An iconic collection of classic cars in a small central Nebraska town is going up for auction starting Wednesday. They’re part of what was known as “Chevyland U.S.A”, a car museum just off Interstate 80 about 15 miles west of Kearney.
Farmer Monte Hollertz starting collecting cars in the 1960s and opened “Chevyland U.S.A.” in Elm Creek, Nebraska in 1974. He was known as the “Chevy Guy”, but the museum had all sorts of vehicles. The 1980’s were a popular time for the museum.
1969 Chevy Corvette Stingray Convertible with 6794 miles on the odometer. (Photo from Big Iron Auctions)
“There was a Corvette for everybody’s style. We had Bellaire hardtops in the 50’s for every year, we had convertibles, we had Nomads,” Monte’s son Al Hollertz said.
The museum has been closed for a few years and Monte Hollertz died in 2020. Now his family is selling the collection, which includes around 70 vehicles.
“I think for the most part, all these cars, with a little work, could be put back on the road,” Hollertz said.
An online auction starts on Wednesday and there’s already been a whole lot of interest.
“Monte had such a good name in the collector arena that there’s a lot of people that are aware of Monte and they’re aware of the collection and so we have had such unbelievable amounts of people reaching out already,” Ryan Harbur with Big Iron Auctions said.
The oldest vehicle in the collection is a 1915 Chevy Baby Grand Touring H-4. There’s also a 1969 Chevy Corvette Stingray Convertible with 6700 miles on the odometer. But the most interesting car might be a blue, 1965 Chevy Impala that was used by a bank robber after a deadly heist in Big Springs, Nebraska.
“The Duane Pope get-away car if you will,“ Harbur said. “That car is part of this collection. Great condition for what it is.”
The online bidding starts Wednesday and the sale ends May 6th. An open house for potential buyers runs from April 29th-May 6 at the museum in Elm Creek.