- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PIERCE, Neb. (AP) - Six months after a popular auction in northeast Nebraska, some buyers of the vintage cars and trucks are planning to restore them, and are immersed in the nostalgia surrounding their classic or beloved models.

Thousands of bidders registered for the September sale of nearly 500 vehicles collected by Ray Lambrecht, who ran Pierce’s Chevrolet dealership for 50 years. Bidders and gawkers crowded together in a muddy field just west of Pierce, a town of about 1,800. More than half a million dollars was bid the first day alone.

Jared Anderson and his father, Steve, have done restorations before, and Jared was looking for an old beater with a stick shift. They found a 1954 Ford F-100 pickup in the field of Chevys.

“The Chevys were going too high and then we saw this Ford,” said Jared’s dad. “Some of the Ford stuff got overlooked.”

They didn’t want to spend more than $2,000 that day, and it was one of the few vehicles in their price range, the Lincoln Journal Star said (https://bit.ly/1hZIIJ8 ).

They’re the truck’s third owners in 60 years. It was last registered in 1961, they said, so likely it sat in Ray Lambrecht’s field for more than 50 years.

It now squats on the dirt-covered floor of a barn in rural Crete, awaiting the thousands of dollars in restoration work. It’s work the men know how to do, work that they’ll share, father and son.

Brothers Chad and Adam Hemmer wanted something to destroy.

They bought three 40-year-old Impalas and took them home to Tarnov in Platte County.

For the past 15 years, the Hemmers have traveled the Midwest disabling and destroying their cars and those of their opponents while collecting trophies to decorate their shop north of Columbus.

“We always collect certain types of cars, and when we decide to build a car, we have our own parts yard,” said Chad Hemmer. “You just can’t go into town and buy a spare steering sector.”

Gerald Hixson attended the auction and bought back some old memories.

More than 56 years ago he’d paid Lambrecht about $3,000 for a little-used 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air and drove it for years as he and his family moved around. He and his wife, Betty, traded it back to Lambrecht in the early 1970s for a station wagon.

The ‘57 Chevy sat next to the dealership for years, until it was hauled away for safekeeping.

It was returned to Pierce for the auction, and the Hixsons paid $12,000 for it, despite the faded paint, flat tires and tired interior.

They’ll pay perhaps $35,000 more to restore it.

“Everybody thinks we’re crazy,” Betty Hixson said. “But we’re not.”

Sentimental, though.

“It’s got a lot of remembrances,” Gerald Hixson said. “It was special.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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