Tag Archives: featured

Flying Over Hollywood

July 29, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Jim Fields is a self-taught auteur, a busy English teacher, and a Nebraska-nice filmmaker trying to finish his latest project whenever he can find time. The film, Life After Ex, is a romantic comedy about a gay couple’s divorce.

Fields’ Objectif49 Films—named after the film society that spurred the French New Wave—has been busy for more than a decade making independent films with a Midwestern vibe. If Fields’ name doesn’t resonate as loudly as Mr. Payne’s, give it time.

His oeuvre of films includes one that should be on every Husker fan’s watch list: Bugeaters, a documentary about the first decade of Nebraska football. Not only entertaining and informative (having taken a year to research), Bugeaters won Best Documentary at the 2011 Estes Park Film Festival in Colorado.

In 2006, Fields released his first documentary, Preserve Me a Seat, about the preservation and demolition of historic movie theaters throughout America. It began as a film about the impending demolition of Fields’ first love, the majestic Indian Hills Theater—now a parking lot near 84th and Dodge streets.

JimFields1“Going to the Indian Hills in the mid-`60s to `70s made a big impact on me,” says Fields. “Reserved seats, ultra-wide screen, souvenir programs. When I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm, it was the first time I had seen a film as opposed to a movie. I saw it over and over. It’s my favorite.”

Back then, Fields says the public expected films to be made in Hollywood, not Nebraska.

“You had to go to film school out there or in New York. The thought that someone could make low-budget movies in Nebraska seemed impossible. I went to Chicago in 1984 and didn’t even last a semester. I had no concept of how expensive it was going to be.”

Fields thought his dream was dead after a brutal Windy City eviction on Thanksgiving Day put him and his belongings on the street. He came back to Omaha, forlorn but resilient. A decade passed before he rekindled his dream in the late `90s.

“When digital video was invented, I got really excited,” Fields says. “I started doing research on it and went to a lot of workshops.”

At the world-famous Donna Reed Festival, Fields met and struck up a correspondence with Gary Graver, cinematographer on Orson Welles’ unfinished The Other Side of the Wind.

“He was a great resource,” Fields says. “You couldn’t research these things like today. There were no YouTube videos on making a film. He was very encouraging and gave me great advice.”

Fields’ 2004 documentary 416 (about Nebraska’s constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage) won Best Feature and the coveted Audience Award at the Central Nebraska Film Festival, Best Documentary of 2004 at Hardacre Film Festival, and was the Fargo Film Festival’s Second Place Documentary in 2005.

His other films include a comedy-drama called Flyover Country about a friendship between two college students, one straight and one gay, and how they are perceived. A definite release date for his latest film, Life After Ex, has not been announced.

Not bad for a man with deferred dreams of film school.

Visit objectif49films.com for more information.

Hot Dogs of the Future

July 28, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

There’s a slight cognitive disconnect when one first encounters Mick Ridgway’s vegan hot dog cart. It’s not his plant-based frankfurters, which reject those sacrosanct animal ingredients—including snouts, lips, and buttholes of pigs—that are encased in American tradition. It’s the proprietor himself.

Fauxmaha1Ridgway, 25, isn’t the prototypical animal activist. He’s not a pamphlet-waving militant, nor does he exude an odor of patchouli from a sea of tie-dye. He’s just a regular dude, he says, who likes sports, motorcycles, and playing the drums.

“I want to show people that being vegan isn’t weird at all—that’s the idea behind it,” says Ridgway, who abstains from consuming and wearing animal products. “And a hot dog is a great starting point for that discussion.”

For meat-loving denizens of Omaha and vegetarian outliers alike, Ridgway’s vegan-next-door diplomacy and “right man for the job” attitude has helped transform his enterprise, Fauxmaha Hot Dogs, into less of a hipster novelty and more of a foodie destination in the short year it’s been open for business.

Of course, Ridgway’s tastes-like-the-real-thing-maybe-even-better franks probably have something to do with his success, too.

“Hot dogs are already fake, so they’re easier to replicate—even ordinary, store-bought hot dogs can have a soy filler in them,” he explains. “So hot dogs are a very good stepping stone to get people to try new things.”


