Yoder sales has variety in a grass-roots environment

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By John Gunnell

WAUTOMA, Wis. -  Wayne Yoder puts on his “Yoder Sold” collector car auctions each spring and fall. They are fun to attend and Wayne always sells a wide range of different items for an even wider range of prices.

Yoder starts off taking bids on automobilia items and has a real knack for finding collectors of in his rural area. He then moves on to selling cars and trucks— about 70 in his Sept. 20 auction. He’ll wind up most days with a sprinkling of golf carts, boats, trollies, pedal cars and additional automobilia.

Each car in the sale has a State of Wisconsin form in the window that lists pertinent information and the known problems of each vehicle. This takes a lot of guesswork out of striking deals on an auction block. Most vehicles also have a window sign listing their features and benefits. Registering for the auction is also free. Good food is available from a vendor on the grounds. The auction podium is indoors, in case of bad weather.

Yoder made a big improvement at the latest sale by handing out a 36-page list with every item for sale with photos and written descriptions of each lot. Unlike the case in previous years, there were enough of these lists floating around all day for everyone to get one if they wanted to.

The Yoder auction staffers do a good job verbally describing items, projecting pictures of each item on a screen, soliciting and calling out bids, dealing with Internet bidders and posting the prices realized on the Internet so you can check what each sold item brought when you get home. The only thing we could think about to improve the operation is to have an after-sale lot where negotiations on no sale items could continue.

There are always a couple of hidden gems among the vehicle offerings if you really research them. We didn’t know that the 1940 Series 72 Cadillac sold at the latest auction was a one-year-only model (and one of 455 built) until we read up about it after the sale. Also, a beat-up ’68 Chevy ambulance turned out to be a Coachcraft conversion with links that could be traced all the way back to famed designer Howard “Dutch” Darrin.

Following are a few of the interesting vehicles that sold in Wautoma on Sept. 20.

1964 Chevrolet C20 Custom pickup

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Condition 3. Modified. Non-original orange. Shows 1,600 miles (since rebuild). 350-cid Chevy crate V-8 with mild cam. Automatic transmission. Custom gauges; power steering and brakes; custom exhaust with headers; custom wheels; bench seat. A few minor paint chips. Front and rear coil spring suspensions and front disc brakes. Rear end lowered. From South Carolina. Front/rear undercarriage all new. All new interior. Truck was completely taken apart and redone. Owner says runs and drives great. Brakes good. Readers of this publication will probably say the color of this truck is “Old Cars Weekly Orange.”Sold for $11,000.

1932 Chevrolet Deluxe hot rod coupe

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Condition 2. Metallic blue. 8,755 miles. 350-cid 300-hp V-8. THM 350 transmission. Lokar shifter. Owner states runs and drives as it should. Mustang II rack-and-pinion steering. Custom interior. Ford 9-inch rear end. Tinted windows. Handmade black walnut dash. Front power windows. Power brakes. Walker heavy-duty radiator. Custom base coat/clearcoat paint. New aluminum rims. New tires. Not chopped. Fiberglass rear fenders. $40,000 invested in rebuilding the car says owner. This was a pretty little hot rod that seemed like a quality build. Sold for $19,500.

1958 Chevrolet Del Ray coupe

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Condition 3. Customized. Blue. 33,535 miles. 350-cid crate engine. Four-speed Muncie transmission with Hurst shifter. Runs and drives as it should. Nice, solid running car. Minor dents. Power steering, Power brakes. Named after Florida’s Del Ray Beach. If you ever wanted “beachfront property” this Del Ray is a cheap way to get it. This Chevy had an “average Joe” look to it, but on closer inspection seemed above average for this kind of car. Sold for $11,000.

1958 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck

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Condition 3. Customized. Color: Root Beer Metallic. 11,287 miles. 327-cid V-8 with three deuces. Five-speed manual transmission. Disclosure form stated “runs, drives and brakes function as they should.” Isn’t all that to be expected? Ghost flames and side of hood were admired by many bidders. This dual headlight, guided-missile inspired, late-’50s sweetheart had a frame-off restoration a few years back. Features power steering; power brakes; tilt steering column; bucket seats and fat B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A RWL tires. The body-color bumper may not be everyone’s cup of tea on a truck that was “factory flashy.” Sold for $11,000.

1965 Chevrolet C10 Fleetside pickup truck (two-wheel drive)

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Condition 3. Color: White over Red two-tone. 81,618 miles. 230-cid straight six. Four-on-the-floor transmission. Disclosure form stated “Runs, drives and brakes function as they should.” Great if you want to drive it home. A nice, honest truck with the mid-’60s Chevy styling that is coming on strong. Good examples are not easy to find. Wooden bed floor reminds us how “old school” the ’60s really were. Bench seat and clean inside and out. If you wanted a real truck-truck, this C10 with Nebraska license plates was perfect. In fact, it still had dual white-painted truck mirrors and a white-painted grille. Sold for $12,000.

