I’ll admit to quite a collection of Rover, British Leyland and BMC brochures.
I even own a few of the cars illustrated in them, but my hoarding is nothing compared to the major classic car collections that will be going under the hammer in the next couple of months.
First up is a cache of 200 Porsches, collected by an anonymous man in the Midlands who’s thinning out his collection. Which, if this is a thinning, must be enormous. The location of the cars that will remain with him is a secret, incidentally. The subjects of this cull are to be sold by Anglia Car Auctions at a series of sales over the next few months, the first of them on 24 August.
The collection includes 50 early 911s, 39 of the smaller-engined four cylinder 912s and 40 356s, among other Porsches. Conditions vary from cars needing bumper-to-bumper restorations to examples that are pretty much ready to go, and if you fancy an early 911, 912 or 356, there’ll be no better chance to size up a choice this big.
At much the same time as these Porsches find new owners, another collection of no less than 500 cars, most of them Chevrolets from the ’50s, through to the ’80s, is being sold in the US. What’s special about this vast array of American iron (and glassfibre – there are a few Corvettes in the collection) is that they all come from a former Chevy dealer in Pierce, Nebraska.
Lambrecht Chevrolet was a small rural dealer owned and run by Ray Lambrecht, his wife Mildred and a mechanic. It opened in 1946 and closed 50 years later, and now that he’s 95, Ray has decided its time to dispose of his hoard. He accumulated so many cars because he believed that it was better to sell his customers a new car rather than a used one for safety reasons. And the new ones he couldn’t sell, he put in storage too.
Apart from the sheer scale of the collection and the range of Chevrolets in it, the most amazing thing about this collection is that no less than 50 of the cars are new-old-stock, some having as little as a mile on the odometer and many with little more than that. There are any number of pick-up trucks, as well as Impalas, Corvettes, Corvairs, Bel Airs, Chevelles, Citations, Monte Carlos and Vegas, and a few other makes besides.
But all appear to be American. Some have been stored inside and carry blankets of dust, but others got moved outdoors to face Nebraskan weather that appears to bleach paint and feed rust. Several hundred had to be cut free from the trees that grew around them, and sometimes in them, too. But many are worth saving.