Classic Car Collector Gets Surprise 86th Birthday In A Museum

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This looks like quite the stylish event.

When Kermit Wilke’s 86th birthday rolled around he wasn’t expecting anything too special. However, he and his wife Ruby had been invited to the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska for a photo shoot for the museum. Little did he know it was a surprise party arranged by his kids.

It’s not unusual to find Kermit at the Classic Car Collection. An avid enthusiast, he volunteers at the museum often. For the surprise party, his daughter made car-shaped cookies and white chocolate spark plugs, proving the bug has bit the entire family.

photo credit: Kearney Hub
photo credit: Kearney Hub

Kermit describes himself as having a disease with no cure. That disease is collecting classic cars, and if you’ve indulged in the hobby you get why he describes it that way. The man didn’t get the bug from his father, who told him once, “If you had to drive those old things, you wouldn’t be so excited about restoring them.”

With a collection of around 50 classic cars, Kermit is quite the enthusiast. The man has a penchant for orphan cars, or ones which come from long-gone brands like Stanley Steamer, Overland, Reliant, Nash, DeLorean, Lexington, Messersmith, and Gardner.

The man doesn’t just collect cars, he takes them in antique car tours like the 2017 Glidden Tour. That involves not only driving the vehicles through different towns but also wearing period costumes Ruby makes. At the party, several family members wore old flapper dresses Ruby owns, making it quite the glamorous event.

The Classic Car Collection boasts over 200 vehicles from different eras, so it’s a great place for visitors to get a feel for how the automobile has evolved over time. It was a donation of 131 cars made by Bernie and Janice Taulborg back in 2011 which got things started, with other local enthusiasts donating vehicles over the years plus dozens of cars on loan at any given time. There are also vintage tools, artwork, mannequins in period-correct clothing, and other accessories to help transport visitors back in time.

Source: Kearney Hub

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