Lambrecht Chevrolet Classic Car Auction

This past weekend the Lambrecht Chevrolet auction was held in Pierce Nebraska by VanDerBrink Auctions.  If you hadn’t heard about this nearly 500 car auction in advance, you missed out on a surely once in our lifetime event.  It seems the mom and pop owners of Lambrecht Chevrolet had a history of keeping both new cars that just didn’t seem to move off their lot; or some cars that they took in as trade ins.

Some of these cars were kept in fields, some were stored in warehouses until literally the roof fell in and some were kept at the Lambrecht dealership showroom.    Well the cars weathered and finally the surrounding trees were chopped down and the cars were offered up for sale this past weekend (September 28-29, 2013).  Even the History Channel got in the act and offered coverage from the farm fields.

Lambrecht Chevrolet

These Lambrecht Chevrolet vehicles were generally what I would call rough, survivor cars.  They were stored outside, after all, and exposed to Mother Nature.  Even the better vehicles were bound to need some work.  You can’t ignore a vehicle for fifty plus years and expect the radiator, belts, brakes and even engine to be road worthy.

VanDerBrink Auctions

VanDerBrink auctions seemed to have a good handle on this auction. Bearing in mind that they are not a usual purveyor of high-end collector cars, they had things well in hand.  This wasn’t their first rodeo!  Parking was available nearby and while probably high by Pierce, Nebraska local standards, $20 seems a fair deal given the circumstances.  Their website stayed up and had generally accurate descriptions and pictures of the cars.  They had plans for temporary storage of the cars, since most had no functional tires!


Most of the low mileage “new” cars were offered with Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO), meaning that the cars never were sold and titled in the state.  A few cars were noted as being issued a Nebraska title, which I took to mean the MSO wasn’t located.  And the balance of the nearly 500 cars were used vehicles, generally with 50,000+ miles on the odometers.  It indicates the organizational skills maintained by a small dealership like Lambrecht had, to locate MSO’s from sixty years ago!  I know some owners with one classic car that can’t find their titles!

The value in these cars was the low mileage status of them.  They are survivors and few and far between.  To quote the pundits, “they are only original once.”  But many buyers  were quoted as indicating they had plans of fixing up the cars and driving them.  But once you start putting miles on these cars, their provenance drops.

1978 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe – Anniversary Edition

1978 Corvette Pace car sold from Lambrecht Collection by VanDerBrink Auctions
1978 Corvette Pace car Edition

As an example a 1978 Corvette was sold with only 4 miles on the odometer and sold for $80,000.  This was the 25th anniversary model and is a pretty eye-catching model.  Being a Corvette, you would expect a few well-heeled buyers and sure enough it was sold for $80,000.  VanDerBrink charged a 5% buyers premium on site and a web buyers premium of 8-10%

As a comparison, the Barrett-Jackson auction has sold three low mileage similar Corvettes.  In 2011, they sold a 1978 with only 48 miles for $45,100.  More recently in January 2013 Barrett-Jackson sold one with 158 miles for $44,000 and in Spring, 2013 at Palm Beach a coupe with 928 miles sold for $33,000.  So the Lambrecht version had probably a $40,000 premium for those four miles.

The best news is that nearly 500 cars have found new homes and were saved from the metal shredders.  And for that we all should be grateful!

Photo © GM

Auction (3) – Barrett Jackson, Russo Steele and VanDerBrink-Lambrecht

Las Vegas welcome sign
Welcome Car Auctions

Well this should be an interesting weekend for car auction followers and auto enthusiasts.  On one weekend you have three competitive car auctions.

Barrett Jackson

Barrett Jackosn in Las vegas
US flag at Barrett Jackson

The Barrett-Jackson monolith rolls into Las Vegas for three days of car bidding; starting today through Saturday (September 26-28,2013).  They are at Mandalay Bay and their coverage is a hodge podge of cable channels including National Geographic and Fox Sports 1&2.  It’ll be interesting to see how their TV coverage and ratings hold up; now that they are not continuously on the demised SPEED Channel

Russo Steele

Drew Alcazar must have sensed there was enough money in Las Vegas and opted to hold a similar car auction down the street at the Tropicana.  He is not charging for general admission tickets in the early part of each day and has some nice cars on the auction block.

