The VanDerBrink Auction of the Lambrecht Collection of classic Chevroletâ€™s is nearly a week old and the buying fever has subsided.Â The crowds have departed Pierce, Nebraska and we can now look more analytically at the cars and prices paid.
Letâ€™s look at the 1956 Chevroletâ€™s in detail this time.Â The 1956 was in the middle of the three years of the oft referred â€œtri-fiveâ€ series from 1955-1957. There were seven Chevrolet cars sold during the two days of the auctions for this model year.Â The cars come in three variations, the bare bones 150, a slightly sexier 210 and the fully duded out Bel Air.Â The VINâ€™s shown by VanDerBrink helped decipher which model was which and with what engine.Â One unit was a 210 station wagon.Â All these cars were high mileage and presumably trade-ins to Lambrecht Chevrolet.Â All seven cars are in rough condition and will need some extensive body and mechanical work, or kept in a survivor mode.Â Remember they can only be original once!
All prices will have a buyerâ€™s premium of 5-10% added to the listed price based on whether the bidder was on site or not.
For the 1956 model year, five were four doors, with the above mentioned station wagon and a 2 door sedan also selling.Â While perhaps more practical if you are planning on using the rear seat often, the reality is the 2 doors are presently more in demand in the collector market and generally higher priced when restored.Â The 2 door sedan (post) went for $14,500.Â On Saturday, when more of the high value cars sold from the Lambrecht Collection a 4 door hardtop went for $30,000.
The fact that the auction didnâ€™t have any of the more popular versions of the 1956 model year, suggests that if Lambrecht had accepted those models as trade in they were sold long ago.Â Plus none of these were the low or no Â mileage; sold on MSO (Manufacturerâ€™s Statement of Origin) instead of state title; which indicates that Lambrecht Chevrolet didnâ€™t have any trouble selling those models when new!Â The average price for the seven cars was just over $7,900 and only three cars went for over $5,000.
At least at these prices, the cars are going to loving homes and not being chopped up for their body parts.Â Or are theyâ€¦check out a future blog article.
The VanDerBrink Auction of the Lambrecht Collection of classic Chevroletâ€™s is now over and the buying fever has subsided.Â The crowds have departed Pierce, Nebraska and we can now look more analytically at the cars and prices paid.
Letâ€™s look at the 1957 Chevroletâ€™s sold at this auction.Â The 1957 was the last of the three years of the oft referred â€œtri-fiveâ€ series from 1955-1957. There were five autos sold during the first day of the auction in this model year.Â The cars come in three variations, the bare bones 150, a slightly sexier 210 and the fully blinged Bel Air.Â The VINâ€™s shown by VanDerBrink helped decipher which model was which.Â All five cars from Saturday are in rough condition and will need some extensive body and mechanical work, or kept in a survivor look.Â The photos in this blog are obviously NOT the cars sold at auction but representative of restored 1957 models.
The high dollar seller for the 1957â€™s was a four door sedan 210 that sold for $37,500 and had 47,000 miles.
Next up was a four door sedan with the more popular Bel Air trim selling for $23,000 with an unknown odometer reading.
More realistically priced was another 4 door sedan Bel Air with 43,000 miles selling for $12,000.
A 150 2 door sedan with 57,000 miles went for $9,750 and bringing up the rear was a 4 door sedan 210 model with 60,000 miles selling for $7,000.
On Sunday six more 4 door sedans sold with an average price of $6200.Â None of these rougher vehicles cracked above $9,500.Â It was interesting that one unit with no VIN tag went for $7,500.Â Perhaps this suggests the buyer was more interested in the pieces than the whole car?Â Also a 4 door hard top (sports coupe) went for $9,000.
All prices will have a buyerâ€™s premium of 5-8% added to the listed price based on whether the bidder was on site or not.
Prices in Review
Good deals?Â Probably not, although obviously at least two bidders wanted each of these cars.Â Youâ€™ll first note that these five cars had some miles showing.Â These were NOT the pristine cars offering MSOâ€™s (Manufacturerâ€™s Statement of Origin) and never registered with barely any miles registering on the odometer.Â These likely were trade inâ€™s that wouldnâ€™t or couldnâ€™t leave the used car lot.Â Perhaps thatâ€™s how they ended up in the inventory in the first place?
