By Yvette VanDerBrink
A Candy Store of Rare, Unique, Micro, Orphan, & Amazing Cars & Trucks
For many guys, who just want one classic car in their garage to work with, one is enough. Then there is Ron Hackenberger, cars to him were like being a kid in a candy store and he just couldn’t settle for one. For Ron, it all started with a 1948 Studebaker. When he was 15 years old and bought his first car, a Studebaker that to him was a beautiful automotive masterpiece. Ron borrowed the money from his grandpa and bought the 1948 Studebaker that fueled his sweet tooth for collector cars and thus began his immense collection. That Studebaker opened the door to trading up through the years, such as a 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk.
In 1962, Ron married Eunice and they started their life together, as well as their love of collecting cars. The family grew quickly to include six daughters. Ron was a truck driver by trade and eventually started his own trucking company, building it up to 100 trucks and trailers. While Ron was on his hauling adventures, he would spot cars and add them to his collection. Quite often he would leave with a car hauler and travel to the west coast and return home with a load of cars.
As the miles accumulated and time passed he eventually sold the trucking company to start another adventure. Ron, Eunice and the girls, moved to Texas and bought a ranch and raised cattle. His profession may have changed but his car collecting remained.
It wasn’t long before he was ready to move on once again. He sold the ranch, lock, stock and cattle and moved back to Norwalk, Ohio. He bought some properties, and like everyone in 2008, took a hit on his investments due to the recession. Ron worked with the banks and kept his extensive car collection together.
Ron started yet another adventure, this time a campground and a catering service that their daughter continues to run with them.
With the success of his real estate and businesses, he was able to buy cars as he would come across them. Ron would buy cars that were unique, unusual, rare, and “something that you won’t see every day.” His collection has now grown to Approx. 700 vehicles. The Studebakers are still in the collection – almost 250 of them! Trucks, pickups, Champions, Commanders, Avanti’s, and even a Darrin roadster project are part of his vast collection. The collection also hosts eight & six door Checker limos, Divco milk trucks, Ramblers, AMC, many Chrysler and Packard cars, and so many more.
Ron’s collection also includes his love of all things unusual with micro cars from BMW Izetta’s, Citroens, Crossley’s, King Midgets, a rare Tatra, Borward and Fiats. There are early Hondas, Jaguars, Porsches and so much more. There is even a space-age looking car that looks like Evil Knievel would take it over the Snake River Canyon, and knowing Ron, maybe it has!
There are many cars and trucks that will be sought after by Rat Rodders and customizers. There is an assortment of Henry J’s, Desotos, Plymouths, and even COE Trucks. For the muscle guys and gals in the crowd, Ron boasts of a ’65 Mustang, a ’66 Dodge Charger, a ’67 Plymouth Barracuda and a ’57 Chevy thrown in for good measure.
The collection isn’t limited to cars and trucks. There are John Deere and International tractors and a host of rare Studebaker buggies and wooden wagons. Ron liked everything with wheels and even has a 1947 Indian Chief “Roadmaster” motorcycle complete with sidecar and a 1949 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Keeping true to the roots that helped build his great collection, he even has a ’75 Dodge Big Horn diesel rig for sale!
Ron was going to restore many of them and then realized he didn’t have enough time to get them all done. At one time there was talk of a possible museum for the cars but it never panned out. He decided to turn them back into the wild and let other collectors, rodders, customizers, and hobbyists enjoy his vast collection.
The Hackenbergers are going to have one big weekend with a celebration of his collection and everything will be sold no-reserve over the weekend of July 14-16. The auction is open to anyone that loves old cars and trucks and wants to give the Hackenbergers’ treasures a good home. There is defiantly something for everyone.
Ron and Eunice have contracted with JF Marketing/Auction & Real Estate Services in Ohio and VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC, of Minnesota, who specializes in collector cars and parts, to sell their vast collection. When John called me to come out to Ohio, we walked into just the first of the three major buildings housing the best of the collection, and could hardly walk through the cars. They are packed door to door and end to end. The cars are originals, restored, projects, and some for parts. A catalog will be coming with complete details, pictures and more. The Hackenbergers have been working to title the vehicles and get ready for the sale. You won’t want to miss this auction.
The auction will be held onsite and online and bidders across the world will have a chance to bid on and buy a part of this “virtual car candy store.“It is amazing, I’ve never seen so many different cars,” said, John Froelich of JF Marketing/Auction & Real Estate Services.
Gates open at 7 a.m. each day and the action will begin at 9 a.m. in Norwalk, Ohio for the Hackenberger Collection. For more info: www.ronhackenberger.com or www.vanderbrinkauctions.com. You can also call John Froehlich at 440-454-1121 or Yvette VanDerBrink at 605-201-7005 for more auction information or if you have a collection yourself that you would like to sell in the near future.