Nobody knew that Clyde Brown had treasures hoarded away at his home and in sheds. Not until after he passed away did his family realize the vast amount of his treasures. Outside of Hartford, Wisc. was an overgrown shed that was packed full of old cars. The family asked around and were told to call Yvette at VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC. She’ll help you out. I received the phone call and they stated they had a shed full of old cars with raccoon droppings everywhere. I asked what type of vehicles. They answered some old Cadillacs. I proceeded to ask if there were any big “Fins?” Indeed there were! Clyde’s wife sent a cryptic picture of a dark shed filled with covered and dirty cars. Just one glimpse of the huge tailfins and I knew that it wasn’t junk, as the family thought, but a hidden trove of Cadillac treasures.They contracted for an “online only” auction in February with VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC.
In spring they dragged the cars out into the sunlight for the first time in a long time. I drove over to Wisconsin for pictures and to inventory and was amazing at the hoard of fins in plain sight. Eleven 1959 Cadillacs – from a rare 1959 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible to 4-dr. HT’s and even a Limo. Afte they were all inventioried and pictures taken, I called Steve's Towing to hide 6 of the rare cars away for safety. The family came out and asked, “Is there anything here that someone would want?” It was amazing, to have so many rare cars in one place. A 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible which was 1 of less than 800 and two 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertibles, 2 of only 1320 made and less surviving. 38 vehicles in all were tallied with four rare vehicles. The cars were put in an online only auction with national social media, and local promotion. Collectors were a buzz that this barn find was right in their backyard and they didn’t know about it. Old Cars Weekly's Angelo VanBogart was given a personal tour and invitation from VanDerBrink Auctions.
It was quite the story, and it became big news among collectors. Word spread fast and bidding was fierce. This collection that the family thought was just “old cars” fetched over $250,000!
Several of the cars set new world records for their rough conditions. They all needed restoration. All the vehicles sold outside the area. A rare blue 1959 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible sold to a buyer in California for $91,300, the other 1959 Biarritz convertible with its quarter went for $66,000! The 1959 Cadillac limo sold for $12,650. Results are on the website www.vanderbrinkauctions.com.
Nothing ran and everything needed complete restoration. Yet, collectors were able to get their hands on rare pieces of American automotive history. The family is grateful for VanDerBrink’s honesty, knowledge and marketing in helping them turn a dirty bunch of “old cars” into a gift from a deceased family member that left them with a lot of work and more memories. If you have a collection to sell, call VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC.
Yvette VanDerBrink 605-201-7005 or www.vanderbrinkauctions.com.
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