VanDerBrink Auction

Chevy Bow Tie Logo
Chevrolet Logo

This firm is auctioning off a large collection of barely used (but somewhat abused) Chevrolet’s from the Lambrecht Chevrolet dealership.  This auction, including on-line bidding, is in Pierce, Nebraska and will be held on September 28-29, 2013.  Some of these cars were never sold by the dealership and thus never titled or registered.  Some unfortunately were not cared for and Mother Nature and sagging roofs have taken a sad toll.  Some cars were trade in’s that never again left the car lot.  But not many Chevy’s are around today with less than 10 miles on the odometer.  It’ll be interesting to see what some of the more mundane cars/models are bid to.  It would seem to me that the demand for some models is limited and short of rolling them in and out of trailers, I can’t see the attraction and value.

Good luck to all three auctions.  Here’s hoping all have great cars and heavy bidding!


Snake and Mongoo$e – Movie Review

Finally got the chance to see “Snake and Mongoo$e” movie this weekend.  If you love drag racing and appreciate the history and our past this will be a great movie to see.  Unfortunately it is only at limited locations for now, so you’ll have to check the website for any local theaters in your area showing this film.  The producers actually have keyed in on sites that host NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) races, figuring they would have a built-in audience at those locations.

SEMA Preview

I saw a clip of this film while at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) show last year in Las Vegas, Nevada and it already looked interesting then.  If you follow NHRA coverage, they have pushed it heavily since this year’s National’s.  John Force Racing even had his cars decaled with the movie for the National’s to help promote it.  Here are links to our previous coverage, and an interview with the writer and co-executive producer Alan Paradise.

Snake and Mongoo$e

I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed the film.  It tells the beginning of Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen when drag racing was something done on the weekends and you had a day job Monday-Friday.  Prudhomme was a car painter/body man at his dad’s shop and McEwen worked for Douglas Aircraft.

Hot Wheels

The story tells how McEwen and Prudhomme ended up being sponsored by Hot Wheels.  This was the first non-automotive sponsorship in motor racing and led the way for corporate America sponsoring motor racing.  Hot Wheels sponsored them for $100,000.  That wouldn’t buy much in today’s competitive races!  Hot Wheels and Mattel always has had close relationships with Detroit and the car manufacturers.  In fact at the GM display at SEMA last year, a substantial part of the floor space was a mockup of the orange tracks used by the Hot Wheels.  And Chevy even offered a limited production Hot Wheels Camaro available to the public.

2 blue Camaros
Blue Camaros at SEMA 2012

Blue Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels
GM Display at SEMA Show

The film does a good job blending archival film in with the new stuff.  Had to laugh seeing a much younger Keith Jackson doing a spot for Wide World of Sports.  Remember when you had to wait weeks to see a short taped episode of your favorite sporting event (interspersed with cliff diving from Acapulco)?  A lot of the current action looks like it was shot at Famoso Raceway.


Plenty of actual drag cars are in the background.  Plus even the houses in the scenes have that period authentic look that only Hollywood can achieve.  The race sequences are real archival footage to help add that authentic, realistic touch.

As with any historical film, you already know the ending.  But people still went to see “Lincoln” right?  The film starts with a spot from the 1978 Nationals and then sweeps back to the beginning of the Snake and Mongoo$e story.  I sense this was a labor of love for the filmmakers and hope it is a money maker for them.  The only drawback I can see is that if you aren’t into drag racing, the storyline might not be as compelling.  Hearing Prudhomme talk about crewing for Tommy Ivo and driving for Roland DeLong, might not be as relevant if you don’t know the backgrounds of these characters.  Don’t want to spoil the ending for those of you who might not know the story, but there are a few emotional spots towards the end and a few good life lessons to ponder.

When I see the Nike swoosh on NFL practice uniforms, listen to football broadcast from ATT Dallas Stadium and see ads on the NBA basketball court, it is amazing to realize this all might have stemmed from Hot Wheels first successfully sponsoring the Snake and Mongoo$e.

