The Ultimate Barn Find: 500 Vintage Chevys

By | July 9, 2013

A ’57 Bel Air four-door, just one of the hundreds of leftovers from the inventory of Lambrecht Chevrolet.

Classic-car enthusiasts often dream of making the legendary “barn find,” a vintage machine that’s been stashed away somewhere and forgotten for decades. The hope is that, like a steel-and-chrome Buck Rogers, these refugees from another era will have slept through the intervening years to emerge here in the future relatively pristine, with all (or most) of their original body panels and trim intact, even as their contemporaries have succumbed to rust and accident and the relentless effects of time. Such finds are rare, but they do happen occasionally.

Now imagine a barn find consisting of not just one or two old cars, but hundreds of them, many with only a handful of miles on their odometers. A pipe dream, right? Nope. Our colleagues at have the scoop on just such a find, a collection belonging to a gentleman called Ray P. Lambrecht.

Lambrecht owned and operated a Chevy dealership in the tiny hamlet of Pierce, Nebraska (population 1,767 souls as of the 2010 census) for some 50 years. Literally a mom-and-pop business — ol’ Ray ran the place from 1946 to ’96 with only his wife and one additional employee, a mechanic — Lambrecht Chevrolet somehow became one of the top GM dealers in the country, winning multiple sales awards and placing cars with customers all across the United States. One time, Ray even sold a ’69 Corvette to a guy in Switzerland and had it shipped overseas.

But even the best salesmen inevitably end up with stock they just can’t move, for whatever reason, and Ray Lambrecht was no different. At some point, he apparently decided to just keep the trade-ins and new cars that went unsold when the next year’s models arrived from the manufacturer, parking all the leftovers on his family farm outside of town. And there they’ve sat, under trees and in various outbuildings, quietly waiting out the long decades. Highlights of the collection include a 1956 Chevrolet Cameo pickup and a ’63 Impala, both with fewer than 10 miles on their odometers; a ’78 ‘vette with only four miles on it; and — according to another blog post at Hemmings Daily — a 1969 SS 396 with factory-shrink-wrapped wheel covers still in the trunk and a 427 cubic-inch V-8 under the hood that’s literally never been started.

And now all this incredible hardware, as well as the old dealership’s remaining inventory of NOS parts, tools, and fixtures, is going on the block in a massive auction being held this September. Book your flight and apply for your loan now, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

The auction is being conducted by VanDerBrink Auctions, a company that specializes in barn finds, salvage-yard liquidations, and vintage machinery of all kinds. You can find more details about the Lambrecht event and the complete inventory listing on their site, as well as a lengthy overview and biography of the Lambrechts written by their daughter, Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell, here.

Photo credit:

Jason Bennion imagines his own barn may yield a few finds someday. He also blogs at

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