Christmas time is such a wonderful time! Family, friends, and well... presents. I was driving to Sioux Falls, S.D., the other day and wondering what to get that large Dutch man in my life... Mr. VanDerBrink. Cologne? New shirt?
Hmm… Nope none of that. Something any true car guy needs… Load Binders and Ratchet Tie straps 25ft long and Commercial Grade! Yep, there is a heavy present under the tree. I tried to get him to open it early when I learned another truck – not a pickup – was coming to the VanDerBrink Farm. My husband has the same disease that I and many people do... The love of vehicles.
Christmas time at the Nordstrom Farm, when I was growing up, still revolved around vehicles. My dad always had an Impala and a Ford pickup. Yep, a Ford. I can remember driving to Sioux Falls, S.D., and laying as a kid in the big back window, breathing on the glass and drawing pictures, and looking up at the stars and the sky while listening to the Rudolph report on WNAX Radio, tracking Santa.
This was a usual Christmas Eve trip to Gramma Nordstrom’s house. One year, we drove one of Dad’s latest trucks he rebuilt, a 1979 4x4 Ford. They installed something wrong on the side pipes, and when Dad let off the gas, flames shot out of the side pipes. All the way to Gramma’s us kids would yell, “Flame ’em Dad!” While Dad was flying past cars on I-90, he’d fly up by them and then BANG – flame scare those poor drivers, just going to their gramma’s place. We’d laugh at the reaction of the people that we passed. Horsepower Heaven on Christmas Eve, such little motorheads.
Now my dad had an addiction to 1957 Chevrolets. He couldn’t get enough of them. I did his auction in 2003, and there were 60 of them! The cars were everywhere on the farm and provided more than an education for me. They were also a place for Mom to hide Christmas presents. Many years they were in the trunk of the black-and-white '57 Chevy that was in the corn crib. We soon learned the screw driver trick, and I did sneak a peek a time or two. Then Mom moved them to another '57 Chevy.
All those cars also provided some Christmas entertainment for our family. My Uncle Greg and some of his buddies would come over and, after Dad was done milking cows, we would load a bunch of junk car hoods, tires, gas, inner tubes, and head over to Uncle Irvin’s pasture by Corson, S.D.
Now this was back when you could do things, that were truly fun, and probably get a ticket or fine now. You know that’s where the gas and tires comes in. But the guys would create a line of tires going down the hill and set them on fire! It was so exciting, I’m a pyro deep down, wonder why...
We would take the car hoods and pile on them and slide down between the burning tires for light under that huge South Dakota full moon. It was awesome! We would do this till the light of the tires burned almost out and then go home. I swear those Chevrolet hoods slid faster than the others, but maybe that was because Dad was partial to Chevrolet.
The racing was still almost every weekend all my life. In the summer was dirt track, but in the winter was snowmobile racing at Lake County Speedway. Dad would even get into it and have snowmobile parties at our farm and made a track in the alfalfa field. I can still remember riding behind Jerry Ross and feeling like I was going 100 mph. I’m sure we weren’t.
Yep, it seems thinking back, that even though it was a holiday, the Old Car Love was strong no matter what we did and was a strong part of my life growing up. Heck, yeah I played with Barbies, but our Barbies farmed, drove cars and went outside.
I can say I wouldn’t trade it for the world and it’s helped me to put that passion of the vintage cars and trucks in my auctions for my sellers. I love it!
So remember, ladies... Something rusty, old, greasy and handy will be a great gift for the car man in your life!
Merry Christmas and See you at the Auctions!
Yvette VanDerBrink- Auctioneer
The Lil’ Nordstrom’s Gal
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC