Situated in an ocean of grass on the plains of Nebraska, people have had an amazing love affair with cars. These motorized schooners have provided greater access, speed and comfort for travelers. This mode of transportation greatly connected us with the rest of the country and the rest of the country with us.
Initially the “Lincoln Highway” provided a transcontinental highway for people to travel from coast to coast. Subsequently, President Eisenhower and others sought to improve on this system for the mobilization of troops and national defense. And, still others recognized the economic impact of such a system. Thus, the Interstate system came into existence. Kearney is situated in the middle of this route. (In fact, before this mobilization, one of the ranches in the area was called the 1733 Ranch. It was 1733 miles to Boston and 1733 miles to San Francisco.) Today, even though we see convoys and semis, most of the vehicles are simply cross country travelers.
Kearney has enjoyed witnessing this love of cars with special events. Cruise Night in July brings in over 20,000 people during a 6 day event. Various car clubs and tours bring even more classic cars to Kearney and our hotels. With over 200 cars in a 50,000 square foot show room, the Classic Car Collection here in Kearney is one of the best museums of it’s kind between Denver and Chicago. The Archway with it’s unique span of I-80 also celebrates this love of cars in their walk-through-the-years type museum. Both the Classic Car Collection and the Archway are open year round.
In addition to the classics, Kearney hosts a great raceway. Kearney Raceway Park is a great venue for experiencing some amazing drag racing. As part of the NHRA they have been able to bring in some top talent and cars to our home town atmosphere.
The Sandhills Open Road Challenge (SORC) 55 mile rally style race draws racers and spectators from around the world. The event takes place every August near Arnold, NE which is about an hour and a half north west of Kearney. This demanding event can see speeds over 120 mph!
Here are some of the “classics” we’ve enjoyed seeing at our hotels: