Land Dispute Ends In Car Auction
September 14, 2007, 6:15 PM
A four-year property rights struggle in Minnehaha County is ending with an antique car auction.
For 35 years, Wayne Anderson has kept more than 100 inoperable cars tucked away in his property west of Sioux Falls. But the county says they have to go.
This is Anderson's last effort to preserve his share of automobile history.
"Here's something somebody might want," Anderson says as he picks up a hood ornament.
The saying goes: "One man's junk is another man's treasure."
Wayne Anderson spent much of his life with an eye on other's people's junk, buying potential treasures.
"Some we drove. Some we bought for parts. You know, just accumulated them over the years," he says.
Anderson's father was a car dealer. Early on, Anderson became a Chrysler-lover. Back when fixer-uppers sold for pretty cheap, he didn't think twice about stocking up.
"Really ain't that many you know, if you buy one a month or one every two, three months. Over the years, you can accumulate a lot of stuff," he says.
Now, like a farmer who knows his cattle each by name, Anderson can rattle off every car's year, make and model.
He can explain his affection...
"They had a lot of styling back then. Something different. Now everything looks more or less the same from one car company to the next," he says.
But to someone who's not a car-loving pack rat, it might be hard to understand why anyone would keep more than 100 "junked" cars.
After 35 years of collecting, Anderson has seen that old familiar saying turned on its face.
"One man's treasure is another man's junk. I guess you could say it that way too," he says.
He kept them well-hidden from public view. But Minnehaha County Officials found out about these cars, all which are unlicensed and inoperable. And they declared Anderson's property a public nuisance.
"Nobody ever complained to me about it," Anderson says.
Lou Raguse: So you disagree with it, in other words?
Anderson: Oh, 110%.
Faced with the alternative of crushing and selling the cars for scrap metal, Anderson has now pulled the classics into the open. To alert others with a similar taste for automobile nostalgia.
"My dad put a lot of miles on this car," Anderson tells a potential buyer.
He hopes his auction finds the collectors who are just missing a few parts to their personal treasures. And to pass on that idea of what makes an automobile a treasure.
"I don't only hope, but I know there's a lot of people out there," he says.
Anderson's property is located on Highway 42, about 12 miles west of Sioux Falls. He'll sell what he can in the auction at 10 a.m. Saturday, then crush the rest to sell as scrap metal.
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