Four Door 1957’s
Eleven of the twelve were four doors.Â While perhaps more practical if you are planning on using the rear seat often, the reality is the 2 doors are more in demand and generally higher priced when restored.Â In fact our friends at Real Deal Steel only offer the 2 door versions in new trick American manufactured tri-five cars, because the four doors are just not as much in demand.Â Plus most collectors like the look and relative rarity of the Bel Air models, and bid up for that look.Â Finally sedans with the center post is just not as stylish as the sports coupeâ€™s.Â Remember demand drives prices.
At least at these prices, the cars are going to loving homes and not being chopped up for their body parts. Or are they?Â Check out a follow up blog…
This past weekend the Lambrecht Chevrolet auction was held in Pierce Nebraska by VanDerBrink Auctions.Â If you hadn’t heard about this nearly 500 car auction in advance, you missed out on a surely once in our lifetime event.Â 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.Â Â Â 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).Â Even the History Channel got in the act and offered coverage from the farm fields.
These Lambrecht Chevrolet vehicles were generally what I would call rough, survivor cars.Â They were stored outside, after all, and exposed to Mother Nature.Â Even the better vehicles were bound to need some work.Â 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 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.Â This wasn’t their first rodeo!Â Parking was available nearby and while probably high by Pierce, Nebraska local standards, $20 seems a fair deal given the circumstances.Â Their website stayed up and had generally accurate descriptions and pictures of the cars.Â 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.Â A few cars were noted as being issued a Nebraska title, which I took to mean the MSO wasn’t located.Â And the balance of the nearly 500 cars were used vehicles, generally with 50,000+ miles on the odometers.Â It indicates the organizational skills maintained by a small dealership like Lambrecht had, to locate MSO’s from sixty years ago!Â 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.Â They are survivors and few and far between.Â To quote the pundits, “they are only original once.”Â But many buyersÂ were quoted as indicating they had plans of fixing up the cars and driving them.Â But once you start putting miles on these cars, their provenance drops.
1978 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe – Anniversary Edition
As an example a 1978 Corvette was sold with only 4 miles on the odometer and sold for $80,000.Â This was the 25th anniversary model and is a pretty eye-catching model.Â Being a Corvette, you would expect a few well-heeled buyers and sure enough it was sold for $80,000.Â 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.Â In 2011, they sold a 1978 with only 48 miles for $45,100.Â 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.Â So the Lambrecht version had probably a $40,000 premium for those four miles.
The best news is that nearly 500 cars have found new homes and were saved from the metal shredders.Â And for that we all should be grateful!
Well this should be an interesting weekend for car auction followers and auto enthusiasts.Â On one weekend you have three competitive car auctions.
The Barrett-Jackson monolith rolls into Las Vegas for three days of car bidding; starting today through Saturday (September 26-28,2013).Â They are at Mandalay Bay and their coverage is a hodge podge of cable channels including National Geographic and Fox Sports 1&2.Â It’ll be interesting to see how their TV coverage and ratings hold up; now that they are not continuously on the demised SPEED Channel
Drew Alcazar must have sensed there was enough money in Las Vegas and opted to hold a similar car auction down the street at the Tropicana.Â He is not charging for general admission tickets in the early part of each day and has some nice cars on the auction block.
This firm is auctioning off a large collection of barely used (but somewhat abused) Chevrolet’s from the Lambrecht Chevrolet dealership.Â This auction, including on-line bidding, is in Pierce, Nebraska and will be held on September 28-29, 2013.Â Some of these cars were never sold by the dealership and thus never titled or registered.Â Some unfortunately were not cared for and Mother Nature and sagging roofs have taken a sad toll.Â Some cars were trade in’s that never again left the car lot.Â But not many Chevy’s are around today with less than 10 miles on the odometer.Â It’ll be interesting to see what some of the more mundane cars/models are bid to.Â It would seem to me that the demand for some models is limited and short of rolling them in and out of trailers, I can’t see the attraction and value.
Good luck to all three auctions.Â Here’s hoping all have great cars and heavy bidding!
Finally got the chance to see â€œSnake and Mongoo$eâ€ movie this weekend.Â If you love drag racing and appreciate the history and our past this will be a great movie to see.Â Unfortunately it is only at limited locations for now, so youâ€™ll have to check the website for any local theaters in your area showing this film.Â 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.
