Idaho Farmer’s Jaw-Dropping 80-Car Collection of Classics Heading to Auction

“There’s something for everybody, really… His love of cars was vast,” his daughter told the Idaho Statesman.

byKyle Cheromcha| UPDATED Aug 2, 2017 2:23 PM
Idaho Farmer’s Jaw-Dropping 80-Car Collection of Classics Heading to Auction

We've said it before, but it never ceases to amaze us that there are still barn finds and hidden treasures stashed around the world just waiting to be uncovered. And this latest example headed to auction—a private 80-car collection spanning seventy years and several continents' worth of automotive history—will be keeping us up late at night as we dream and scheme of ways to buy them all.

Over the course of his 88 years, Idaho farmer and World War II veteran Callan Phillips was known for three things: his work ethic, his love for his family, and his passion for anything on four wheels, according to daughter Sherri Anderson via KTVB News. What started as a few "$50 pickups" used as simple transportation around his 2,000-acre farm blossomed into a true collection after his retirement in 1994. By the time he passed away in 2013, he'd amassed an eclectic mix of about 80 perfectly-restored cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"His passion was this. This is what he loved to do," Anderson told the Idaho Statesman. "It was almost an obsession. Dad’s quote was he didn’t find the cars; they found him. And they did… He’d get so excited about fixing them up."

Included in the amazing treasure trove is a quartet of Ford Model Ts, a leather-topped 1928 Rolls-Royce, a 1947 Studebaker Starlight Champion Coupe, a 1950 Bentley Mark VI, a 1957 Hudson Metropolitan, a 1965 Ford Mustang GT, a 1965 Buick Riviera coupe, a 1967 Mercedes 200 sedan, a 1967 Dodge Polara 500 convertible, a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Super Sport, and a 1982 BMW 528.

Then there are the duplicates, like several Ford Thunderbirds and Rancheros from the 1960s, two 1979 Mercedes SLs, and more classic Ford, Dodge, and Chevy pickup trucks than you can shake a stick at. Given Phillips' obsession with full restorations, they're all in amazing shape despite sitting around for the past few years, surely helped by the professional-quality workshop and storage facilities he built on his farm. An auction employee told the Idaho Statesman that she got "chills" when she saw the collection in person for the first time.

Sadly, Phillips' wife also passed away in January, and as much as Anderson says she and her siblings would like to keep the cars—she called the process "emotional" and said it's like "selling a piece of Dad" in her KTVB interview—there are a lot of other affairs to sort out and the family doesn't have the time or resources to maintain the collection. Instead, after spending much of the year swapping batteries, changing tires, and slowly pulling the cars out of storage, they're looking forward to passing them on to people who will truly enjoy them.

"If we can sell these cars to someone that's really going to appreciate them like Dad did, then we've done what we're supposed to do," she told KTVB.

The collection will be sold at a Dealers Auto Auction of Idaho event on August 26—check here for an updating list of lots and early online bidding as the month goes on.