Friday, 24 September 2021 20:29

Menard Classic Car Collection to Be Auctioned Oct. 2

This 1963 Chevy Corsair ramp-side pickup is among the lots to be auctioned off. This 1963 Chevy Corsair ramp-side pickup is among the lots to be auctioned off.


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The Larry and Dawn Menard collection of rare and classic cars, gas station signs and other petroliana, fine pickup trucks, vintage motorcycles, antique tractors, more than 300 pieces of memorabilia and more will be auctioned Oct. 2 in the Expo Building of the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, at 225 Edwards St. in Chippewa Falls, WI.

The auction has a start time of 9 a.m. CT. Gates will open at 7 a.m.


"We hope everyone can come and bid on a chance to own one of these fabulous collector cars and more," said Yvette VanDerBrink of VanDerBrink Auctions, the Minnesota auction house conducting the sale. “But even if you can't attend in person, you can bid online.”


Folks in the Midwest will instantly recognize the Menard name. Menard's is famous throughout the region as a hardware store chain that sells everything from birdseed to lumber.


For years, Larry Menard was the face of the company and could be seen at stores, giving sales and product seminars. His recent death led his wife Dawn to made the tough decision to sell their collection.


Larry grew up on the family farm in Eau Claire, WI, and learned hard work at an early age. He enjoyed cars, speed and their styling, and was just 12 years old when he sold his 4-H calf with the idea of buying his first car, with help from his Uncle Ed. Larry had heard a neighbor had a 1935 Ford slant black sedan for sale. He promptly bicycled over and bought it.


So, at age 12, he proudly drove that car home, his bike in the trunk, and when he got there his father asked him, “Did you get the title?” Larry had been so excited about getting the car, he'd completely forgotten about the title. But the experience convinced him he was a dealmaker who was destined for a life in sales, and he vowed then to start collecting rare old automobiles.


Larry's father didn't want his sons, Larry and John, to spend their lives farming, and he began a family business, building pre-fab buildings. He gave the boys the first building, which they used to sell lumber out of a boxcar. That modest beginning, of selling lumber and pre-fab buildings, eventually became...

...Menard's---everything under one roof for all one's building and home needs.


When Larry was still in high school, he hung out with a friend and kindred spirit who also loved cars and had a sister, Dawn. The two never dated back then, but years later they were reintroduced at the Menard's store in Eau Claire by Dawn's daughter. A strong connection was quickly established and the two became soulmates. It turned out Dawn loved old cars too.


Larry and Dawn embarked on a life together centered around their rapidly growing car collection---and work of course. They loved to go to cruises with car buddies. They never missed Back to the 50s and Good Guys car shows. They had a list of cars they looked for and actively sought out. One was a 1935 Ford, since that was Larry's first car. They loved “the hunt."


Eventually, the collection expanded to include not just classic cars but other American classics: gas pumps, porcelain signs and many items of petroliana and memorabilia. A collection became a museum. Larry and Dawn's adventure continued for many years along the road of life, through all the twists and turns they encountered, leading up to Larry's death and Dawn's decision to sell.


An open-house preview will be held the day before the auction, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 1, at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds. Masks are recommended but not required for the open-house preview.


For more information about the sale of the Larry and Dawn Menard collection, including a list of lots, click here.


Source: VanDerBrink Auctions


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