Remember the story of Lambrecht Chevrolet? A small-town dealer in Pierce, NE, Ray Lambrecht was known for holding on to his unsold inventory. The cars, over the years, piled up in his closed dealership and on his property. When his family decided to sell them off via Vanderbrink Auctions back in 2013, it fired up a media frenzy. 30,000 people came to his small town. This was urban legend come to life.
No-mile MSO trucks and cars, many of which worn from the elements but still essentially new, brought big bids. The History Channel was there, providing TV coverage. ACC sent three reporters.
My favorite car in the collection was the 1965 Impala pictured above. It was a 396 car with only 12 miles from new, and it sold for $76,125. That money seemed fair enough. After all, here was probably the last unsold 1965 Impala, and it was a big block car, too. It was a barn find, and a NOS treasure, and it was part of this Lambrecht legend.
According to the ACC Premium Database, here’s what B. Mitchell Carlson said about the car, lot 3K, at the time:
396-ci V8, 4-bbl, auto. On MSO, per the window sticker still in place from when it was glued on at St. Louis assembly plant. Minimal options. Light paint chips on front fascia are now surface-rusted. Excellent original brightwork. Original wheels; wheelcovers still in trunk. Two light cracks and loose pinchweld molding on driver’s seat; interior otherwise gorgeous. Virgin envelope with the license plate hardware and full owner’s documents packet, including blank Protect-O-Plate, in glovebox.
Sold at $76,125
This was one of my favorites out here — because it would color-coordinate exactly with my ’62 Corvair Monza convertible, and because it was generally clean and is just a weekend away from running. (It ran about a year ago.) Do the brakes (completely, with DOT 5 coursing though its lines), deal with scummy old fuel issues, and you’ll have the nicest, newest ’65 Impala on the planet. Actually, it already is. The on-site buying dealer was on the fence if he was going to keep or flip it.
So did he keep it or flip it? Now we have the answer. The car was offered at auction again this January, this time at Mecum Kissimmee, as lot T72. It sold for $27,500.
The car was listed as having what was “believed to be 14 miles” from new and is still on the MSO, but the Lambrecht name wasn’t listed in the auction description on Mecum’s site.
From over $70k to under $30k is quite the drop in value, but it illustrates the power of a good story.
This car was never going to be more expensive than it was the day it left Lambrecht’s field. The same probably applies to all the other Lambrecht cars. If this is the trend, they’re depreciating like new cars, because, well, they are new cars.
The value is in this car’s MSO and ultra-low miles. Using it would hurt it. It’s not like you can take this car on a weekend cruise without destroying what makes it special — at least not without unhooking the speedo cable first. In a sense, it’s a lot like a barn find. Using it will cost you — just in different ways.
At this most recent sale, the market valued it at around the same rate as an Impala with owners, miles, and drivability. Was it well bought or well sold? Let’s talk about it below.