A Fauxmaha hot dog is a quarter pound of seitan, or “wheat meat,” and resembles a bratwurst in both size and color. The smoky, salty from-scratch links achieve a textural symbiosis between their pillowy middles and chewy, naturally developed casings that provide an ample amount of snap to each bite. The only thing missing is the cholesterol. Ridgway jokes that he makes up for that deficiency with about 25 grams of protein per link.

“My hot dogs don’t leave a lot to the imagination,” he admits. “They’re pretty straight up.”

Still, even with all the traditional hot dog fixings that can compliment Fauxmaha’s classic hot dog taste, and specialty franks that include a slightly sweet, subtly spicy bánh mi dog, Ridgway says there are some who can’t help but flash a look of bewilderment or disgust when confronted with his “cruelty-free” comfort food.

“I chalk it up to tradition and the vegan stereotypes that I see in movies and on TV as vegans being weird, being weak, being frail,” he says. “(Vegans) are not portrayed as strong, capable types, and that definitely trickles down into how people view vegan food.”

Ridgway also says he isn’t about to play the martyr when he’s slinging pups outside of Soggy Paws in the Old Market or grilling franks in Modern Love’s Midtown parking lot during the spring, summer, and fall. Besides, he’s got “the hot dog cart of the future,” he says, and that’s enough to make some people feel uncomfortable.

“It’s different—it hasn’t, to my knowledge, been done before,” he says. “But I think there’re enough people who maybe aren’t vegan or vegetarian who appreciate what I’m trying to do.”  

Visit facebook.com/fauxmahahotdogs for more information.


The Secret Sauce of Super Success

July 26, 2016 by

I hope the overly alliterative title tipped you off that I will not, except possibly in jest, divulge the recipe to any sort of magical marketing elixir (patent pending). And it is not because I’m keeping all the sure-fire, sales-inducing snake oil. Unlike your spouse vis-à-vis the last box of Thin Mints.

From the rise of psychoanalytics in the 1950s to today’s emphasis on big data and its avalanche of Über-granular personal information, marketers have been, and remain, fascinated by what makes people buy the gadgets, groceries, and gewgaws lining retail shelves and Amazon Wish Lists. Yet despite the tireless push to crack marketing’s enigma machine, it turns out the formula for effective advertising contains nothing but variables. As I recall, most marketing majors went to business school to avoid algebra.

Sauce1Formulas, schemes, and promises of sky-high ROIs abound; yet the great failing of all such formulas—aside from the resultant stylized marketing plans and creative work—is that they assume consumers behave in rational ways. Ways that can be measured, predicted, influenced, and repeated. Which, if you have ever met an actual consumer, seems pretty far-fetched. Another counter-school of thought posits that people base purchase decisions on pure emotion; which might well explain the CEOs new Boxster, but less so your recently acquired case of Flonase.

As suggested by Bob Hoffman (co-founder of Hoffman Lewis and author of The Ad Contrarian blog) in Quantum Advertising, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. People sometimes act rationally and sometimes act emotionally. Often within the space of a few seconds. Often regarding the same product. Anyone who has ever interacted with actual consumers, or at least stood in line at the customer service counter at Mega-Lo-Mart, knows the customer is not always right. In fact, they are quite often nuts. (You would think this is fairly common knowledge in the halls of most ad agencies, but the desire to sell something concrete—and companies’ preferences for purchasing the same—often creates a cognitive dissonance that is difficult to dissuade.)

So what, exactly, is a brand to do to combat consumers’ idiosyncrasies? The answer, like most things in marketing, is surprisingly simple, yet more difficult to achieve: be consistent. Consistent branding is more than routinely putting your brand out there. It is routinely putting the same brand out there. Not in rote, repetitive ways. Your message still has to be inventive, relevant, entertaining, etc. But it must also be consistent across the board with regards to tone, personality, promises, etc.

Because when you embrace constancy, you are positioned for those moments when consumers really do need (rational) or want (emotional) you. Your product and message may not be relevant to a person every time they see it. But that moment a person needs a dry cleaner, new car, HVAC service, or even an attorney, you are already in their evoked set of options. Not a nebulous entity that does something possibly related to their need, but a known brand that now must market themselves less to close the actual sale.

Constancy is not easy, especially in this day of failing faster and rapid iteration. But those things should enhance consistent branding, not supplant it. Keep your foundation, your core, the soul of your brand unchanging, and tweak your tactics as you go. Always fresh, but always focused. It’s not exactly a formula, but it is a pretty decent recipe.

