A line of classic cars gleam in the sunshine at an auction in Spring Grove
A line of classic cars gleam in the sunshine at an auction in Spring Grove
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An auction company in Spring Grove brings classic cars and their fans together.

JC Nerstad of Spring Grove and Dave Hanner of Lanesboro started the Spring Grove Auction Company in 2012.

The two friends ran into each other in Red's IGA one day and Nerstad told Hanner the idea of hosting a classic car auction in the alley behind Doc's Blue Moose and Norski's Saloon to bring an event to Spring Grove.

Hanner didn't think that location was the best spot, so a few days later he called Nerstad and said, "We've got the Fest Building in town and we could just put it up there."

They asked world-renowned auctioneer Dave Talberg to be the auctioneer for them. Talberg has auctioneered for 30 years and has been on television. He is from northern Minnesota.

In addition to classic cars, they also had a bunch of tractors to auction off, but those didn't sell fairly well. More recently, they have auctioned off buses, boats and a limousine.

"If there's a boat, motorhome or whatever, we have been known to run that stuff through," Hanner said.

About 100 cars were sold at that first auction and were worth almost $400,000. And to boot, the auction attracted people to Spring Grove from all over the country, Hanner said.

"Classic cars are memories. You relate to a certain one," Hanner said. "They bring back memories of things and there's a lot of good memories for people."

After a successful auction, the pair has hosted at least one auction per year, if not more. One year they did four auctions in different locations: St. Paul, Annandale, Winona and Spring Grove.

The pair decided their motto would be "Classic car auctions with integrity."

"Some companies have bad reputations and the auction business in general, leaves a bad taste in people's mouths," Hanner said. "From the beginning, we wanted to build a company that does the right thing, and treat people like we would want to be treated. We've had pretty good success with that."

At their last auction, nearly 1,800 people attended, they sold 18 cars, worth $100,000 collectively. They even shipped one to Australia.

The two men have also now added an online bidding option. If people can't attend in person, they can look at cars and bid online by using Proxibid, an online auction website.

Hanner says classic cars bring back memories of times past.

"The ‘60s remind old guys now of Saturday night drag racing down the strip," he said. "Classic cars are an excellent hobby for people, to work on cars and go to shows. I think that's what classic cars are, an avenue for memories of times past."

This year's auction will be held in Spring Grove on Oct. 14, at 10 a.m. at the Fest Building. Hanner said they expect over 130 cars.

"We're working on gathering collections and hopefully we can offer private collections for sale," he added.

See photos and more information about the upcoming auction on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/Spring-Grove-Auction-Company, or visit www.springgroveauctions.com.