Tuesday morning, Chad Ehrlich and Chris Froeschner were on hand at the Great Bend Expo overseeing the set-up of the 2020 F & E Collector Auction happening this weekend, Oct. 2 -3. Since 2016, the annual auction of bucket-list vehicles has drawn hundreds to the area to look over a vast array of collectible cars and automobilia.
“With COVID being kind of a little bit of an Achilles this year, it did slow us down at first with consignments.” Froeschner said. Some sellers were reluctant at first to enter their cars. “But now we are essentially back up to our previous numbers that we’ve been able to maintain on a yearly basis as far as entries and catalog numbers. So we expect things to be about as normal as can be expected given the times we’re in.”
Friday evening, the public is invited to come out for the preview from 4-8 p.m. Car enthusiasts are encouraged to bring out their rides for a cruise night. Raffles and prize drawings will be held throughout the evening, and Sue’s Barbecue will be open next to the beer garden.
“Basically, it’s just a time to come out, kick the tires and check things out,” Froeschner said. “It’s a preview for guys to do their homework and their due diligence on the cars.”
“This is more of an event than a show. There’s always activity,” Ehrlich said. “A lot of guys will bring their kids, bring their buddies. Friends will come together or meet up, hang out, drink some beer, eat some barbecue; sometimes they buy something, sometimes they don’t.”
On Saturday, the gates open at 8 a.m. and the auction starts at 10.
“We’ll start with automobilia, and then at 11 o’clock we’ll start on the vehicles,” Ehrlich said.
The online catalog is already available through Proxibid, and can be accessed through the Carr Auction website at https://carrauction.proxibid.com/Carr-Auction-Real-Estate/F-E-Collector-Auto-Auction/event-catalog/185599?gl=V-Info#V-Info .
“It’s in real-time when the car is going across the block, so bidders can see and they can hear the audio and kind of get a feeling for how things are going,” Froeschner said. “If they can’t sit down in front of the computer that day they can place a maximum bid.”
With this option, bids are increased incrementally as they are outbid, until the money runs out or a price is fixed.
In addition to the website, the auction’s Facebook page offers numerous video posts where Ehrlich provides a thorough once-over, inside and out, of unique offerings, including a 1949 Willys Jeepster convertible, a 1971 Lincoln Mark III, and a 1964 Chevy Impala SS 2 door hardtop.
“We’ve got a 1930 Ford, all the way up to a 2015 BMW, so kind of everything in between,” Froeschner said. “We’ve got a really nice 1970, Ford Mustang Mach One, a 1970 Nova that’s been stickered as an SS, and a real nice 57 Bellaire black on black.”
Slick restorations are only one of the types of vehicles attendees can expect to see. Antique trucks and more recreational focused vehicles have been pretty popular this year as well. The diversity of offerings and bidders helps to keep things interesting. And for those who aren’t in the market for a car, the quantity and quality of the automobilia available will ensure no one needs go home empty-handed.