Jason Fox is the founder of AdSavior.net and the chin behind @leeclowsbeard.

Jason Fox is the founder of AdSavior.net and the chin behind @leeclowsbeard.

Colored Concrete

July 22, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Taking on an outside project in the spring here in Nebraska can be tricky, but I was up for the challenge. In between all the rain and wind we had this spring, I finally found a day to tackle this.

We don’t have a large patio in our backyard, so last year we added a bit more concrete; however, it gave the patio an unfinished look that never sat well with me. After acquiring a quote to have the concrete stained, the estimated cost gave me plenty of reasons to try tackling this project myself.

SandysMakeover1After persuading my husband to help and viewing instructional YouTube videos, we were on our way. I used a product called Endurable Concrete Stain, sold locally at Logan Contracting Supply. This product came highly recommended for many reasons, including that it is long lasting and extremely easy to apply. It is also free of toxic solvents. The drying times were fast and the color choices were outstanding.

I wanted a warm look, with a lot of variation, so I went with three colors. You will want to seal the concrete, and the Endurable Sealer is also a superior product that is easy to apply. Give it at least 24 hours to dry and then decorate it however you like. That, for me, is the fun part, and I chose some plants and flowers as well as some easy-to-hang DIY curtains. Making these were so simple. I purchased canvas tarps from Home Depot along with a grommet kit and some small, strong hooks. When you have finished them, just hang them from your deck or pergola. You can achieve many versions of this, and all can be found on the internet. Have fun bringing the inside out to enjoy during the summer!

Again, I would like to thank Brain Hudgens from Endurable Concrete products for all his help and supplying the products for my project, as well as Matt Melichar from Logan Concrete Supply here in Omaha for his guidance and helpful tips.  OmahaHome

Visit endurableproducts.com for more information on the product I used. And, as always, please reach out if you would like to ask any questions or have any concerns.


Items Needed:

  • Tape
  • Plastic or paper
  • Spray bottle
  • Stain
  • Sealer
  • 2-3  extra smaller buckets for mixing stain and acetone into
  • Acetone
  • Chapin Acetone Sprayer


  • Power wash your area, use some elbow grease to remove any stubborn stains, and let your concrete dry.
  • Cover areas you do not want to apply stain to with plastic or paper and tape them down.
  • Please read all instructions on the products at least one day prior to starting your project.

Jenny Kruger

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Midwestern farmland can be described in many ways. Paisley, however, is not a descriptor that normally comes to mind. Artist Jenny Kruger, however, often sees paisley on the farm—at least in paint.

Her art consists of colorful floral patterns serving as backdrops to barns or rural settings. Everyday landscapes become surreal. The brightly hued paintings are nostalgic, byproducts of Kruger’s nomadic youth.

Home has always been more of a feeling than a physical place for the artist. Her works are more about what she remembers than what a place actually looked like.

“I never really had a strong sense of home being tied to a location,” says Kruger. “It’s memories.”

Lately, her work has become bigger and grander. Kruger is currently working on a triptych that will measure 6 feet wide by the time she finishes the three panels. “I keep getting bigger because I think the landscapes need to breathe,” she says.

JennyKruger2She works on the weekends and whenever time allows in her life, in between raising two young boys and managing a career as dean of Communications, Education, and Fine Art at Iowa Western Community College. She also squeezes in time to occasionally illustrate for publications such as The New York Times.

Painting has taken a backseat in her life right now, but it hasn’t gone away.

“It’s important to me. If I stop painting, this job wouldn’t work for me,” admits Kruger of her position at the college.

It wasn’t always this way. For much of her life, art was everything to her.

Kruger spent her early years in Salt Lake City, with countless hours devoted to drawing pictures in her bedroom.  As the scenery started to change, the constant in her life was art.

Before she reached age 10, she spent a year learning Spanish in Monterey, Mexico, and then sailed the East Coast with her family.

Following a year at sea, her family settled down in Indiana. Kruger pursued art head on, encouraged by her parents, who enrolled her in advanced art classes. She painted in Florence, Italy, while a college student. A Fulbright scholarship sent her to Barcelona, where she could paint nonstop.

A favorite artist growing up was the American realist Andrew Wyeth, and while you can spot a hint of his realist influence in Kruger’s work, her own traveling has definitely flavored the trajectory and style of her painting.

“I saw many different sceneries, different ways of living, different kinds of people, and different ways of learning,” says Kruger.

