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Hagerty Employee

Pontiac fanatic's trove of cars, engines, and body shells set for auction in July

Allen "Al" Blatter was an avid Pontiac collector and restorer for most of his life, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he passed away in 2021, he was in the process of restoring several and left quite a collection behind.

Nice to see these cars come back from automotive purgatory

Going through auction the VIN history of sale will begin (maybe continue in some cases). Hopefully we get updates on a bunch of these in short order when they hit the road again.

Car hoards are cool and not cool. Great that they caused stuff to be saved, not great when "parts cars and future projects" aren't getting done and we are battling to patch together worse examples (or just can't because there is nothing available).
Intermediate Driver

These collections are both a boon and a curse, in that a lot of these guys went a bit overboard in the collecting's nice to see that much history gathered together in one place, but there's usually so much collected that the owner was never going to be able to finish up even a small part of their collection. 


In addition, these hoards tend to do a bad thing to the hobby, in that this hoarding speeds up the disappearance of viable project cars...which speeds up the disappearance of other project cars...


This guy at least appears to have stored the stuff really well.


The parts also look labelled and organized on those shelves. So this was a 1% elite example of the hoarding crowd.


Too many have it random piled out in the dirt. They die and those left to clean it up are overwhelmed. The wrong people often get the job of dealing with it.


It's very easy to wake up and realize you've become a bit of a hoarder yourself.


I've begun labeling my hoard for my own sanity more than whomever gets saddled with it when I'm gone. It's a recent discipline for me that takes deliberate determination.
Advanced Driver

North Dakota is full of aging and aged Oles that owned umpty bajillion acres of legacy farmland, and leveraged it to buy whatever they liked... Never meant they took care of their stuff, usually they just hoarded and stockpiled. Ruined and decaying classic cars are as NoDak as lefse and lutefisk. VanDerBrink specializes in finding aged Oles, and Lenas, the widows. Often, a VanDerBrink auction is within a month of an Ole dying; they're sorta "vulture" auctioneers.
And beware, the Great White North is really hard on cars. Live here. See it daily.
New Driver

True but the guys who aren't candidates for the show "Hoarders" saved alot more cars from rusting and rotting in a junkyard or the woods via joy ride for insurance money lol

Actually a find like this is a great help as most of 5bese cars are worth fixing and he also has a great stash of parts. We had neither till this sale.


The real wast are the guys that stash and are the types that oh I am going to restore it some day. Well the car rust yo the ground before someday comes. 

I know a GTO Judge Convertible that was lost as it was stored in a damp dirt floor garage. It rotted out till there was little left to save. It also suffered some vandalism of the few parts worth saving. 


I gave you a like for the optimistic take. 


We have to concede that most of these cars would have already been restored and on the road if they had been let go any time in the last 25 years. This guy's collection was desirable stuff  ---he wasn't holding (saving) Edsels in 1964 waiting for them to be appreciated. (Not picking on Edsel they are just a good example of where a hoarder could have done real good).


If I had the room I'd buy a couple, a LeMans Convertible, and a Wagon if there are any.
Exciting find. Thank you Hagerty.
Advanced Driver

At least cars were saved from the crusher. Many times these collectors picked them up cheap as they were just old cars. Hope they all find good homes.

Only 5 picture's??? Come-on-man what about the Field of Dreams shots? Would really like to have seem more of the collection as well as years he had. Either way glad we still have savers as opposed to scrapers still here but know they are leaving us everyday.

I was just by the location over the weekend (it's actually a couple of miles northwest of beautiful downtown Wilton, right along US highway 83), and Yvette's crew are still staging for the auction. Once that's done and cataloged, there will be plenty to look at.
Pit Crew

I have mixed feelings about hoards like this one. On one hand, the cars and parts seem to be protected from the damaging effects of weather and moisture. On the other, if these 90 cars had not been hidden away in exile, many (if not most) would have been restored and on the road by now. No one ever sent GTO convertibles to the metal crusher. Thus, the cars were really not "saved" from destruction by the hoarder.
New Driver

While few GTO convertible were crushed many died a slow death in a field or woods. Indoor storage is the key to saving or preserving them except maybe for the desert areas
Advanced Driver

I have too many classic cars (8 to be exact), but I really have a hard time selling them as each are unique and each drive uniquely. Other than cars which are intended solely for parts (I have 4 of those too), the one thing I told myself is I will not be buying another car until the current car is finished or at least in working order. As of now I have a 1929 Model A that has not run in 25 years, and I am working on another project 1969 Buick Riviera, both of which were my father's who passed in March. I find spreading myself too thin usually means that nothing ever gets done. On top of it all, I really do not want to strap my family with wondering what something is when I pass away...

Lots of interesting parts out there. Some cars may also make their way back to running condition.
Advanced Driver

It will be a crowd of buyers!
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for featuring this article on Pontiacs The link provides nice info about the auction...and more photos.

This collection, along with the parts and other items, is truly a part of American history. Regardless of monetary value these items should receive the same respect and care as any historical objects. The mindset should be that of a museum curator caring for objects of lasting historical value. I hope the new owners of these wonderful vehicles show the same respect and regard as Mr. Blatter.

This is just the beginning - as those of us who have collected over the years age out and die off, hoards much larger than this will come up for sale. Sadly only the truly rare cars will get saved, a car that could have been frame-off restored in the 90's for $35,000 will cost $150,000 to restore properly now. The good thing is, the parts in these collections will get back into circulation & use.

I bit the bullet and sold off the majority of my cars & parts over 2 years ago prior to moving - I'm not planning on leaving this world anytime soon but the thought that my wife or (now grown) children would be faced with doing it was overwhelming. 4 carefully chosen cars, all running & driving along with a few shelves of spare parts is all I need.
New Driver

My very first car was a 1961 Catalina convertible , all black. It was back in the 60's, about 65, I was a slow driver, used to see the race car buffs, GTO's, 409's, 413's, they had their fun while I had mine. Loved Pontiacs.
New Driver

Ahhh, too bad his late wife is keeping my favorite...1967 GTO. And too bad the hoarding project cars and parts are all going to auction. Like anything today though....all the excess speculative money out there will jack up the prices even more. Sigh.
New Driver

Did he have more than Pontiacs? Looks like a 62 Buick convertible in the background.

So, where were the photos of all the cars? Supposed to be 90 cars, and saw very few. Disappointed.
Intermediate Driver

You spoke too soon.
New Driver

Well, I have never actually BELIEVED in "North Dakota" since I have never been there and never met anyone who was from there, but I guess I will have to change that now!
All this stuff in a place that is very hard to get to--guess that is why no one knew about it before.

I wish all the people who attend the auction good luck; hopefully, with auction prices at the big ones so high these days, they will not all get sold to wealthy flippers who can make a buck or two and don't really care about the cars, but that is a dream. When it comes to money, no matter how much you have, it seems IT IS NEVER ENOUGH.

As for parts, I would hope some engines that would match cars out there will find their way back to them if possible and that those parts go to people who are in need.