Andrew Berfelo has quite a legacy on his hands. As the owner of CR Autos, an automotive parts repository specializing in vintage Cadillacs, he is in charge of continuing a cycle of madness started by his brother Randy. Randy Berfelo left the planet too soon, losing his life at just 32 years old, yet this was more than enough time for him to build up a most impressive collection of hundreds of Cadillacs, one that his brother is now looking to sell.
CR Autos, located in Hay Lakes, Alberta, Canada, opened its doors in 1983, when Randy Berfelo realized he could turn a hobby into a real source of income. When you need parts for a restoration, it's sometimes cheaper to find a parts car than to buy the exact pieces you're looking for, so Randy brought home two of them. Two quickly turned into 10, and a restoration project turned into a new business.
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"My brother started a restoration on a Cadillac convertible, in the '70's. He needed parts so he bought a few cars to help with the restoration," said Andrew Berfelo. "He kept buying parts cars and people kept buying parts from him."
Inventory began expanding at a prodigious pace. Service bays and garages gave way to warehouses until Randy ultimately acquired a large plot of farmland. His dream was to put 500 Cadillacs on that grassy hillside. Unfortunately, that dream was cut short when Randy died in 1989.
It was up to Andrew to see his legacy live on, and he did just that. The older of the Berfelo brothers, Andrew didn't make it to 500 but he did manage to bring the total as high as 365 cars, ranging in model year from 1947 up through 1979.
When asked if he has a favorite model out of all the Cadillacs out there, he responds, "I don't own any more of them but it would have to be the '59 convertible. It's the one that everyone wants to restore and the parts moved the fastest for that one."
If you own an older Cadillac, chances are good that CR Autos has any part you need, even if that part is no longer made. Berfelo even bought up stockpiles of parts GM had discontinued. Because of this, Cadillac owners from all over the globe have turned to Berfelo and his Canadian Cadillac Ranch for support.
But Berfelo is now getting on in age and looking to retire. He is 65 and wants to spend less time staring at a sea of Cadillacs and more time with his family. The problem here is that you can't simply walk away from a 20-year obsession. So Berfelo needs some help getting his yard cleared off and he is ready to unload the entire lot. He was able to cull the total Cadillac count down by 30 cars after crushing the undesirable 1973 to 1976 models. That leaves 335 cars, which he wants off his property in one year.
"I carried on my brother's dream but I'm 65 years old and I can't live someone else's dream my whole life," he said.
It's not just cars for sale, as Berfelo has amassed a few shipping containers worth of miscellaneous parts. What would it take to buy the whole lot?
"I would sell it for $100,000. That's 10 cents on the dollar," he said.
It certainly seems a small price to pay for such a collection of vehicles and parts, however the logistics of moving the entire lot seem tough. It might be easier to simply buy the land as well, but Berfelo has not listed that for sale."But if someone comes in with a big wheelbarrow full of money, well, I'm not married to anything," he said. "Money talks."