ST. JOHN — An exodus of classic vehicles garnered attention in St. John on Saturday as the former Ford garage at 201 E. Fourth and a former laundromat at 108 W. Third were vacated after serving for decades as repositories for part of the collection of 140-plus antique vehicles amassed by the late Bob Regehr of Hutchinson.
St. John photographer Dick Smith preserved highlights of the event through his camera lens as vehicles were being transported from St. John to Hutchinson to be included in the VanDerBrink Auctions event set for this Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Kansas State Fairgrounds, 2000 N. Poplar St. in Hutchinson.
"I was driving down the street and saw them and went home and got my camera," said Smith, who posted the photos on his Facebook site. "They were pretty cool."
St. John was one of several location scattered throughout Kansas, which housed Regehr’s collection, featured in a 2009 issue of Hotrod Magazine. The entire collection included Camaros, Corvettes, 1950s GM cars, and nearly 20 of Regehr’s favorite 1932 Fords.
Details about the vehicles being auctioned are available at firstname.lastname@example.org, which also includes this backstory about Regehr’s collection, including the why and how of the collection:
"Bob loved cars and dreamed of owning that sweet 1932 Ford ride. Bob always had an eye for business. In 1968, he had a brilliant idea that would launch his fortune and collection. Bob took a trampoline, put a cover over it and called it ‘The Moon Walk.’ He took it to the World’s fair and it was an instant hit with the kids. He sold his first two units and started a successful business to fuel his passion for old cars. The collection and his family grew. The kids would wax the cars and Bob would tell them, ‘Don’t sweat on the chrome!’ Bob’s favorites were 1932 Fords and the collection is filled with all makes and models including two rare 1932 B400 two-door convertible Sedans. But it’s not only Fords, but Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac. There wasn’t a car Bob didn’t like."
Saturday’s auction will be held online as well as at the Kansas State Fairgrounds, starting at 9 a.m., with a preview from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, according to information from VanDerBrink Auctions.
Masks are requested for those attending the preview or the live auction.