Watch Now: Platte River Cruise Night Offers Muscle Cars, Motorcycles | Latest headlines

Stephanie Berkheimer-Anway’s first birthday present was one she didn’t really enjoy for three decades.

Her father bought her a 1970 Dodge Challenger when she was one year old. He restored, rebuilt and repainted the vehicle – a project that was completed on her 21st birthday.

“On my 31st birthday, he handed over the keys,” Berkheimer-Anway said.

The pink and black muscle car was among hundreds parked in North Platte’s Cantina District on Saturday as part of Platte River Cruise Night — a weekend celebration for both racers and those who simply appreciate motor vehicles in generally.

The Challenger was parked in a spot next to a purple 1978 Jeep that bears the message “Challenge Colors” on the hood along with a display of colored ribbons for all cancers.

The Jeep once belonged to Berkheimer-Anway’s husband’s uncle, Tony Anway.

The uncle, Robbie Anway, is a cancer survivor himself, and Jeep left him.

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“It’s kind of like a family heirloom,” Tony said.

A restored red ’56 Ford F100 truck parked just a few blocks away also has a sentimental feel to the owner, Rob Cross.

“I had a ’55, which is similar, in the ’70s and ever since I sold it, I always wanted another one,” he said.

He bought the vehicle in 2001 and spent the next decade and a half restoring it.

A long one-page list detailing the work he has done on the vehicle was taped to the truck’s front passenger seat window.

He has put more than 8,200 miles on the truck since taking it on the road in 2016. That includes driving it during June’s Nebraska Rod and the Custom Association’s Nebraska Tour, which started from North Platte on both days of the event this year. year.

“It’s my hot rod,” he said.

The story was the same for a number of individuals who participated in this year’s Platte River cruise.

Saturday’s line-up also included a pinewood derby, a rockabilly pin-up competition, a concert, exhaust fatigue and loud showdown and a motorcycle stunt exhibition.

Attendees also had the opportunity to mingle with some of the stars from the automotive world. But ultimately, the stars of the day and weekend were the vehicles themselves.

Nate Hammond had two cars that caught the eye.

His two Shelby Mustangs — a red ’68 model and a black 2020 model — sat side-by-side among the vehicles lined up inside the former Alco building.

“I love American history, the American muscle that Shelby represented,” Hammond said. “What it did to create this competition among American muscle cars still today.”

His love of cars was further advanced by “Gone in 60 Seconds,” a movie he saw when he barely had a driver’s license in which a Shelby named “Eleanor” is a featured vehicle.

“I just fell in love with Eleanor,” Hammond said. “Since then, for about 20 years, I’ve been aiming to get (a Shelby).

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