Cars and Haulers selling at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ January, 2014

The actual restored drag cars and the matching iconic haulers will be sold by Don Prudhomme by Barrett-Jackson at the Scottsdale, Arizona auction in January 2014.  They are scheduled to be present for the Las Vegas auction this weekend so you are apt to see a glimpse of them on the television coverage this weekend.

Some pictures/artwork courtesy of “Snake and Mongoo$e – the Movie”





Gas Monkey Garage COPO Camaro Sold at Barrett Jackson

Gas Monkey Garage

Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman team up in Dallas, Texas to form Gas Monkey Garage.  Their “Fast N’ Loud” TV show is a hit on the Discovery Channel, where Richard buys a relic; Aaron and his crew update the ride and then “flip” the car to a new buyer that keeps Richard in beer money.  The show gets great ratings, has a loyal following and has a familiar format.  Grab a car, make a ridiculously short deadline and stand back to watch the resulting havoc.

Barrett-Jackson Reno, Nevada

At the January 2012 Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona one of their creations, a 1931 Ford, was auctioned off for $12,870 by one of those buyers.  So I guess that seller flipped a flipped car?  And at a loss, since the buyer on TV bought it for $21,000.

Gas Monkey Garage decided on a different plan for the just concluded Barrett Jackson auction held at Reno, Nevada last month.  They took a brand new 2013 Chevrolet COPO Camaro added some decals and auctioned it off for $137,500 (We always list the selling price of an auctioned item with all related buyer’s commissions.)  Not bad for a car that isn’t street legal.

COPO Camaro

COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was used by Chevrolet to offer limited runs of unique setups of their cars to selected special dealerships and those “in the know”.  The most legendary COPO was the 1969 Camaro made for Fred Gibbs, with 69 cars sporting an aluminum ZL1 monster motor.  In muscle car collections; this is the mother lode.  In 2012, Chevrolet resurrected the COPO Camaro but with a severely limited run of only  69 cars.  These COPO’s are not street legal, lacking most of the NHTSA safety requirements, and are strictly designed for the drag strip.  They are lean and mean.


At the 2012 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) show, the GM folks showed off their only COPO convertible, painted in Inferno Orange.  Of course having a drag car racer, without a hard top, might make it hard to pass a tech inspection but it looked great; once you cleared off the slobber marks!

front view of 2012 COPO Camaro
Only convertible COPO Camaro


2013 Gas Monkey COPO

Well Chevrolet said let’s do it again, and made a limited run of 69 COPO Camaro’s for 2013 and Richard Rawlings got his hands on one and added a few extra touches and decals before auctioning it off in Reno.  This COPO might be featured in an upcoming episode of their television show and I’m guessing Richard Rollins took advantage of the engine build option and went back to Michigan to be part of building “hands on” the LS7 427 cubic inch engine for the 41st Camaro.

The Camaro was fitted with a NHRA chorme-moly cage and a solid rear axle and looked mean and lean.

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Selected photos courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

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Tom Fritz Car Art at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

While cars are the major attraction at a car show – (duh), organizers always seem to find other ways to spend your time and money.  One of the best side attractions at the Pebble Beach Concours  d’Elegance is the art work shown by the Automotive Fine Art Society (AFAS) artists.


These auto artists have two major shows a year, here at Pebble Beach and at Amelia Island in March.  They have been displaying their wares since 1986 at Pebble Beach.   This is their chance to show off their newest designs to discerning car nuts and art buyers in a juried show.  AFAS consists of 25 members devoted to interpreting cars through art.  At this show Tom Fritz won the inaugural “Art Fitzpatrick Award” from AFAS.

