She was also collecting value.
Some other rare and classic muscle cars were also shunned by Butch Sipinaler during his lifetime repairing, buying, selling and swapping horsepower.
When he died last summer, the 67-year-old left more than 300 cars—many projects or auto parts, nearly all built between 1920 and 1970—sitting outside on his property along Nebraska 40 in northeastern Dawson County.
But he built a shed to keep his treasures. The Boss 429, one of the rarest Mustangs ever built. Seven early Camaros. Two Impalas from the 1960s. Two Bel Airs from the 1950s. Two El Caminos. A Chevelle, Torino, and Cyclone.
People also read…
The Mustang alone is expected to fetch $300,000.
‘Take Bailey for a ride’ – a tribute to a fallen soldier in Boone County at the upcoming NASCAR race
‘Like a Time Capsule’ – How the Classic Trans-Am Landed 35 Miles in Lincoln
“He kept many of the muscle cars he bought,” said his brother, Steve Siebner. “And some of them are becoming rather rare.”
The brothers were born into a family of cars. Their father ran a salvage yard near the valley before the family moved to central Nebraska.
Butch Sebenler started a repair shop when he was seventeen, then worked in his own salvage yard, then smuggled cars and vintage American auto parts.
His family called him the king of muscle cars.
“He knew his stuff,” his brother said. “He can go to the swap meeting and he can look at the carburetor or the exhaust manifold or a set of heads, he can look at the numbers and tell you exactly what fits him. It was a traveling encyclopedia.”
Butch Sebenler has built a client base across the country and the world. His brother remembered loyal customers from Sweden, who would travel to Nebraska, buy Flathead and Hemi engines and complete cars, and send them home across the Atlantic in shipping containers.
He had a heart attack in August. His brother said he was checking out Dodge and Plymouth parts at a garage sale near Kearney, talking to the seller, when he broke down. He did not have any first-class family. He married in 1980 but lost his wife in 1998, and they had no children.
So Steve Siebner’s job was to manage his brother’s estate – and hundreds of vintage cars. He’s already sold about 100 cars on his own, but has hired BigIron Auctions to help out with his 17 most valuable muscle cars.
Salesperson Matt Cobb headed over to Sumner to have a look.
“They were all basically original. Some were covered and some were covered in dust.”
But they cleaned with soap, water, wax, and elbow grease. And they’ve also started with new batteries, fresh gas, and clean carbs. All of them show relatively few miles on their odometers; There are no more than 100,000.
“He didn’t drive them,” Cope said. “They were like his family.”
In Chevrolet’s often coveted range of cars—the 70’s El Camino SS LS6 is one of only 500 cars produced, for example—the 375-horsepower Mustang stood out.
Ford built fewer than 1,400 of them in 1969 and 1970, and they routinely sold for more than $300,000, although some have gone over $600,000.
Atlanta’s Stephen Baker, former business partner of legendary Mustang builder Carroll Shelby, said its prices have doubled — and in some cases tripled — in the past decade.
“We have watched these cars turn into pieces of art, monuments to be revered,” he said. “People take money from 401ks because they lose money, and they put it in a muscle car.”
This is good for Baker’s business. He travels around the country and the world, 80 to 100 times a year, finding and evaluating high-value muscle cars for his clients – rock stars, movie stars, and anyone with enough money to invest.
He made his first trip to Nebraska this past weekend, when BigIron Auctions showed off its Butch Sipinaler cars at an open house in Kearney.
Baker checked the Boss 429 for a client, though he declined to reveal what he thought was worth; He said he was under contract with a client, and he didn’t want to give up anything.
BigIron’s Cobb said the open house drew a crowd. He estimated that 500 potential buyers had searched the cars, including visitors from several states.
Bids began May 26 and end at 1 p.m. Thursday. By Tuesday afternoon, the highest bids for all 17 cars had passed $900,000—with a Mustang in the lead.
High bids for the group’s other cars ranged from $80,000 to $20,000, but nearly 300 bidders have already pushed the Boss price up to $275,000.
Steve Sipinaler didn’t know much about his brother’s Mustang. He thinks he bought it 25-30 years ago, and he thinks he found it in Lincoln.
“And I knew it was rare. But I didn’t think it would be that much.”
Time flies by: Cushman’s first test rider to get another ride, 76 years later
Cruising for Mr. Rodd – The Rolling Car Show to honor the man who hooked Lincoln’s hot rods
PhotoFiles: The Race to Lincoln’s Past
outside of racing
Race at the State Fair
Racing in Lincoln
take the turn
waving the flag
Lincoln Memories: The Forties, Fifties, and Sixties
On Twitter @LJSPeterSalter