska buyer apparently died. Another lied. And a woman from Illinois simply vanished.

The result: Bidders who left the $2.8 million auction in late September with empty trailers have 18 more chances to own a piece of the now-famous car collection.

For the next nine days, auctioneer Yvette VanDerBrink will accept online bids on 18 Lambrecht leftovers — including a ’49 Chevy pickup, ’57 Chevy wagon, seven Impalas and a Corvair with 1.7 miles — that bidders backed out on after the nationally televised auction.

“I think it’s buyer’s remorse,” VanDerBrink said Thursday as bidding began. “These people wasted my time and the family’s time. You can’t do that. I’ve never had this happen.”

More than 10,000 bidders registered to bid onsite — and online — for the nearly 500 classic cars collected by Ray Lambrecht, who ran Pierce’s Chevrolet dealership for 50 years. The three-day event drew more than 30,000 people to the town of 1,700 near Norfolk. Bidders flew in from several countries. The History Channel gave it three hours of prime time.

The stars of the show — the handful of classics stored indoors and still considered brand new — generated bids in the high five figures. A 1958 Cameo pickup with a mile on the odometer sold for the most: $140,000.

The cars VanDerBrink put back on the auction block this week spent most of their years fading in Lambrecht’s farm field, and their original bids reflect that.

The 1973 Malibu sold for $600, the 1947 Chevy Fleetmaster sold for $650, the 1967 Ford Galaxie sold for $1,800 and the ’57 Wagon sold for $7,500.

But then they didn’t sell. The New Yorker with 14 winning online bids told VanDerBrink he gave a truck driver cash to pay for and pick up his purchases — and then the driver pocketed it.

She never did reach the woman from Illinois.

“We got a voice mail all the time. We tried and tried, but no response.”

She was told a Nebraskan died after posting his winning bid. Another Nebraskan fed her excuse after excuse.

“I heard every story and finally it came down to me saying: ‘You’re playing me.’ And he said: ‘You got me.’”

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Reach Peter Salter at 402-473-7254 or psalter@journalstar.com.


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