For a lot of us, a car is simply a way to get from one place to the next.
But for a Spearfish man, the automobile played a much bigger role in his life over the last 50 years.
Sadly, Saturday marked the end of that role.
"They're all favorites," Les Schuchardt said of his 27 automobiles. "We worked on all, put a lot of time into all of them, getting them to run right and everything and looking nice."
Over the course of his 50-plus-year hobby -- well, he calls it a hobby; I'd call it more of a passion -- Schuchardt bought, fixed, and re-finished 27 autos, some dating back more than a hundred years.
"I got the history on one Ford all the way back from the factory," he said.
But now, that Ford will be history to him.
"They don't deteriorate," he said of the antiques. "They're still here. But we're not."
Father Time is finally starting to take its toll on Schuchardt and his wife.
"We can't do any work on them in the garage hardly anymore, and we can't drive them, can't play with them. ... It's time to give them to someone else," he said.
Billed as the Schuchardt Collection by VanDerBrink Auctions, the rare automobiles went to the auction block Saturday, one by one.
Not only did he collect for half a century, his collection spans half a century: from a 1962 Plymouth all the way back to a 1900 Mobile Steamer, and just about everything in between.
"It's hard to get rid of," said Schuchardt of his collection, "but on the other hand, we've had our fun."
More than a thousand bidders from 10 different countries turned out, some by phone and Internet, to secure their pieces of the collection of cars and parts.
And as they picked through the remains of his decades of work, a group of buzzards circling not too far off took on something of a poetic tone.
"We've had our fun," he reiterated. "It's time to get rid of them, let somebody else have them. Pass the stick on to somebody else."
Schuchardt is also big on knowing the history of the cars and the people who made them.
At one point in our interview with him, he called Henry Ford an "ornery old bugger" and bragged that his paint jobs are much nicer than the originals done by "a bunch of farm boys with six-inch brushes."
And apparently it paid off: He got more than $100,000 for at least a couple of the cars.