Lance's Journal: Crazy for Corvettes, Aug. 24

The Nebraska Corvette Association is revving up for its annual Corvette show this weekend. And one Corvette enthusiast involved is the focus of this edition of Lance's Journal.

Loel Kugler has been a car guy for a long time. It all got started back in Elm Creek, Nebraska in the 1950s.

Loel's dad bought a '55 Ford and Loel received a small replica of a Ford Thunderbird from the dealership. Eventually, Loel switched his loyalties from Ford to Chevy and he's been crazy for Corvette's ever since.

There isn't much Loel doesn't know about Corvettes. His fascination started back when he was in high school in Elm Creek, "I knew that they were the only sports car made in America and I thought well I've got to have one someday so I started in thinking about it then."

Loel collects all things Corvette. There's everything from Franklin Mint to Matchbox. But his the main focus of his 15-year-old collection is made up of about 200 promotional models, "Back in the 50's when your folks would buy a car a lot of time the dealers would give these promotional models to the kids and of course they used them to promote their cars also."

Some of the older models are very hard to find, "You get the mid years which was '64, '65, '66, '67, they're really rare and you can pay up to 900 or a thousand dollars for them, just a little plastic car, that's ridiculous isn't it? But if you want to complete a collection sometimes you find a way"

Fortunately for Loel he's married to a fellow car lover. He shares his passion for collecting Corvettes with his wife Joan. She says, "It's the thrill of the hunt to find it so that's what makes it fun."

Throughout the past 15 years, Loel and Joan have enjoyed entering car shows and they're excited about the next show they'll attend. The Kugler's invite everyone to the Nebraska Corvette Association's annual Corvette show at Southpointe Pavilions on Sunday.They expect 150 Corvettes on display 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and proceeds from the show go to the Lincoln Food Bank.

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