A vintage auction in Galax gets worldwide attention

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GALAX, Va. (WDBJ7) What turned into a hobby for one man is now on the auction block.

More than 1,200 original metal signs, gas pumps, and restored vintage cars are going to the highest bidder.

"It needs to go where someone else can enjoy it too," said Lynn Fender the co-owner of Fender's Body Shop. He's is ready to give up much of his collection he's gathered nearly his entire life.

"Is it going to be different to walk in here and not see these cars?" WDBJ7 asked.

"I haven't thought about that. Yeah, you know it is," Fender said.

When he was a teenager, Fender told himself he'd restore at least one car a year. Several decades later he can prove he lived up to the promise. He's restored 52 cars, but now he's running out of room.

"We just build more buildings, seriously. Some of these cars I've had for 20, 25 years. 40 some. I'm really big into muscle cars, Chrysler muscle cars, but we've got Porsche's, Ford's, Chevrolet's, Cadillac's," Fender said.

He's now prepared to downsize with help from Myers Auction and Realty. His rich collection of signs fill several garages, some like this Merita sign are expected to sale for $5,000. These restored gas pumps are going too. 35 of the cars he's restored are for sale. The collection was posted online about a month ago and is picking up attention from around the world.

Lynn Fender: "Literally we've had calls from every state, Germany, Australia, It's just amazing the response we've had," Fender said.

The auction started Thursday where about 400 items sold. It continues through Saturday at Fender's Body Shop.