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.Â If you follow NHRA coverage, they have pushed it heavily since this yearâ€™s Nationalâ€™s.Â John Force Racing even had his cars decaled with the movie for the Nationalâ€™s to help promote it.Â 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.Â It tells the beginning of Don â€œthe Snakeâ€ Prudhomme and Tom â€œthe Mongooseâ€ McEwen when drag racing was something done on the weekends and you had a day job Monday-Friday.Â Prudhomme was a car painter/body man at his dadâ€™s shop and McEwen worked for Douglas Aircraft.
The story tells how McEwen and Prudhomme ended up being sponsored by Hot Wheels.Â This was the first non-automotive sponsorship in motor racing and led the way for corporate America sponsoring motor racing.Â Hot Wheels sponsored them for $100,000.Â That wouldnâ€™t buy much in todayâ€™s competitive races!Â Hot Wheels and Mattel always has had close relationships with Detroit and the car manufacturers.Â In fact at the GM display at SEMA last year, a substantial part of the floor space was a mockup of the orange tracks used by the Hot Wheels.Â And Chevy even offered a limited production Hot Wheels Camaro available to the public.
The film does a good job blending archival film in with the new stuff.Â Had to laugh seeing a much younger Keith Jackson doing a spot for Wide World of Sports.Â Remember when you had to wait weeks to see a short taped episode of your favorite sporting event (interspersed with cliff diving from Acapulco)?Â A lot of the current action looks like it was shot at Famoso Raceway.
Plenty of actual drag cars are in the background.Â Plus even the houses in the scenes have that period authentic look that only Hollywood can achieve.Â The race sequences are real archival footage to help add that authentic, realistic touch.
As with any historical film, you already know the ending.Â But people still went to see â€œLincolnâ€ right?Â The film starts with a spot from the 1978 Nationals and then sweeps back to the beginning of the Snake and Mongoo$e story.Â I sense this was a labor of love for the filmmakers and hope it is a money maker for them.Â The only drawback I can see is that if you arenâ€™t into drag racing, the storyline might not be as compelling.Â Hearing Prudhomme talk about crewing for Tommy Ivo and driving for Roland DeLong, might not be as relevant if you donâ€™t know the backgrounds of these characters.Â Donâ€™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$e.
Cars and Haulers selling at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, AZ January, 2014
The actual restored drag cars and the matching iconic haulers will be sold by Don Prudhomme by Barrett-Jackson at the Scottsdale, Arizona auction in January 2014.Â They are scheduled to be present for the Las Vegas auction this weekend so you are apt to see a glimpse of them on the television coverage this weekend.
Some pictures/artwork courtesy of â€œSnake and Mongoo$e â€“ the Movieâ€
Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman team up in Dallas, Texas to form Gas Monkey Garage.Â 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 â€œflipâ€ the car to a new buyer that keeps Richard in beer money.Â The show gets great ratings, has a loyal following and has a familiar format.Â 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.Â So I guess that seller flipped a flipped car?Â 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.Â They took a brand new 2013 Chevrolet COPO Camaro added some decals and auctioned it off for $137,500 (We always list the selling price of an auctioned item with all related buyerâ€™s commissions.)Â Not bad for a car that isn’t street legal.
COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was used by Chevrolet to offer limited runs of unique setups of their cars to selected special dealerships and those â€œin the knowâ€.Â The most legendary COPO was the 1969 Camaro made for Fred Gibbs, with 69 cars sporting an aluminum ZL1 monster motor.Â In muscle car collections; this is the mother lode.Â In 2012, Chevrolet resurrected the COPO Camaro but with a severely limited run of only Â 69 cars.Â These COPOâ€™s are not street legal, lacking most of the NHTSA safety requirements, and are strictly designed for the drag strip.Â They are lean and mean.
At the 2012 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturerâ€™s Association) show, the GM folks showed off their only COPO convertible, painted in Inferno Orange.Â Of course having a drag car racer, without a hard top, might make it hard to pass a tech inspection but it looked great; once you cleared off the slobber marks!
2013 Gas Monkey COPO
Well Chevrolet said letâ€™s do it again, and made a limited run of 69 COPO Camaroâ€™s for 2013 and Richard Rawlings got his hands on one and added a few extra touches and decals before auctioning it off in Reno.Â This COPO might be featured in an upcoming episode of their television show and Iâ€™m guessing Richard Rollins took advantage of the engine build option and went back to Michigan to be part of building â€œhands onâ€ the LS7 427 cubic inch engine for the 41st Camaro.
