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50-year car, tractor collection at auction near Scranton

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Neil and Rosalie Krinke of Scranton are auctioning collector cars, antique tractors, parts and memorabilia collected over the last 50 years. 

A Saturday auction near Scranton will put dozens of antique and collectible cars in the hands of new owners and change the way Neil and Rosalie Krinke drive to church every Sunday. 

The Krinkes are offering for sale about 100 pieces -- including collector cars, tractors and project cars -- plus an assortment of parts, signs and memorabilia. It’s a collection Neil started on some 50 years ago, spurred by a love of all things mechanical and a drive to make them look better. The decision to sell was difficult, but for Neil, 88, "the handwriting was on the wall."

"It has to be done sooner or later," he said.

Neil worked the family farm with his father, who retired in the '70s. When his dad retired he had no hobby to turn to. Neil knew that wouldn’t work for him.

“He was kind of lost,” Neil said.

Neil started working on the cars at night or when the farming schedule allowed. When he retired in the late '90s, he had about half the equipment he has now. The collection includes 13 fully restored vehicles, all in operating condition. Neil and Rosalie drive one to church each Sunday, though it’s only a half-mile away.

“We take a different one each time to keep them limbered up,” Neil said.

A 1936 Ford Cabriolet convertible with leather interior is among Neil’s favorites.

“It’s a good driver,” he said. “We like to put the top down and let the wind go through our hair.”

Rosalie’s top picks have more sentimental value. She likes the 1929 Model A because that’s what she learned in and drove to country school. But the family’s 1964 Mercury is still her favorite.

“The boys were raised in it during that time,” she said.

Both have fond memories of a Chevrolet pickup made in 1954, the same year they were married.

“I had my eye on it,” Neil said. “She talked (the owner) into it, brought it home and gave it to me for my 80th birthday.”

Letting go of the collection will be difficult. Rosalie said she’ll miss the rides to church, and Neil struggled to schedule the auction.

“It’s going to be hard to see them go,” he said. “We don’t know where they’re going but we’ll find out.”

The Krinkes value the friendships they’ve made over the years as they traveled to auctions and car shows. Cars are a part of the nation’s history, he said, and he hopes car clubs and the hobby of collecting can continue with a new generation.

“It teaches you a lot of things,” he said.

Calls and emails about the auction have come from as far as Australia. Neil contemplated keeping a few cars but said that would have put him “back in the same position.” He’s keeping a 1932 Ford and a Mustang.

“Enough to keep me busy,” he said.

The auction with live on-site and online bidding starts at 9:30 a.m. Mountain time. More information is available at www.vanderbrinkauctions.com.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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