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Minot's 'Candy Man' collected classic Chevys and muscle cars

Roger Borkhuis Chevrolet collection to be offered by
VanDerBrink Auctions

Roger Borkhuis had all the candy he wanted growing up. The family business was Wholesale Tobacco and Candy, but Borkhuis had a sweet tooth for horsepower and chocolates weren’t going to do. When Borkhuis was 13 years old, he bought his first car. He was always intrigued with how they worked and pulled and rebuilt its engine three times. Borkhuis also appreciated the way a car looked and as a kid, his dream was to design cars for General Motors.

Roger headed to college and met Mary, the love of his life. She remembers Roger as always having a “hot ride” and recalls on one date how Roger picked her up in a white Chevrolet Bel Air. The next week, he pulled up in a green car. Mary asked if he had got a new car: “Nope, just painted it,” he replied.


The two were married after college and started their life with Roger working for Fanny Farmer in Kansas City. Those boxes of chocolates came in handy cruising the countryside while looking for cars. Soon, Roger wanted to come back home to Minot, N.D. There, he successfully restarted the chocolate business that ended when his father passed away in 1970.
Along with Roger’s success came more chances to buy cars. Those chocolates and cigarettes came in handy again when dealing with farmers that owned vehicles in garages and trees. Sometimes,

Roger was able to satisfy his own sweet tooth with an even-over trade on some GM horsepower for chocolate.

As Roger’s collection grew, he started Monkey Man Motors and Minot Classic Cars. He rarely sold cars, usually only adding to his collection of horsepower.

The collection now has many big-block GM cars including a restored 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 convertible along with many other 1968-’72 Chevelles. The collection boasts many Corvettes, including a 1959 Corvette roadster. There are also Camaros everywhere, including a 1969 Z/28 and a wrecked 1970s Camaro with only 254 miles. Included are many 1955-’57 Chevrolets such as a 1957 Nomad and 1957 Bel Air two-door hardtop, and Impalas with powerful engines, such as Roger’s 1963 Chevrolet Impala with a 409-cid V-8, dual four-barrels and a four-speed that is waiting to be run again, and a number of 1958 Impalas in hardtop and convertible form.

In 2008 Roger was diagnosed with lymphoma. The family rallied around their “Horsepower Father,” but Roger passed away from the illness. Now the family will sell Roger’s collection of GM horsepower at auction.

VanDerBrink Auctions will sell the collection, which features 115 vehicles along with many parts. Some of the cars are projects, some are nice originals and some are restored. It’s a Chevy dream.

The auction will be held at the Minot Fairgrounds on Aug. 29 starting at 9:30 a.m., with bidding available online through All the GM treasures will be sold no-reserve to the highest bidder.
For more information, go to or call 605-201-7005.

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