Tom Fritz’s Newest Pieces

This year Tom Fritz, a member of AFAS, was able to preview five new pieces.  His  “Like Dogs Was After ‘Em” shows a 32 Ford hi-boy alongside a 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe on a back road.  “Long, Lazy Wait” depicts a sprint car on a small dirt track.   “Ain’t Bashful No How” is a terrific front engine dragster painting.  The “Woodshed Session” is a scene from a race track, focused on two spirited competitors.    “Ending The Rumors”   shows a race car leaving a plume of dust and smoke behind the car.   While many may not be able to afford a Fritz original, I’m guessing we all could buy one of his reproductions.  In fact I’m guessing you probably already bought or used one!

USPS Muscle Cars

You see Tom was selected to do the artwork for the third series of classic “muscle” cars for the United States Postal Service.  So for the price of five stamps, you can own some Tom Fritz art!

As you check out his latest pieces, you’ll see he has a great eye for detail and has some tremendous designs.  More information on Tom Fritz and his artwork can be found here.  Tom will be showing in two months at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Illustrations courtesy of Tom Fritz


Porsche 911 Celebrates 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911.  For perspective the Corvette is celebrating 60 years with their seventh generation of the American sports car.  This is presently the fifth incarnation of the 911 and is treasured for both its sleek design and focused engineering.  The first model was labeled a “901” but due to trademark issues had to change it to the now iconic 911.

911 Porsche
911 comparisons

Porsche 911’s Humble Beginnings

It is rare for a model to stay in constant use for half a century, but even the original first generation was known for setting the industry standards for superior engineering.  Imagine that in 1963, the first 911 came with such advanced features as overhead cams, dry-sump oiling, seven-main-bearing bottom end, 5-speed transaxle, 4-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and advanced independent suspension. There are even cars being manufactured today that can’t hold a candle to that design.

Porsche always had a high level of engineering design but ironically, the fir

st generation Porsche 911’s were blinding fast but treacherous to drive, but over time the handling was improved.  The exterior lines of the 911 seem timeless and stately.

Porsche 911 Celebrations

Across the globe various venues are hosting events to celebrate the 50th Anniversary epoch.  The Silverstone Classic in July had a great event.  Originally hoping for 911

Porsche’s to roar along the circuit, they couldn’t stop the demand and ended up with over 1200 cars hitting the race track. Here’s the details on the event.

You just had to know the Frankfurt Auto show in Porsche’s backyard would do the 911 proud and the factory pulled no punches with a knockout event. Porsche had a driving party at their test track at Weissach,Germany.  And their museum is having a special exhibition as well

Daily Driver Capable

Thanks to its own 50-year racing history, today’s Teutonic 911 is one of the highest-performance cars, but still is tame enough to be a daily driver.  Few cars can claim to be favored by three generations of drivers.


Photo courtesy of Porsche

Detailing Brush – at last its’ ATLASTA

car detailing brush
ATLASTA’s soft tip detailing brush








One of the joys of attending the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) show is seeing the vendors.  Nothing beats a chance to see in-person new products and hear from the company representatives directly what is “new and improved”.  That’s why we prowl not only the million square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the SEMA show but attend the simultaneous and just as huge AAPEX (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo) show at the Sands Convention Center and that’s where we found this great detailing brush.


This ATLASTA SoftTip detailing brush at first blush, might seem too bulky or stiff for fine detail work on a car, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  This brush feels like a natural extension of your hand and the TRIALOY filament bristles are like silk.

This “Made in the USA” brush comes from a great pedigree of brushes, as it is part of the Paint Brush Corporation.  Don’t recognize that name?  Not surprising, but if you ever have held a parts cleaning brush over a vat of carbon cleaning chemicals, odds are that brush was made by the Parts Brush Division of the Paint Brush Corporation.  And the owner of this company wanted a quality detailing brush.  So he used his years of expertise and product knowledge to design the ATLASTA SoftTip brush.

Brush in action

Detailing brush
Car detailing brush from ATLASTA

This brush is hands down the best detailing brush we have ever used and trust us we’ve used tons of brushes over the years.  The ergonomic detailing brush measures just under ten inches and weighs a lightweight 4.3 ounces.  We haven’t found a spot on any of our cars that this brush can’t reach and it removes any debris or dust without any risk of scratches or swirls.  For more details on this detailing brush,  click here.

Their motto sums it up -  “only one grade… the very best.”