The 1971 Camaro Z28 on display at the museum has quite an interesting story behind it. It all started when Richard and Rosemary Alter spent $3,337.75 on a brand new 1971 Camaro Z28. This car was considered to be the “ Best All-Around” car of its time. The Z28 Camaro was no ordinary muscle car. It came with an impressive 350 cubic inch, V8 engine that produced 275 hp.
A few years after the purchase of the car was made, Rick was stationed in Italy for the Air Force, and he brought his family and his baby with him. In 1975 Rick and the rest of his family decided to pack into the Camaro and road trip around the European Continent. The journey started in Italy and led the family through Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.
This Camaro has seen good times, but it has also seen some bad times. It has been an omen of bad luck to Rick since the very first day that he has had it. It all started on that first day that he purchased the vehicle. While driving it around Omaha, it suffered an accident as someone ran into it. The Camaro sustained some damage but was able to be restored. Then in 1998, another vehicle ran a red light and crashed into the Camaro. The vehicle was totalled. Hoping that would be the last time something bad happened to his car, Rick spent the money and fixed it once again. After it was fixed he would keep it in his garage for safekeeping but that did not stop the local neighborhood kids from getting to it. They lit his garage on fire with the car still in there. Rick did not give up hope on his car just yet and decided to repair it once again. In September 2014, there was a 100+ mph windstorm that did major damage to the car. With the expert help from John Harbeck, the 1971 Camaro has been restored to better than new condition in only four months time. The Camaro was up and running by that following March.
Although the car and the owners have been through so much, we are honored to have it here at the Mid America Museum of Aviation & Transportation. The vehicle is in immaculate condition and we encourage you to stop by and take a look.