This won’t be your typical Nebraska auto auction, with bidders shuffling from car to car inside a barn or across a bean field.
This weekend, the cars will come to the bidders — rolled down a red carpet and across a stage inside an air-conditioned room at the Lancaster Event Center.
"This is exactly what you see on TV," said Dave Hanner, co-founder of SG Auction. "We’ve got a lot of good stuff."
They’re shooting for 300 cars, expected to sell for an estimated $4 million. The listings range in age from a 1932 Chrysler coupe to a 2006 Aston Martin, but most are American muscle cars from the ’60s and ’70s. Like 15 Corvettes and 15 Mustangs, a dozen Chevelles and four 1969 Camaros. Three Ford Skyliner Retractables, a ’57, ’58 and ’59, all from Nebraska.
Some rare and restored cars could sell for $200,000, like a 1970 GTO Judge Ram Air 4, black-on-black with matching numbers. And some vehicles go for as low as $1,000 — project cars that don’t run and will be pushed across the stage, Hanner said. “Something that could be restored.”
Since they started SG Auction nine years ago, Hanner and J.C. Nerstad have mostly sold cars in Minnesota. But then they started talking to Dave Hall, who owns Restore A Muscle Car just north of Lincoln on U.S. 77.
Hall has bought cars at SG auctions and has sold cars at SG auctions. He started thinking Lincoln needed a similar classic car auction — something like the Barrett-Jackson and Mecum sales on TV, where he also buys and sells — even if he had to host it himself.
“Having something here locally is definitely a lot easier for me than having to ship cars across the country,” he said. “And Lincoln hasn’t had a classic car auction for quite some time.”
Hall and SG’s owners came up with a plan. They’d host the auction here, Hall’s company would sponsor it, and they’d try to make it an annual event.
The first sale is scheduled for July 19-20, with no charge to attend or to register to bid. Auction organizers expect buyers from around the country, flying in from Utah, California, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania.
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The cars will also come from around the country but mostly the Midwest. Some owners will sell just one or two, others are bringing more than a dozen. Hall is planning on putting as many as 15 on the block, including the six-figure 1970 GTO Judge he bought in Maryland years ago.
Sellers will start checking in their vehicles Wednesday, including a 1959 Corvette that could sell for $150,000; a pair of rare Mustang Boss 302s from the Kansas City area; Trans Ams and trucks; Chargers and Challengers; Monte Carlos and motorcycles; three Novas and a Nissan.
And all of them interesting, Nerstad said. “We’re not trying to run a bunch of late-model this, this and thats. But if it’s unique, we’ll sell it.”
How to buy, sell or watch
To bid, or just watch: The public can preview the cars from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday and at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday. No admission charge, no cost to register to bid. Lancaster Event Center, 4100 N. 84th St.
To sell: Auction still has openings, and new listings will be accepted through Thursday. Contact SG Auction at 507-498-9000 or sgauction.net
Sales times: 11 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday.
To view listings: Go to sgauction.net and click All Listings.
To bid online: Go to proxibid.com/sgauction