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Incredible 'time capsule' of vintage Chevy cars discovered locked-away in dealer's garage for 17 years - some with only ONE mile on them
By James Nye
PUBLISHED: 15:05 EST, 1 July 2013 | UPDATED: 05:52 EST, 2 July 2013
They may be over 50-year-old and covered in dust, but the vintage Chevy cars of Lambrecht dealers in Pierce, Nebraska, are young at heart - and they have the mileage to prove it.
The treasure trove collected by Ray and Mildred Lambrecht since they opened their family-run business in 1946 is due to go under the hammer in September - including the 60 or so vehicles they own with less than 10 miles on their odometers.
More a time capsule than an auction, Lambrecht's dealership closed in 1996, and its almost good-as-new cars and trucks were sealed inside only to be opened last month.
Rare and Expensive: It is thought that this Corvette Stingray (left) with four miles on the clock might reach upwards of $50,000 - while the blue Chevy Cameo (right) is hoped to make upwards of six figures
Rusted and Ruined: Despite the rarity of cars with almost zero on the odometer - the majority of the vehicles in the auction are trade-ins left to rot like this old fashioned car
Collectors Items: Some of the cars such as the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air (left) and 1978 Chevrolet Impala (right) belonging to the Lembrecht family have been sealed away for 17-years to preserve their condition and motors
Seemingly a time-warp back to 1950s Midwestern America, the collection's pride and joy are a 1958 Cameo pickup truck that has one mile on the clock, a 1978 Corvette Stingray with four miles and a 1964 Impala, also with four miles.
With no reserve prices set for the cars, auctioneer Yvette VanDerBrink is excited by the possibility of the sale for which she says 'there is no comparison'.
Describing the Cameo as a rare model in the first place, VanDerBrink said that in her wildest dreams some of the cars to go under the hammer could reach up to six figures.
'A Corvette in exactly the same condition with four miles on the clock sold on the East Coast for $50,000 recently,' said Yvette.
Garage: The cars were placed in storage in Pierre, Nebraska, - the home of the Lembrecht Chevy dealership since 1946
Rusting: The majority of the 500-or-so vehicles belonging to Ray and Mildred Lembrecht are lying outside on their private lot - while others have pride of place in the sealed garage in town
Past-Times: Ray and Mildred Lembrecht opened their Pierre, Nebraska dealership together in 1946 - and closed it in 1996
While the auction list wouldn't set any collectors of rare vehicles into a tailspin, the real draw of the lot is the fact that so many cars have almost zero on the odometer.
There are 48 cars and trucks with fewer than 20 miles on their clocks - the oldest being a pair of 1958 Chevies and the newest being a 1980 Monza with nine miles.
Ray, 95, and his 92-year-old wife Mildred opened their dealership in 1946 after he returned from fighting in World War Two.
The family-operated business stayed open with only one additional employee, a mechanic, for 50-years before it sealed its doors in 1996.
Family Business: Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell with her son outside her parents Chevy dealership in Pierre, Nebraska in this undated photograph
Historic: The auction will begin on September 28th and VanDerBrink auctioneers expect a take-home of over six-figures including the 1964 Chevrolet Corvair (right)
Dusted: The collection includes a startling number of new old stock cars such as this 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne - time-capsules that were never sold or registered as well as trade ins that Lambrecht and his Mildred decided to keep
However, the Lembrecht's became something of motorcar hoarders during their time and while many people in city's would find it amazing that over 500 cars could be left lying around, the Lembrecht's simply found the space in Nebraska.
The majority of the cars were trade-ins that were left to rot on the Lembrecht's private land - while they kept the 50-or-so pristine cars inside their now defunct and disused garage.
Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell, the Lambrecht's daughter, says the decision to sell wasn't an easy one for her parents, and that the cars 'comprise a lifetime of hard work, tears, and joy.'
Amazingly, according to Jeannie, her father can remember every single story behind each car and the family see the surviving vehicles as part of the family.
Through the Decades: 'The collection of over 500 true survivor vehicles comprise a lifetime of hard work, tears, and joy for both of my parents' - said Jeannie
'Looking back at the history of Lambrecht Chevrolet, my parents have no regrets, and are proud of the thousands of new cars and trucks they sold to many generations of happy customers,' said Jeannie.
'They hope that these rare collectible vehicles will now be the source of joy and inspiration for car enthusiasts everywhere.'
Indeed, VanDerBrink says that it is still compiling the inventory of all the vehicles and the dozen of pieces of memorabilia, hubcaps and even a Corvette pedal car.