NORFOLK, NE — The main attraction at the Sunset Plaza mall on Saturday, was not for sale.
Nine classic cars lined the main indoor strip of Norfolk’s mall, a display by the Norfolk Antique Auto Club. Club member and five-time past president, Rick Kropf brought his 1966 Ford Thunderbird to the show. Kropf said it was good fortune that led him to acquire the personal luxury vehicle.
“I went by Courtesy Ford and it was in their lot,” Kropf said. “I stopped and said how much and wrote them a check.”
Kropf said some members of the Antique Auto Club have big collections of old cars. He, himself, used to own a 1962 Ford Econoline but sold it because upkeep was tough. Then the Thunderbird fell in his lap.
“This came along and really didn’t need a lot to be done to it,” Kropf said. “I thought, you know we’re going to get a car again. It could have been anything, you know it just happened to be the right place at the right time. We’re kind of partial to Ford anyways.”
Northeast Nebraskans have shared the same enthusiasm for antique automobiles since 1964, when the club was founded. Today, the group participates in parades and shows across the region, with occasional get-togethers with other auto clubs. Kropf says it is the desire to go back to a special time in their past that creates the attraction of classic cars.
“We’ve had several members of our club that have acquired vehicles that they had when they got married, for instance,” Kropf said. “It’s just a nostalgia thing more than anything I think.”