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General Motors will be selling a big chunk of the GM Heritage Collection of historically significant GM models at Barrett-Jackson 2009, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The cars will be sold to the highest bidders at the well-known auction on Jan. 13-18, 2009. Officials at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, in Lansing, Mich., thought that as many as 250 vehicles might cross the block next month. GM itself has not announced an official number, but apparently the National Corvette Restorers Society has posted a list of the cars being sold on its member's-only Website. 

Tom Freiman, manager of the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Mich., told newspaper reporters that GM is not getting rid of the entire collection, which consists of about 1,000 vehicles. "We're thinning the herd, so to speak, but in a thoughtful way," he said.

Apparently, the carmaker began planning the sale earlier this year, even prior to government bailout requests. Freiman said the company has sold some of its Heritage Collection cars before. He said the plan now is to focus on vehicles that represent company milestones. Freiman did say that the move to sell so many vehicles is extraordinary.

GM also announced that it plans to sell additional vehicles at a Palm Beach, Fla. auction, which is most likely a second Barrett-Jackson venue, although that was not specified.

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