While studying for her master’s degree in New York City, she dabbled in portraits, but also began painting images of water towers, adding a floral background. Eventually, she ended up in Nebraska, where her surroundings now inspire her frequently and at strange times, like while driving to work. She’ll see a striking wrapping paper pattern and save it to be her creative muse later.

After her boys are tucked in bed, Kruger is in her basement studio, revisiting her collection of muses and memories, and trying to build enough pieces for her next solo show.

Visit jennykruger.com for more information.

Colossal Heart & Soul

Photography by Contributor -- Josh Hoyer

Josh Hoyer, 39, isn’t afraid to speak candidly. With a heavy touring schedule and family at home in Lincoln, the lead singer and keyboardist for Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal knows full well the sacrifices musicians have to make. The five-piece band describes itself online as a “combination of soul, funk, and R&B,” and Hoyer counts Otis Redding, James Brown, and Curtis Mayfield as major influences. He says “throwback soul” is something of a trend right now.

“I think that the soul resurgence is something that’s happening naturally because people are looking for something that’s more authentic these days in the music that they listen to,” Hoyer says. “But we’re not trying to follow in that trend at this point. We’re not just trying to just be a throwback soul band.”

People used to call James Brown “the hardest working man in show business,” and Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal are no slouches either. They released their first record with Silver Street in 2014 and have since released a live album and two more studio albums, including the April 2016 release Running from Love.

In addition, the band toured 32 states last year, playing 150 shows and traveling nearly 60,000 miles. They’re on pace to do that again this year.


Some shows have 10 or 15 people in the audience; factoring in travel costs means that the tours aren’t necessarily financially lucrative.

“There’s a lot of parts that have to come together to have a successful show in a new city as a new band. And it’s very difficult to get your name out there, get people to recognize that when they look at the paper, and go, ‘Oh, I’ll go check out this Josh Hoyer dude.’ Why would you do that?”

The band recorded Running from Love in Nashville at the Sound Emporium with Ken Coomer, a Grammy-nominated drummer and producer. They hired a publicist to promote the record. They’ve also posted some videos on YouTube (as of this writing, the video for their song “Parts of a Man” has more than 65,000 views).

“Our goal, working with some of these higher-profile people and the higher-profile studio, was to hopefully get our foot in the door in…more of the national scene,” Hoyer says.

However, despite some fantastic reviews, the breakthrough success hasn’t quite arrived.

“I’m still proud of the art, I’m proud of what we did, but as far as the mass marketing or whatever, it didn’t really pull through yet at this point.”

Hoyer has a wife and two daughters (ages 7 and 2). Everyone in the band makes sacrifices to be on the road, and Hoyer says missing his kids is the hardest part for him. He would be willing to eventually scale back and only play locally for his family’s benefit.

So, why press on for now?

“I ask myself that all the time, brother,” he says. “I love it. There’s nothing like connecting with an audience or a listener or a lover of music. When something magical or spiritual may happen in a room when they’re listening and we’re playing, there’s nothing like that.

“My experience is I have had just enough of that, where someone in the crowd will come up after the show and say, ‘Man, you really touched me. Thank you for your music; it empowers me.’ Just enough of that where you feel like you’re doing something that has merit to the world.” Encounter

Visit joshhoyer.com for more information, including this video: www.joshhoyer.com/media/2016/3/5/soul-mechanic-by-josh-hoyer-soul-colossal


The Soda Shop

July 21, 2016 by
Photography by Contributed

Summertime. The perfect weather for cold sodas, smooth malted milkshakes, and double-dip cones. Remember visiting the soda fountain as a kid? Remember plunking coins in the jukebox and taking your date for one root beer float with two straws? These days, the “kids” might express awe at the idea of a soda for a dime or an ice cream sundae for two quarters, but there are still places within one-and-a-half hours of Omaha where you can pick up an authentic root beer float or a banana split. Be prepared, however, to spend more than a dime on a soda.


The Bake Shop and Hollywood Cafe: 1301 Broadway, Denison, IA

Donna Reed spent time here as a youth. In fact, this soda fountain shares a building with the Donna Reed Performing Arts Center. Next door to photo showcases from the famous actress’ life, the fountain serves Pink Ladies and Grasshoppers.