The Camaro was fitted with a NHRA chorme-moly cage and a solid rear axle and looked mean and lean.
If you are an avid drag race fan or into the historical vintage racing stuff, you’ll enjoy watching the upcoming movie, Snake and Mongoo$e. It will be coming to theaters in limited release after the NHRA’s US Nationals being held this Labor Day Weekend. In a clever marketing ploy, it is first being released in markets where the NHRA hosts drag racing. It even had some special preview showings during Hot August Nights and the Woodward Cruise, according to screenwriter and co-producer Alan Paradise. We had first covered this movie this month.
Drag Racing with Mattel’s Hot Wheel Sponsorship
Some of you may recall when Don “the Snake” Prudhome and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen barnstormed the country with their drag racing grudge matches. Their profiles blossomed when Mattel’s Hot Wheels sponsored the racers, crafting a set of drag racing themed models. This is generally regarded as the first non-automotive related sponsorship of an automobile racing event. Guess you can trace the naming of stadiums, sponsorship of pro team press conferences and ads at courtside of basketball games, all to Mattel and this duo.
The movie offers a trip back to 1970 when these two raced their cars; Prudhome drove a yellow Plymouth ‘Cuda while McEwen piloted the red Dodge Duster. They used color matching car haulers that kept the cars exposed and visible as they crisscrossed the highways. Now these restored race cars are again barnstorming the country to promote the movie before they are scheduled to be sold in January, 2014 at the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Alan Paradise – Screen writer of Snake and Mongoo$e
We had the chance for an interview with the screenwriter Alan Paradise recently, who offered some behind the scenes insights to this movie. Turns out that Paradise is a prolific writer and has authored a variety of car themed books and worked on numerous car magazines over the years. You’ve probably read his words while working for Buckaroo Publications, Truckin’ and Sport Compact Car. As a filmmaker, he developed over 100 video profiles of NASCAR racers and tracks.
The inspiration for the movie
Paradise was first approached by Mattel in 2005 seeking his help in producing a documentary on the then 35th anniversary of the drag racing partnership. The documentary “Once Upon A Wheel” was the result and was used initially for Mattel functions and eventually Tom McEwen acquired the rights to the film and even still sells it today.
While collaborating on the documentary, McEwen suggested that Paradise could make the story of Snake and Mongoose into a book. That started Paradise off on a trek involving hundreds of hours of research and interviews with some of drag racing’s legends including John Force, Tommy Ivo and Roland DeLong.
The more Paradise worked on the project, the more he was convinced that the story needed to be told on the big screen as a movie; and encouraged by his wife, that was the route he pursued. He linked up with Stephen Nemeth of Rhino Films and he started working on a script. It took Paradise seven months to write his first draft and then another 3 months for a re-write, plus another 2 months on final tweaks and changes.
Paradise submitted his script to the Hollywood powers late on a Friday, thinking that he could relax over the weekend before hearing back from the producers at the earliest on Monday. Instead on Sunday, he was in deep discussions with the movie folks who had loved the script and read it right away.
As they sought out financial backing for the film, some distributors were concerned that the story would not have much attraction in the foreign markets. This seems ironic since drag racing is truly an international sport with strong interest across the globe. So the movie folks opted to go the independent route.
During the movie making process, the producers had access to some archival footage from NHRA and were even offered scenes from private collectors. Several vintage racers can also be seen in the movie including the Greer Black Prudhome dragster. The movie was able to use numerous scenes after colorizing and cleaning up these films. So when you see races, you know they are the real deal.
Drag racing scenes
And for the real deal during the race scenes, obviously the movie actors couldn’t be behind the wheel. Taking the place of Richard Blake who portrayed Tom McEwen was Trevor Larkin, the son of famed drag racer Tommy Larkin. And guess who drove for Don Prudhome’s character?Â Yep, Don Prudhome piloted the drag car himself instead of actor Jesse Williams.
The actual filming of this epic took seven weeks and then came months of post-production work. A short snippet was shown at the 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas and it looked terrific. Can’t wait to finally see the full length feature. Once you see it, leave us a note.
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