This 1929 Ford Model A is one of many cars Bob Knowler has restored over the years
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Some people collect coins. Some collect beer cans. Retired Woodbury County Treasurer Bob Knowler collects cars, many of which he has restored himself. It's been a life-long hobby for him and the cars in his collection come in all shapes and sizes.
It's not that much of a stretch to say that Knowler treats his cars kind of as if they are his kids. He's been buying and restoring old vehicles since he was a kid.
"I think I bought my first little 1939 Plymouth pickup when I was about 14. And restored it, my dad and I," said Knowler.
From his 1929 Ford Model A to his 1947 Ford open-cab fire truck.
"People said, 'Why did you buy that?' 'Cuz I didn't have one," said Knowler.
There there's the Dodge convertible Polara that he bought new in 1965 then bought again and restored 30 years later after he tracked it down to a dusty old barn on the other side of Iowa.
Cars are in his blood. Asked if it's easy to get emotionally attached to a car, Knowler says yes.
"All that work you put in on 'em. All the compliments you get when you're out with it and all the smiles you get," he said.
One that produces lots of smiles is his 1965 Ford Econoline pickup truck with a calliope in back. It has been a familiar site at parades all around Siouxland.
Many people who restore cars like to keep them under lock and key, but not Bob. He likes to drive his and he likes to show them off. About a half-dozen of his vehicles are on display at the MidAmerica Museum of Aviation and Transportation.
Larry Finley, the museum's executive director said, "It's great to have someone who's that interested in contributing back to the community and that's exactly what he does with providing these vehicles for us."
After all, Bob says, cars are meant to be enjoyed!
"I drive all mine. You know, if we're out in the rain, so it rains on it. It'll clean up," he said.
His cars are his kids and his collection always brings out the kid in him. "Everybody's a kid," Knowler said as he revved up the siren on the fire truck.
Bob guesses that over the years, he has restored a couple dozen vehicles. He's sold many of them, but he's always keeping an eye out for the next one to buy.
The lawsuit states the commission violated state law in making its decision, and destroyed the economic value of the Belle's license when they selected Sioux City Entertainment.More >>
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