1940 Series 60 Special Cadillac four-door sedan

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Condition 2. Color: Black and gray two-tone. 190 miles since restoration). Flathead V-8. Three-on-the-tree transmission. This car was listed on the auction bill as a one-year-only Series 72 sedan, but its serial number and sleek styling matched a 60 Special Series sedan with the clean, smooth look and large, high-top windows emphasizing the glass area. This model was available with the Sunshine TurretTop as this one had. These cars rode Cadillac’s shortest wheelbase and had a V-8 under their hoods. This one came from Arizona and was beautiful and completely and nicely restored. What a buy for just $18,000.

1979 Chevrolet Corvette T-top sport coupe

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Condition 4. Color: Dark Blue. 79,157 miles. V-8. Three-speed automatic. Power steering; power brakes and power windows that don’t work. Also non-functional were the horn, turn signals, light and door locks (no mention as to whether the door locks were power-operated or not). Things like this made it hard to get “into” this Vette (literally). However, it had Headman side pipes and Cragar wheels so it looked cool. According to the auction bill, you could also drive it home and stop it when you got there. A hairy hot rod for the handyman at $5,500.

1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500

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Condition 3. Color: Orange. 14,995 miles showing. Teeny-tiny 1500cc in-line four with 53 huffing and puffing horsepower. Four-on-the-floor gearbox. These are actually pretty cool British sports cars on the affordable side of that niche. This one ran good and stopped good. Wayne Yoder noted, “The soft convertible top does not snap all the way down.” The owner said he never drove the Spitfire with the top up. But take it from us, if you park it in the sun for a day or so, the top snaps will probably all work fine. We restored one of these and it was a neat machine. This tiny Triumph did not need restoration and will be a big bundle of fun for just $4,000.

1966 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible

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Condition 2. Restyled. Color: Starburst Blue. Mileage not stated. 302-cid V-8. Automatic transmission. Modifications to this mid-sized ragtop included rack-and-pinion steering; a four-link rear suspension; Vintage Air A/C and a custom interior with a Dakota Digital dashboard. Owner stated that over $100,000 had been spent customizing this flip-top Ford. It also had power windows, a power-operated convertible top, power-operated doors and power steering. It turned out to be the auction’s high-priced honey pulling down an eye-opening $35,500.

1970 Ford Torino GT

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Condition 3. Stock. Color: Pastel Lime. Mileage 1,053 (since restoration?). 351-cid two-barrel V-8. Automatic transmission. Power steering, power brakes and non-functioning factory A/C. Includes new in-the-box trunk mat. Turin is the capital city of the Piemonte region of northwestern Italy, but the Italians call it Torino. The city fathers also asked the Olympics to use that name. Whatever you call this particular Ford, it’s a nice one from the body color to the Laser Stripe on the side. The VIN engine code indicates a 351 is correct in this unit. It brought only $1,000 less than the rare 1940 Cadillac Series 72 and sold for $17,000.

1979 Dodge Power Wagon pickup

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Condition 2. Custom-style restoration. Color: Red and Black. Mileage 45 (since complete restoration). 360-cid V-8. Automatic transmission. A beautifully restored Dodge pickup done with Power Wagon pizzazz by Dave’s Body Shop in Stevens Point, Wis. This truck was completely overhauled and put into just-like-new cosmetic and mechanical condition. The under-hood detailing was the only thing that could have been made slightly better, but not by much. The graphics treatment was flashy and the whole truck was “over-Power(ing)-Wagon” impressive. The bucket seat interior was also redone. Someone took home a very nice ride for $15,000.

1951 Ford Victoria two-door hardtop

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Condition 4. Stock. Color: Blue and White. Mileage 85,859. 239-cid 100-hp “Strato-Star” flathead V-8. Three-on-the-tree.The Deluxe or Custom names appeared on this plate on most ’51 Fords, but the plate on the all-new hardtop model said Victoria. “The car that gives you the smart styling of a convertible with the snugness of a sedan,” is how ad copywriters described this model. This car was awakened from a deep sleep in 2016 and re-wired, re-tired, re-braked and more. It had some beauty marks and battle scars, but nothing drastic. Sold for $5,750.

