For almost fifty years, John Crabtree in Edgemont South Dakota collected vehicles. He saved everything, anybody else didn´t want any more, from a Ford Model T to Chevrolet El Camino or Plymouth convertible. Some of the vehicles were cannibalized for the parts of which were to be sold. At the end now 165 vehicles and thousands of spare parts came together, which now came to the auction on July 30.
The vehicles are spreaded over several hectares of land and some are overgrown by the nature. John Crabtree wanted to restore the one or the other vehicle, but it never happened. Crabtree is now 68 years old and says, “With such a large collection on this huge space it the only the possibility is to sell of the vehicles, or to become unpopular forever with the children.” Because he has a good relationship with his children, he preferred to finally sell the vehicles. The auction for the vehicles ´was taken over by Yvette VanDerBrink from Hardwick, Minnesota. She specializes in such auctions. The absurd: Some of the vehicles came from some of her previous auctions.
Crabtree began trading spare parts at the age of 14 and bought two Ford models in the 60s. Today one of the Ford Model Ts is in a barn and is well preserved. He later worked as a salesman, gold seekers and on an oil field. But his passion brought him back to the cars and the spare parts trade.
The collection is a haven for Hot Rod Bauer or lovers of original spare parts. The largest part of the proceeds goes to a fundraiser called “Abandoned Angels”, a relief fund for about 750 homeless Ukrainian children. Crabtree would like to devote himself to new tasks and help the children to find back to life.
FOTOS: VanDerBrink Auctions