Before Many of Us Could Drive There Was Roy Rogers, and "Nellybelle"...

Many may already know the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, MO has closed and the entire contents of the museum were sold at auction. The auction was held by Christie's Auction at their NYC showroom in July 2010. 

Roy Rogers had told his son, "If the museum ever operates at a loss, close it and sell the contents."  He fulfilled his father's wishes, a painful decision we're sure. But for perhaps one last look at icons and memories of our youth, here's some interesting auction results:

Roy's 1964 Bonneville Convertible
Expected Auction Value: Between $100,000 and $150,000
Actual Auction Sale:  $254,500
One of the most memorable characters on the Roy Rogers TV show that ran from 1951 through 1957 was neither Roy, Dale, Trigger, Buttermilk or even Bullet - or for that matter made of flesh and blood. It was a TV icon manufactured from good old American steel and named "Nellybelle", a 1946 Willys CJ-2A Jeep. It was in fact owned by Roy, but was driven in the show by his comic sidekick, Pat Brady.  

On TV, Pat Brady drove around Mineral City, the setting of the series, sweet talking to "Nellybelle" as if his verbal compliments could convince the recalcitrant jeep to get up and go. The name, which was painted on her doors in most episodes, apparently developed out of Pat riding an ornery mule in the earlier movies, and addressing it with phrases like "Whoa, Nelly!"

Roy Roger's 1946 Willys CJ-2A Jeep
Actual Auction Sale:  $116,500

Rogers chose to include a Jeep into the program because he noticed that after WWII, Jeeps were very popular, especially with children. Rogers himself owned a Jeep which he used for hunting, off road cruising and travel to and from his studio.  

Finally, as a legitimate form of transportation, and a true classic in his own right, out of respect to his memory and his loyalty to Roy Rogers, we thought it would be interesting to report on the status of "Trigger". Trigger was sold at auction for $266,500 Bought by RFD-TV, a Nebraska cable TV network. The TV station also bought Roy's dog, "Bullet"

Happy Trails, everyone...

Lyle's Place, backstory about Roy Rogers
Heidi Rucki writes for the Eastford Horse Examiner