Photo by Denise Sullivan, NPCC News Bureau
Students, faculty, administrators and staff watch Tony Weidner drive away in his new '62 Chevy Nova.
Tony Weidner of Grand Island, the winner of a 1962 Chevrolet Nova that was raffled by Mid-Plains Community College in September, came to North Platte Friday to claim his prize. “This is just great,” he said at the community college when he picked up the keys. “I still can’t quite believe it.”
Weidner said he always buys at least one ticket for the hot rod, but this year he bought two during a car show in Grand Island. He was not in downtown North Platte when his ticket was drawn during the Col. Cody Cruise and Shine show, but was playing in a tennis tournament at Cody Park when his name was announced.
“I thought it was somebody pulling my leg,” Weidner said about the phone call he received Sept. 8 from MPCC President Ryan Purdy. Assured that he was the winner, he hurried over to the car show in downtown North Platte. Although Weidner was confirmed as the winner of the car at that time, there was a waiting period while college administrators took care of details and transferred the title to his name.
“It’s been kind of hard waiting,” he said. “Everybody at home wants to see it.”
Weidner’s wife, Colleen, saw the car for the first time on Friday when the couple came to pick it up.
“I love the color (Synergy green),” she said. “It’s even brighter than I’d imagined!”
Weidner said his plans for this car are the same as his other classic Chevy.
“We cruise around the country and go to hot rod shows,” he said with a smile.
Purdy said the college sold 5,800 tickets for this year’s raffle. The customized car was the creation of students and faculty in Autobody and Automotive Technology programs.