Larry

Ford on the Range - The Krinke Collection Auction Story

8/19/2021
Yvette VanderBrink
For some people, they can’t imagine wide open spaces, driving for miles without seeing another farm place. Western North Dakota is one of those last great frontiers, and still is. 100 years ago, Teddy Roosevelt left New York and staked a claim ranching out in this vast wilderness--Western Dakota. He loved the untamed beauty of nature and the solitude of the open plains. Antelope, Deer, and even Buffalo still roamed the planes until the ranchers and farmers settled.
 
The Krinke Family came to North Dakota and staked their claim in Western North Dakota and have been farming the same ground for over 100 years. Farming is a rough life and mother nature doesn’t always want you to win. Neil grew up knowing how to work hard and earn your way.
 
 
Neil Krinke was born in 1932 on a farm ½ mile south from the ranch where he lives. He grew up farming with horses and couldn’t wait till they got their first tractor an Allis Chalmers 40-60 on full steel. That horsepower was a big improvement over the horses and made farm life easier. When you are growing up on a farm, it takes all hands and Neil Krinke started helping by driving grain truck by 8 years old. He mastered that 1928 Chevrolet grain truck with loads from the field, barely seeing over the dash.  Neil’s Dad was a mechanic and it fascinated Neil how his dad could make something out of nothing. His mechanic’s skills started Neil’s fascination with automobiles and what makes them work. Like farming in Western North Dakota, there are good years and bad years and often, “you have to make something out of nothing.”
 
Neil graduated High School and got his first car a 1949 Pontiac. With all those open roads, racing and riding motorcycles was just something to do. Dances on the weekend were popular and it was at a dance in Raines, that he would meet his wife, Rosalie. He remembers seeing that “good looking gal” and they started dancing and talking.
 
It would be 3 years and a blind date before they would meet up again. Neil can remember taking a grain truck to Oklahoma City for his dad and put his 1947 Harley Davidson motorcycle in the back. It was November and started driving home, as he got closer to Rapid City, he was driving his 47 Harley on ice and in a snowstorm. He could hardly see and freezing that he had to stop in Rapid City until the weather passed and still drive home in the winter on his Harley.
 
Neil always wondered what happened to that gal at the dance in Raines, and he went on a blind date, and there she was. They kicked it off just like that night they met. Neil and Rosalie got married and started farming the family farm and getting a farm of their own. Neil can remember one year it was so cold while they were trying to plant, they put every stitch of clothing on they had and wrapped fertilizer bags around their legs and arms. Farming got better and the kids came along, 3 sons, and that was a big help with the farming. Everyone in the area knew that Neil Krinke was a car guy. One of the 1st cars that he obtained was a 1929 Ford Model A that he bought so a man in town could bury his brother. Also, it was like the 1929 Model A that he met Rosalie in.
 
Neil was born in 1932 and he loved the look and style of those 1932, 1933, 1934, to 1940’s Fords. Likewise, 1932 had a lot of history and events in those years. The Depression, WWII, and so many events that shaped the United States and Neil’s life. They joined the Early Ford V8 Club and enjoyed how the members loved their cars and equally enjoyed history. Neil bought a 1941 Ford and took about 6 years to restore it back to factory and that got him hooked.
Western North Dakota is not only known for wide open plains, but dry western metal. Solid cars for restoring and rodding. People didn’t get rid of anything and there were many cars on every farm. He bought most of his cars in the collection from about 50-mile radius.
 
Mr. Krinke started to buy them and bring them to the ranch and line them up to be restored in the future. Now Mr. Krinke isn’t much of a seller, and most everything he ever bought is still in the collection, with a few exceptions of some Chevrolets that have left the fold. Neil loved to drive the 1934 and 1935 Fords and they were a favorite. Like many collectors, it’s not only the cars that get bought but all the pieces to put them together. Neil went to many antique car auctions and also buying parts from people in the area.
 
The Krinkes retired from farming in 1998 and expected to have more time to “see the world” in their 1930’s and 1940’s Ford cars. By then, the boys were taking over the ranching and farming operation and needed help. Neil put his dreams of driving around the world got put on hold and helped the boys with the farming and ranching. The Krinkes did make adventures with their cars to Dearborn and Early Ford V8 Meets. Their cars have won Dearborn and Early Ford V8 awards for Neil’s astounding attention to detail on his restorations.  
 
Soon age and a health scare came sooner than they expected. It became apparent that something had to be done with the collection. The boys encouraged their dad to let other people enjoy the cars and he and Rosalie can enjoy a couple restored cars and “See the World."
 
So many years of collecting has filled many barns filled with signs, parts, and cars. By the cow yard, 1930’s-1940’s Ford cars and trucks were lined up and staged to be restored. The family called VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC and they started the process of selling the collection and setting an auction date. September 18th, 2021 was chosen as the day to sell the vast collection at the ranch south of Scranton, North Dakota.
 
Inventory day came and Neil, the boys, and Yvette VanDerBrink started taking pictures and numbering the cars, parts, and memorabilia. The enormity of the collection soon became apparent. While doing inventory the memories came back and the stories started flowing about acquisitions and adventures. The collection also revealed so much history of the area and its people.  Every Car, Neil had the story of who had it and when he got it. From the 1929 car that he bought to help bury a brother to a 1932 Ford 3 window Coupe that was at a neighbor in a barn years ago. By the end of the day, 92 vehicles and collector tractors, nearly 100 signs, gas globes, and other automotive collectibles were numbered. The collection has a vast array of parts with many for Ford eras 1932, 1933, and 1940’s. 70-plus Ford Trucks, Pickups, and MANY Coupe and Sedan bodies for Restore or your hotrodding dreams.  The collection has a rare 1933 3 Window Coupe for rod or restore, That amazing rolling body, the hotrodder’s dream, a 1932 Ford 3 Window Coupe, even several rare 1932 Ford Victoria Sedans.  Since Neil was born in 1932, there are many 1932 Ford Sedans, Coupes, and many 1932 Ford parts. The Krinke’s will be selling their restored Dearborn award winning cars including a rare 1934 Ford Victoria 2dr Sedan, 1936 Ford Cabriolet, 1934 Ford Roadster Project, 1940 Ford Coupe, and more.
 
Even though the collection is primarily Ford, there are Chevrolets and also some Mercury’s in the mix. A hard-to-find 1950 Mercury Convertible is sitting in the corner of the machine shed. A 900-plus AACA Junior & Senior Award winning 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible will be sold along with an amazing 1954 Chevrolet 5 Window Pickup. Even a 1964 Mercury Marauder that was purchased new by the Krinkes will be on the sale. The auction will take place on the ranch and will be LIVE ONSITE with Online bidding on September 18th, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. MST. While there is no cell phone on the ranch, there is high speed internet to the residence. But it is best to be in person to bid and come and spend a beautiful weekend on the high plains of North Dakota.
 
Collections like this aren’t are hard to find and you won’t want to miss or see this rare opportunity at all these fabulous Fords and more. For catalog/online bidding, video, and many pictures go to the VanderBrink Auctions website. But you always get a front row seat on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube by following VanderBrink Auctions. So, plan now to venture up to the wide-open plains of Western North Dakota and bid on your piece of the amazing Krinke collection.
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