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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Edward Frazer and his wife Debra received a unusual delivery on Wednesday. The couple recently paid $17,825 for a 1959 four-door Chevrolet Impala with 2.7 miles on its odometer. The car came from a collection owned by Ray Lambrecht, who ran a Chevrolet dealership in a small Nebraska town for 50 years before he retired in 1996. Unlike most dealers, Lambrecht hoarded many of his unsold cars in a warehouse at his farm and stashed at other locations. His stockpile reached 508 barely driven cars, which Lambrecht, now 95, recently decided to sell. (Lance Traweek / American Press)<br>

Edward Frazer and his wife Debra received a unusual delivery on Wednesday. The couple recently paid $17,825 for a 1959 four-door Chevrolet Impala with 2.7 miles on its odometer. The car came from a collection owned by Ray Lambrecht, who ran a Chevrolet dealership in a small Nebraska town for 50 years before he retired in 1996. Unlike most dealers, Lambrecht hoarded many of his unsold cars in a warehouse at his farm and stashed at other locations. His stockpile reached 508 barely driven cars, which Lambrecht, now 95, recently decided to sell. (Lance Traweek / American Press)

Local couple buys classic 1959 Impala with unique history

Last Modified: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 10:11 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Edward Frazer’s love for old cars started when his father gave him a 1959 two-door Impala when he was 17.

“Of course I fell for that, and I’ve been wanting to replace that car since it broke down,” said Frazer, of Lake Charles.

He has been searching for 35 years.

Two months ago, Frazer read an article in the American Press about an auction of more than 500 classic cars in Nebraska.

The collection was owned by Ray Lambrecht, who ran a Chevrolet dealership in a small Nebraska town for 50 years before he retired in 1996. Unlike most dealers, Lambrecht hoarded many of his unsold cars in a warehouse at his farm and stashed at other locations.

His stockpile reached 508 barely driven cars, which Lambrecht, now 95, recently decided to sell.

In September, Edward and his wife, Debra, traveled to Nebraska for the two-day auction. The auction made national news and drew a crowd of more than 10,000 car buffs from across the world.

“We made plans to go to Nebraska, whether we bought anything or not, to see the cars and be a part of that historic moment,” he said.

The cars were posted on the Internet, and the couple narrowed down their top picks based on the value, year and price range.

They won a 1959 four-door Chevrolet Impala — one of two cars they wanted the most. The couple paid $17,825 for the vehicle, whose odometer has only 2.7 miles on it.

“It was quite a crowd, and we were surprised we got it,” Debra said.

More than two weeks later, the Frazers’ win was delivered to their driveway on Wednesday.

“It’s amazing. It’s a wonderful feeling and a blessing from the Lord that we were able to afford it and go through the process to get it here,” Edward said.

Allan Skinner, with Starlight Transport LLC, hauled the car from Nebraska — the eighth car he’s delivered from the auction.

“Each one is a challenge, that’s for sure, but I love the old cars,” Skinner said. “In the transport business, I thrive on these things. I’ve enjoyed being able to help out a couple like this and get it down here.”

Skinner said he noticed people taking pictures of the car on the highway and that it drew attention at every stop he made.

Edward wants to restore the inside of the vehicle, wash the outside and work on the engine.

“None of the cars run. They sat there for 50 years, so we got to get it running,” Debra said.

Edward said he wants to keep the car as close to original as possible.

“We not only have a car but a piece of history,” Edward said. “We got a car with a story behind it.”

• • •

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted By: Dwight On: 10/17/2013

Title: A transition year

When I was younger, hanging out at Tom and Mac's, several of people I knew drove their parents 59 Chevy. Most were starting to rust out after only 5 or 6 years on the road. A consequence, I was told, of the steel strike that year when GM used a thinner and lower grade steel.

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