Jay Drug: 612 W. Sheridan Ave., Shenandoah, IA

Located in the heart of downtown in this small Iowa town. For those bicycling through, stop in and have one of the malts. RAGBRAI founder Chuck Offenburger claims they make the greatest malted milks on Earth.

McMahon Drug Store: 625 Davis Ave., Corning, IA

The soda fountain is actually maintained in a Hy-Vee Drug, which bought the store in 2011. Slide up to the counter and slurp on a malt or a phosphate in a quaint atmosphere…in a franchised store.

Oard-Ross Drug: 701 16th Ave., Council Bluffs, IA

The green, red, and yellow tiles on the outside of this small building in western Council Bluffs scream mid-1960s. They offer lots of “penny candy” (not quite a penny these days); however, the shop no longer features a soda fountain. That is a shame, because it looks like you should be able to step up to the counter and order a Purple Cow.

Penn Drug Co.: 714 Illinois St., Sidney, IA

Dr. John Newton Penn started this pharmacy in 1863, and the Penn family still runs it today. The soda fountain is the pride and joy of this store. Indulge in a variety of phosphates and ice cream treats while munching on liverwurst and cheese or egg salad sandwiches.

Ramsey Family Fountain: 1155 Third St., Tecumseh, NE

The soda fountain and cafe was established in 2009 and features hundreds of framed photos of local servicemen and women, as the original idea was to find a place for the owners’ photography collection. The counters and porcelain front came from a former soda fountain down the street, Chief Drug (which still operates as a pharmacy).

River House Soda Fountain & Cafe: 402 Main St., Plattsmouth, NE

Looking for a Black Cow or a peppermint shake? Look no further. This mom and pop store is located next to the courthouse in this quaint small town. It not only offers ice cream sodas and lemonade, it offers iced mochas or lattes for those with more modern tastes.

The Soda Fountain Cafe: 801 S. 10th St., Omaha, NE

A longtime Omaha soda fountain and popular tourist stop. The Soda Fountain Cafe (inside the Durham Museum) includes a wide variety of phosphates made with flavored syrup and soda water straight from the fountain dispenser. When you finish there, browse the candy shop for something to take home.

The Soda Fountain at the Fairmont: 1209 Jackson St., Omaha, NE

While it has only been around since the late 2000s, the stainless steel counter area is the original unit from Cris Rexall Drug Store on 50th and Dodge streets. You can buy your own nostalgic or strangely flavored soda from their pop room and ask to have a float made from it.

Springfield Drug & Soda Fountain: 205 Main St., Springfield, NE

They serve the iconic Green River soda. This drug store opened in 1977 in a former bank, and the soda fountain was added on 10 years later when the owner found a fountain for free from a defunct store in Iowa.

Stoner Drug: 1105 Main St., Hamburg, IA

Go ahead and giggle. It did at one time sell cocaine and opium (in the form of laudanum). That’s because the store opened in 1896, when these two drugs were legal. They still fill legal prescriptions. Walk up to the counter and order a cherry phosphate or a real cherry cola—not the kind coming out of a can, but real cherry syrup mixed with cola.

*Editor’s Note: This magazine version of this article focused on the original Stoner Drug location for its Nostalgia series. Stoner Drug also has locations at 712 Main St, Tabor, IA; and 315 S Main St, Rock Port, MO.

Traveling this summer? Visit slidellsodashop.com and click on Soda Shops of America to view a list of soda fountains throughout America.


The Revenge of the Lawn

July 20, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Being a suburbanite—a classification that gnaws at the very fabric of my bohemian soul—I find myself more and more obsessed with the vegetation that surrounds my mid-century modern home.

It is as if there is some hidden sequence buried on the double helix of my aging DNA that has been triggered—some drive to surround my humble abode with a flawless blanket of lush, manicured, green carpet. But why?

I suspect this growing compulsion is rooted in the most primitive parts of my brain. I’ve read articles by anthropologists who theorize that our love of lawns is an expression of our evolutionary history. These deep thinkers say that when our furry ancestors came down from the tree branches and ventured out onto the savannahs, we were compelled to stand erect on our hind legs so that we could see over the tall grasses and spot large saber-tooth predators before they snuck up on us.

Standing tall, we were thus able to minimize the numbers of clan members who were snatched and dragged off to some stupid, sharp-toothed quadruped’s Sunday dinner. The upside of this was that, as a species, we thrived. The downside was that many more of our bothersome relatives also survived to make holiday gatherings, like The Invention of Fire Day, emotionally challenging for the rest of us.

