Don’t Sweat on the Chrome- “The Moon-Walk Collection”
“Don’t Sweat on the Chrome” …. The Bob Regehr Collection Auction
As the Old saying goes, “All it takes is one good idea to make it.” For Bob Regehr, it would be that one big idea that would change his life. I think as a kid, we all remember jumping in one of those inflatables at the fair or a birthday party. But did you ever wonder where those came from? Bob Regehr grew up on a farm near Hutchinson, Kansas where lessons of hard work were an everyday occurrence. Bob would take the ethics he learned on the farm with him on his many ventures. As a boy, Bob loved cars and was fascinated with the designs and of course, going fast. When he was 14 years old, he got his first car, a 1940 Mercury. This car had a wild lacquer 2 tone green paint job and had a custom tuck and roll interior. Guys around town referred to the car as “The Easter Egg” and Bob met his wife, Judy, while dragging Main Street in that car. Bob never sold that first car and well, he didn’t sell many cars. The Mercury is still part of the collection.
Bob was always looking to provide for his family and so he headed to Denver Colorado and tried his hand at selling Fords at a dealership. Bob thought selling those Ford cars would be easy, but being a salesman wasn’t the job that he was looking for. Bob headed back to Hutchinson and started a full-service Texaco gas station. The gas stations not only supplied a good income, but a steady stream of those fabulous cars. The income from the gas station started fueling Bob’s car hobby. Having the gas station, well that was like a rolling car show every day and he would often try to buy cars that he serviced at the station. One of those cars was the 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible that will be sold at the auction. The owner would come through quite often and Bob would ask to buy the car and she always said, “No.” Then one day, she came through and told Bob she had sold the car. Bob was determined and tracked the car down in Hemmings Motor News and bought the car. The car is in the collection with less than 50,000 miles. Bob always liked speed and hotrods and was the first in Hutchinson, KS to feature Mag wheels at his gas stations. That “hotrod” lifestyle and going fast never gets out of your system.
Bob and Judy’s business, and family, were growing. Together they had four kids, Jeff, Kelly, Kristin and Tracy. In the late 60’s, Bob had an idea that would change his family’s life. He thought of putting a dome over a trampoline and kids could jump inside. Bob took his idea and proto-type to the 1968 Chicago World’s Fair and christened it the “Moon-Walk”. It was the hit of the show. Based on that experience, he worked with a manufacturing company so that he could sell the “Moon-Walk” to others, and that big idea started his family’s successful venture. Bob sold and traveled with “Moon-Walk” to Carnivals, along with the Ladder Walk carnival game that we all remember, trying to climb that wiggly ladder to ring a bell. The “Moon-Walk” was a huge hit and was loved by everyone across the world. This one good idea gave Bob the ability to grow his passion, search for more cars, invest in real estate, and spend time with his family. The Regehr family even spent the summer of 1978 running a Motel of individual cabins on the Big Thompson River in Estes Park, CO, just because Bob thought that would be fun.
1932 Fords were a passion of Bob’s and he would buy any of them he could find, well along with any car that he just liked. Bob was also a very private person and rarely showed his collection, only to close friends. The Auction will be the first times that the public will see the collection. Bob would have the kids wash and wax them even though not many people saw them. The kids remember that he would tell them, “Hey, don’t sweat on the chrome.” That hard work ethic was installed in all the kids and Bob wanted to make sure that they knew how to work.
After Bob sold the “Moon-Walk” business, he was then able to focus on his passion. He enjoyed spending time at swap meets, hot rod events, and traveling the country in his RV visiting friends and attending many car events. In 2009, the collection was featured in Hotrod magazine and the world got the first glimpse of the Bob Regehr Collection. At that time, over 200 vehicles had been tucked away for over 30 years.
Sadly, Judy passed away in 2014 and he seemed to have lost the joy of the collecting. After that Bob’s health was failing and he started to privately sell the cars. Kelly, his daughter, and a friend sold many, but it was a near sale of a 1932 that he said that was enough and told Kelly to take him home. He instructed his family to have an auction after he passed away, because he couldn’t stand to watch anymore of the cars leave. They closed the doors until Bob passed away.
Following their Dad’s wishes, the family will sell the entire collection at auction on October 24th, 2020 at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas. It will be the first time in over 40 years that the public will get to see this very private man’s amazing collection. This amazing Kansas Barn Find has approx. 140 American Classics, parts, and more. The collection has everything from Corvettes, Tri-Five Chevrolets including Nomads, Camaros, Cadillacs, several Corvettes, and more. The collection, of course, has 1932 Fords, Bob’s favorite. The grouping has almost 20 1932 Fords. There are 1932 Sedans, Coupe, Cabriolet, and even 2, 1 of 884 made, 1932 B400 2dr Sedan Convertibles that were Embassy Cars overseas. There are many 30’s and 40’s Fords in the collection. The collection is a grouping of restored cars, many original cars, and also projects. Of course, with any large collection there is an assortment of early Ford parts and more.
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC will be selling the Regehr collection at the fairgrounds in a LIVE ONSITE auction with online bidding. There will be a preview of the rarely seen collection on October 23rd, 2020 from 10 to 6PM. The auction will start at 9Am on October 24th, 2020 starting with a Model A’s and then those fabulous 1932 Fords and more amazing American classics. An assortment of Parts will be after the cars for onsite bidders. This is an amazing collection and you won’t want to miss your chance to buy a part of the “Moon-Walk” Collection.
For a complete catalog, video, and more information www.vanderbrinkauctions.com or Call VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC at 605-201-7005. Plan now to attend this amazing auction and remember to, “Don’t Sweat on the Chrome.”
Yvette VanDerBrink- Auctioneer
VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC