Austin A&W founder’s vehicles to be sold at Saturday auction

Published 10:36 am Friday, June 28, 2013

The Bud “Rootbeer” Johnson Collection Auction begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Mower County Fairgrounds, with a preview of the items running through 8 p.m. today. More than 50 cars from Bud Johnson — the late Austin resident who founded the local A&W that recently closed — and his son Gregg will be up for bid, along with scooters and other vehicles.

The Johnsons decided it was time to clear out the collection.

“It just gets to be too much work to keep them all up,” Gregg said. “A few cars you drive more than the other ones.”

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Those who aren’t able to make it to the fairgrounds later this month can still take part in the auction. VanDerBrink Auctions owner Yvette VanDerBrink said the event was being advertised both locally and nationally, and bidders from around the world would be involved. Collectors can register remotely and place bids online. Signup is allowed through midnight today.

“We’re getting calls from all over the United States and actually other countries, also,” she said.

For more info on the auction and to view the list of cars available, visit and look under “Upcoming Auctions” on the right side of the page. The auction is a “no reserve” event, so none of the items will be held.