1993 Corvette 40th Anniversary Edition

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Condition 3. Stock. Hatch roof coupe. Color: Black. Mileage 96,143. 350-cid four-barrel V-8. Six-speed manual transmission. Chevy had no 30th Anniversary Corvette in 1983, but was careful not to miss the opportunity in 1993. An exclusive “Ruby Red” color was used inside and out. The $1,455 Anniversary package (RPO Z25) retailed for $1,455 and also included color-keyed wheel centers, headrest embroidery and “40th Anniversary” emblems on the hood, deck and side-gills. The 1993 Vette was the first North American automobile to use recycled sheet-molded-compound body panels. This black car — not Ruby Red-brought $4,500.

1962 Plymouth Savoy four-door sedan

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Condition 2. Modified. Color: White. Mileage 61,866. 360-cid/395-hp crate V-8 with aluminum high-rise intake, MSD ignition, ceramic-coated headers and all sorts of other goodies. Four-on-the-floor transmission. Came from Mississippi to Dave’s Body Shop in Stevens Point, Wis., where it was made into a Quadra-Porte dragster-like stripper with taxi cab looks and bat-out-of-hell performance. Everything on the car is high-quality new “good stuff” that makes it run right and go fast. The crate motor has less than 100 miles of use. The four doors make it a very unique creation with a 100-percent just-built look. Sold for $19,500.

1967 Dodge D100 van

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Condition 4. Customized. Color: Yellow. Mileage 80,740. 318-cid V-8. Automatic transmission. Tinted windows. RV couch inside the back. Wood-grained vinyl flooring installed along with real wood ceiling in load area. Sun roof; LCD lighting and chrome headers. Nice running, driving and braking. Paint had a lot of orange peel, but this van was redone for travel fun and not dolled up for beauty contests. The price it brought reflects the fact that some buyer “got” what it was all about and bought into the updated-hippie-van appeal of this reliable old Dodge. Sold for a surprising $7,000.

1949 De Soto Custom four-door sedan

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Condition 6. Stock. Color: Gray. Mileage unknown. What was left of a flathead six-cylinder. Semi-automatic (Fluid Drive) transmission. Despite the fact that it was incorrectly listed as a “Plymouth-De Soto,” we were actually excited about this car because Dad owned one just like it (without the outside sun visor). When we bought his at H & L Oldsmobile in Staten Island, N.Y. we really loved the woodgrained inner door moldings with Hernando De Soto’s cameo on them. Dad’s car became kind of a jalopy, but this one was even worse. It had been “sitting for years” and had some rust, although it was overall pretty solid.Sold for $1,100.

1964 Mercury Monterey two-door hardtop fastback

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Condition 6. Stock. Color: Rust. Mileage 57,323. 390-cid 250-hp two-barrel V-8. The owner described it as a “fixer-upper with good potential.” At first glance it looked like an $800 junker-clunker with zero appeal, but the longer you stared, you realized how cool it would be to restore this car. It’s rare, too. Only 4,173 were built. The missing chrome moldings were even in the trunk. To restore it you’d have to redo everything, but it would be “way cool.” The kicker was when the car drove up to the podium, it ran like a racing car. Someone else must have squinted and imagined how nice this Merc could be. It sold for $3,100.

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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Condition 3. Stock. Color: Black. Mileage 180,352. 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Automatic transmission. We know some readers won’t think of this as an “old car,” but at the tender age of 18 it nearly qualifies for collector plates in Wisconsin. And think about this. Just after these cars came out, we had our ’36 Pontiac Touring Sedan at the grocery store and a lady asked us if it was a PT. This one runs and drives and has a power sun roof, power windows, power door locks and power windows—not to mention leather seats. Best of all, this Cruiser sold for just $1,100.

1968 Chevrolet Coachcraft High-Headroom Ambulance

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Condition 6. Stock ambulance conversion. Color: Orange/White. Mileage 33,264. V-8. Automatic transmission. Converted from a Chevrolet C10 truck. A rare rig made by Coachcraft Ltd. of California. Coachcraft was founded in 1939 by three men who worked for famed designer “Dutch” Darrin. The company specialized in custom cars for Hollywood types based on lower-priced Fords, Studebakers and such. It also did famous creations like a 1951 Cadillac station wagon. The company was still operating in the early 2000s and moved from West Hollywood to Morepark. The ambulance netted $4,000.

1917 Ford Model T runabout

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Condition 4. Stock. Color: Black (of course). Mileage unknown. 176.7-cid 20-hp inline four-cylinder. Planetary transmission with three foot pedals for control. The Model T for 1917 looked like an all-new car, but was actually a rather simple evolution from 1916. The brass radiator and the small hood were gone, as were all bits of brass trim. New curved and crowned fenders appeared. There was also a new black radiator shell, a new hood and a new hood former. The Runabout roadster cost $345. Over 107,000 were built. This one ran and drove (at least as far as the podium) and included upgrades like key starting. It sold for $4,500.