By Yvette VanDerBrink
When I was a kid, my dad collected 1957 Chevrolets. Us kids could spot tail fins peeking out of the grove of trees at 60mph. We’d yell with delight, “Dad! Tailfins! 57 Chevrolet!” He would spin the car around and next thing we knew, Dad would be buying the hidden treasure and bringing it home.
Who would have thought that these “car spotting” skills would come useful someday in my profession. All those miles of riding around and listening to Dad making deals on those classic Chevrolets. I absorbed all that information like a little sponge. This innate skill has made it possible to help families sell their collections. It gives me a thrill to tell them that Grandpa’s or Dad’s car is actually a treasure and not “junk.”
I have been in hundreds of barns and looked at thousands of vehicles, but last week I got butterflies in my stomach from the thrill of the find. I am working with a family in Wisconsin whose father had passed away. He hoarded antique furniture and antique luxury cars. They were all tucked away in a shed, that was to say the least, not good for them. Over the years, nasty raccoons had taken up refuge and eaten a few interiors. As luck would have it, they seemed to avoid the more valuable cars. I went there to do inventory after they were evicted. It was a hot, muggy day, and the stench of raccoon droppings was pretty dang strong.
I pulled my pickup into the clearing and there they were. I couldn’t believe it. Cadillacs were everywhere. Even coveted 1959 Cadillacs! I looked around and there were many potential projects. What are the odds of not just 1 but 2 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertibles in one barn find? I was going about my business of inventorying when boom, there it was, 1 of 1690 made, a 1953 Buick Skylark convertible project. This will be the 2nd one that I will have the pleasure of selling this year. That’s awesome! The son-in-law came out and asked, “Is there anything here anyone would want?” “Absolutely,” I said. I explained what they had inherited and that we would work to get the word out. It thrills me me to help families realize “what’s in the barn” and at the same time get these wonderful cars back into action and in the hands of collectors so they can shine their chrome beauty in the sun once again. For that, I can handle the spiders and raccoon droppings.
You can now bid ONLINE ONLY for part of this amazing collection. Check the website for details. www.vanderbrinkauctions.com
If you have a collection that you’d like to sell or know what‘s in your barn, give me a call, I’d be happy to help. 605-201-7005
Yvette VanDerBrink-The Salvage Princess
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC- Auctioneer