By Yvette VanDerBrink
SOLD! It’s the end of the January kickoff auctions. Most experts believe these January sales will tell the trends in the collector car hobby for the rest of the year. I also wonder what the trends will be. Mecum Auctions started the auction season with their Kissimmee, FL auction. So many fabulous cars in their line up with a showing of various classes of collector vehicles. The Mecum auction featured the iconic "Bullitt" Mustang from the Steve McQueen movie of the same title along with several MoPar collections, the evil Christine Plymouth and more.
One of the vehicles that I watched was Lot T72, a 1965 Chevrolet Impala, 396 V8, with 14 miles on the odometer. This car was one of the cars from my famous Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction. That auction was not only a labor of the love of cars, but an example of being at the “right place” at the “right time.” This car was 1 of 55 new vehicles that Ray Lambrecht held back from his dealership in Pierce, Nebraska. VanDerBrink Auctions conducted the auction for the Lambrecht family in 2013. It was 3 months of moving cars, pictures, a History Channel TV show, and much more. The auction turned into a monster. Nearly 25,000 people ventured to a soybean field in Nebraska for their chance to buy one of these iconic cars. 11,500 registered bids fought for their chance for 1 of the 465 vehicles on the auction. There were 55 “never sold” new cars along with Ray Lambrecht’s trade-ins that he never sold! One of the keys to selling collector cars, or anything for that matter, is developing a stir in the area and excitement for the auction. The morning of the sale was more than exciting. The bidding was hot from the beginning. We even sold Lambrecht yardsticks for $600.00, and more. This 1965 Impala, my lot 3K, sold for $76,150 at our auction in 2013. The car did run, was covered with dirt, and was still on MSO with all supporting documents. It was exciting. I was just numb with excitement and a TV show added to the excitement. It was either going to be a success or not. Talk about pressure… and it was all on TV to boot! In the end it turned out to be a great success.
The $76,150 car was resold at the Mecum auction. I watched with great anticipation to see if that same magic could be recreated. I was surprised to see that the car sold for $27,500! That was a substantial amount less than the buyer bought the car for. What could be the reason? Why wasn’t it worth more? Well with ANY and ALL auctions, an item is worth what is bid that day in time. This means that every time an item is sold the value is valid at that time only. Values will go up and down with trends, each auction, and time, along with generational interest changes. I wished I had been an online bidder and brought that Impala home.
The Impala wasn’t the only car I was curious about in the Mecum auction. Once again, I watched with anticipation as Mecum sold the iconic 1968 Ford Mustang - the "Bullitt." Mecum did a fabulous job of marketing the car, building interest, and exposure. The anticipation could be seen and felt through the TV. It was the same “Magic” that I felt with the Lambrecht Chevrolet Auction. The crowd closed in as the "Bullitt" came to the block. The numbers climbed and finally SOLD to a phone bidder for 3.4 million dollars! That was the value of that day, in time, for that car at that auction. It was amazing. I would like to know where it went? Who is the winning bidder? But many times we don’t get to know that information. I only hope that the car is still able to be seen by the public. My hopes are that Ford bought it, and it will be on display with their other Mustangs. But who knows. Was the family happy? I would assume so. What was their expectations? Selling at No Reserve told buyers that it would have a new home, and in turn increases interest and prices. This is the best way to sell anything. It shows you are serious and that it will be sold. Also, any item at auction that is advertised with active bidding will bring what the market shows that day in time. Today was Mecum’s day to have their “magic” moment with the “right place” at the “right time
With that being said, choosing the right auctioneer or venue to create that “magic” moment is important. I have had many “magic” moments and they are made through careful marketing and promotion. They are created. But if you have good inventory, often, the inventory will sell itself, but they need the right auctioneer to create the “magic.” If you are selling classic cars, you wouldn’t hire an auctioneer that specialty is glassware or antique furniture, but choose an auction with the experience in classic cars to sell your collection. VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC is building our line up for this 2020 season and have some amazing collections that we will be working with. Now it’s up to us to market them and create a “magic” moment for our sellers. One of the collections that I’m psyched about has 140 plus vehicles and nearly twenty 1932 Fords along with muscle cars, tri-fives and more in the collection. So if you are looking to sell your collection, we would like to talk to you about making your Magic Moment. Check out our 2020 Schedule and upcoming auctions. www.vanderbrinkauctions.com, 605-201-7005.
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