By on May 15, 2015

Weld County Dodge Charger Retired Squad Car Set For Auction Circa May 2015

Five years after losing their father in the line of duty, Tanner and Chase Brownlee did their best to win his retired squad car at auction.

Weld County, Colo. Deputy Sheriff Sam Brownlee was on duty when he lost his life in 2010 at the end of a police chase, KMGH-TV reports. Five years later, the Brownlee brothers set out to claim his father’s work vehicle, a Dodge Charger, at auction Wednesday evening.

At the time the auction began, Tanner planned to use funds from his GoFundMe page to bring the car home, only to find himself severely outbid as the auction wore on.

However, the winning bidder — Steve Wells — quickly handed over the keys to Tanner seconds after putting $60,000 on the car, catching him off-guard.

Both proceeds from the auction and the GoFundMe page will go to Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization providing services to survivors of LEOs killed in the line of duty.

[Photo credit: KMGH-TV]

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26 Comments on “Brothers Bid For Piece Of Father’s Legacy, Win Despite Losing...”


  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Bravo Mr. Wells. And he begged off interviews to not be a distraction.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Wow, restores a little faith in humanity. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s out there. And there may be more of it than we imagine, we just don’t hear about it, while we’re inundated with examples of Man’s inhumanity. Still, a $60,000 donation, and a gift to those brothers, is truly outstanding.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    [email protected]*m. As someone whose father was a copper for 2 decades that hit home.

    No matter how much we might complain about other people or society, people like Steve Wells re-affirm that there are good people out there and sometimes we do get things right.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    something in my eye, hang on

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    A very nice gesture by Mr. Wells. I wish I can achieve the means to do that someday.

    And a big FU to the county for putting this boy through this, instead of just giving him the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      a) a government generally can’t just give anyone anything. b) it was an auction to benefit a charity for fallen law enforcement officers.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Mr. Wells did the right thing.

        Shame on any other members of the public that bid on it to keep for themselves though.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        “a) a government generally can’t just give anyone anything.”

        ^ This.

        I cannot beg, borrow or steal old computer hulks from my place of business, a county IT department, even if they’re useless to anyone else; they are required to be placed into auction. I can’t even offer more $$$ than the county could ever hope to obtain for said equipment.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        The first part cannot be said enough. To give the children that car legally would likely require a state law to be changed to offer a single instance of property to be relieved. The whole point of these laws is to keep the people who work in these departments from simply walking off with the property or entering it in vague auctions to get it super cheap. Anytime the University sells their old computers I’m forbidden from taking part in the auction even though they replace my PC every 2 years. It’s all about sunshine laws and while it seems like Detroit-X wanted an enemy when all there was was bureaucratic system meant to protect everybody being semi-flexible enough to provide a separate auction.

    • 0 avatar
      countymountie

      The Sheriff got permission from the county to keep the car out of the regular auction rotation so it could be used for a better purpose than a taxicab. Knowing Mr. Wells, there was little doubt that he wasn’t going to win that car regardless of price and do what he did for the sons. There was something special in the air that night. Sam’s sons and charity both benefitted.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        There is no more noble action than to NOT seek the limelight (MEDIA) to do something like this. THIS is putting on the “you’re parents are dead, ha-ha, just kidding,” type of media spectacle that this turned out to be.

        I am very glad there is such a man of the means as “Mr. Wells” to do this for this boy, I don’t think it was his idea for The Spectacle. But for the county yokels to put the desperate boy through the auction for media amusement/attention is very distasteful. Same on them.

  • avatar

    FEEL GOOD story of the MONTH.

    A Dodge Charger selling for way over sticker… reminds me of HELLCAT sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Bigtrucks,
      That is what you relate this story to? I’m ashamed for you.

      The touching aspect of the story isn’t the money, but the memory the two kids have for their father.

      Mr Wells should be commended for his actions. By the looks of it the two kids didn’t have a pot to pi$$ in.

      All four involved in this, the fallen father, his two proud sons and Mr Wells are mighty fine people.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    What a nice story , thank you for sharing it .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Amazingly. The sad part is that I’m surprised by these kinds of altruistic acts as opposed to typical human selfishness and depravity.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    Now what? will he just keep it for the rest of his life? I hope so. It has now become an Heirloom in the true sense of the word.

    What I find amazing though is that an ex police car could fetch so much money(est value $12,000). Here in OZ I bought an ex police interceptor 30 years ago.(because I had read a new article about how the only thing that could leave it was a turbo Porsche….) .The car had only covered 20,000 K’s but was almost completely worn out mechanically. The cost was $3000. Some $23,000 less than a new one.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      Cop cars are always a crap shoot ~ even the Metro or Captain’s cars can be junk .

      I doubt it much matters here , these fine Sons just want a part of their Pop’s legacy to keep .

      -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      loner

      In this case the price of the car was determined by things that had nothing to do with its value as an ex-police cruiser. It was a charity auction and you had two people bidding against each other who had strong motives to buy the car.

  • avatar
    jrmason

    Now that is a most generous gift, I hope the brothers can agree on how to share it in the years to come.

    I too am surprised at the amount that car went for. I think it says volumes for the mostly local community that likely bid on the car.

    About 5 years ago a co worker bought a low mileage Crown Vic that was used at a local township PD. It had right around 40k miles on it at the time and was no more than 6-7 years old. $3950 took it.

    He still drives it to work, black and white paint scheme and all.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    A wonderful story, it does renew my faith in humanity.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    :)

  • avatar
    IndigoCoyote

    Dammit. Just when I was getting comfortable being jaded and complacent. Now I have to go ahead and actually give a damn again.

    Good on ya, Mr. Wells. And good on you trying to avoid the spotlight as best you could. And if the county doesn’t occasionally give you a get out of ticket free card there really IS something wrong with the world, not that that is why you did it.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Nice job, very very nice job.

  • avatar

    Should that not be: brothers’ bid?
    With an apostrophe meaning the bid of the brothers.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Not in this case. The convention of “no articles in headlines” can at times be problematic. Here the headline reads “Two brothers bid for a piece of their father’s legacy; they win despite losing.”

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