Walking on our hind legs, the scientists surmise that our forelimbs were freed to learn to manipulate tools. Thus, we could also develop weapons to defend ourselves against the large variety of meat eaters I referenced earlier, with the added benefit that we could on occasion dispatch a few of the aforementioned extended family members, or even strangers, who offended our bipedal sensibilities.

So, 4 million years ago we dropped out of the branches of an ancient Ginko biloba tree, stood up, and looked out over the tall grasses of a primitive world full of existential threats. We acquired digital dexterity. We learned how to make sharp sticks and to throw rocks. That was basically the story for 4 million years, though our sticks got sharper and the rocks got bigger. Bottom-line—we killed most of the animals that wanted to eat us, and a good number of our fellow primates on the side.

Nothing much changed until that defining moment when evolution took another quantum leap. One hundred and eighty-six years ago Edwin Budding invented the lawn mower. Human beings could now cut down the tall native grasses and rest secure in the knowledge that, even though they are mostly extinct, large hungry carnivores could no longer sneak up on us or our children.

I mow because I am.

Je tonds parce que je suis.

I hope the Toro starts this week. The neighbors are starting to complain. They are beginning to suspect there may be a hungry Sumatran panther in my front yard.


His Own Idea of Classic

July 19, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

“I was always a car fan,” says Mike Tushner, president of Telesystems LLC. “When my kids were little I fixed and sold cars several times.”

Make that more than several. Between 1984 and 1988 he bought, restored, and sold around 30 cars.

He knows and appreciates cars of all types. By 1988, however, family and work life overtook the time for his hobby. He quit working on cars, and turned his energy towards running his telecommunications business.

MikeTushner1Towards the early 20-teens, however, with his children gone, his wife, Connie, knew that Tushner would benefit from working on a car again. She began looking for a car for him to restore, and, ultimately, feed into Tushner’s love of car culture.

“A perfect Sunday to me is hopping in the car and going to a car show,” Kushner says. “I’ve never had a car I felt was worthy of being in a car show.”

The couple specifically wanted to find his dream car, a 450 SL Mercedes Benz convertible. The SL class is a style of sports car Mercedes made between 1972 and 1989. The 450, specifically, was made between 1986 and 1989.

Many executives drive Mercedes Benzes. The vehicle is the definition of “luxury sedan.” But to Tushner, this car is more than a symbol of luxury.

“The style of that car has an iconic look to it. I always thought it was a classy-looking car,” Tushner said. “In the early 1980s I had a picture of the 450SL.”

That iconic look possibly comes from the fact that during the 18 years Mercedes made the SL class, the German auto maker did not change one thing about the body style.


The Tushners thought it would take a trip to a different state to get exactly the car they wanted. They did…but it wasn’t a long road trip.

“I finally found a 560 SL on Craigslist, just outside of Crescent, Iowa,” Tushner says.  The car was sitting in a garage. It hadn’t been driven in years.

It looked as though it hadn’t been driven at all. In fact, if owners Chuck and Teresa Troxel said they just purchased it from the factory, Tushner may have believed them.

The soft top had rarely come out of its compartment. The car had always been hand washed, and soap was never used on the soft top. Those weren’t the only pleasant surprises.

“The fuel filter was original,” Mike says with awe, even five years after owning the car. “The mechanic who replaced it said he could tell because it had this factory goo on it that the dealership missed when they cleaned it up.”


The paint is original, except for the hood.  A rock once skipped across the hood and damaged the paint, so the previous owners had it repainted.

Although Tushner wanted a 450 SL, he was happy to find a 560 SL. The number in front of the SL reflects the engine size, meaning the 560 SL runs on a 5.6 liter engine as opposed to a 4.5 liter engine, and the 450 had a three-speed automatic transmission whereas the 560 had a four-speed automatic transmission.

Tushner paid $6500 for the car in 2011, but he’s gotten a million dollars worth of enjoyment out of it. He attended a car show last year and saw a 560 SL about his age, but not in as nice of condition. Seeing that gave him the courage to place his car in the Lauritzen Gardens All-European Show and Shine. Although the show is not judged, he spent the day happily chatting with fellow car enthusiasts.

“For me, it’s something I enjoy driving,” he says. “It’s not as flashy as some cars, but it was my dream car.” B2B