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Collector has high standard for vintage vehicles

Staff writer

Wayne Ollenberger has one condition that needs to be met before he buys a classic vehicle. Its parts and condition have to be the same as if he bought it off the factory line.

“They’re all original,” he said. “There’s no adding stuff on or taking stuff off and changing anything. That’s just the way they come from the factory.”

However, that doesn’t mean his vehicles were in top condition before he bought them.

One of his three classic vehicles is a 1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne that Ollenberger purchased from a neighbor in Hillsboro. He saw the work his neighbor put into its restoration.

“I saw it all in pieces, laying on the floor and everything,” he said. “He put it all together, and they had it for, I don’t know how many years. It’s a beautiful machine, and I don’t think you’ll find another like it.”

His 1980 Corvette might be in original condition, but there are some bells and whistles that don’t come with most models.

The original owner, Ollenberger’s cousin, had a CB radio put in to help manage the trucking business he owned.

“There are very few that actually have that CB,” Ollenberger said. “In fact, I’ve never run across a Corvette that even has it.”

It might be his most decorated vehicle.

The car won three awards at a Corvette show in Bloomington, Illinois, and was selected as one of the show’s top cars from among 300 entries.

Despite being 40 years old, the Corvette only has 2,000 to 2,100 miles on it, in part because Ollenberger uses a trailer to take it to shows.

Ollenberger’s 1938 Chevrolet Master Deluxe was the only one of the three vehicles that he bought without knowing the owner.

He spotted it a few years ago at Midway Motors in Newton and immediately knew he wanted it.

Ollenberger’s passion for classic cars is nothing new, according to his wife, Carol.

“I think he’s always liked cars, even growing up on a farm,” she said.

It might be rubbing off on his family, as his children and grandchildren have taken an interest.

“My son helps me out,” Ollenberger said. “He goes to work and calls me daily. He’d get the Corvette because that was my first one.”

The vehicles are a limited commodity, but there’s no competition over who will own them when Ollenberger passes them down.

“Grandpa’s in charge,” Carol said.

Ollenberger doesn’t mind newer vehicles from other companies, like the Dodge Ram he owns, but he prefers Chevrolets when it comes to older vehicles.

“The quality of a Chevrolet, or a General Motors car, was better built than some of the others,” he said.

Last modified Oct. 29, 2020

 

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