SIDNEY - Over 1,500 people - from as far as Finland, Sweden, and England - have visited Rob Van Vleet's vehicle collection north of Sidney the last 10 days with hopes of finding a new fixer-up project, such as a 1937 Diamond T Seagram Whiskey Bus (only one ever made) or a 1956 Buick with 54,000 original miles. 

Nearly 1,000 of Van Vleet's collection of rare and unique model vehicles, spreading across 300 acres, are being auctioned off this week online, like a Budweiser Delivery Truck and a Conventional Peterbilt Semi-Tractor. 

Van Vleet, who was in the scrap business for several years, says he had a maximum of over 3,000 vehicles at one time.

"You automatically get an old, junky truck," Van Vleet said. "Then all the sudden, you kind of get hook. I've always liked trucks. Next thing you know, you're kind of out there looking for them and dragging them home. Next thing you know, you have 2,000 of them."

Van Vleet admits he's a hoarder and says while some of the trucks are rough, most of them are complete and he never parted out his vehicles. 

Brands in his collection include GMC, Chevy, Dodge, Ford, International, Autocar, White MacDonald, Kenworth, Freightliner, Federal, REO, Stewart, FWD, Studebacker, and Jeep. 

According to Van Vleet, he collected vehicles because of fond memories riding in a truck with his dad.

"I like trucks, because they built America," Van Vleet said. "Trucks are cool. Every one has a story. They're like an old soldier. You were pretty optimistic when you went and bought a new truck, you were going to haul eggs or pigs to town. It was a robust investment in 1948 to buy a new truck. When you bought a new truck, you and mom might have drove it to church once to show everybody."

The online auction through Kraupie's Real Estate and Auctioneers runs Wednesday and Thursday.