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Michigan man heartbroken over theft of classic car in Indianapolis

– A Michigan man says a big part of him has been ripped away with the theft of his restored 1970s Chevrolet Chevelle during a trip to Indianapolis for a classic car show.

Keith Parmer of Holt, Mich., said he was in disbelief when he found his box trailer open and the car gone, according to a police report.

“If I don’t find this car and I lose this car, I don’t think I can do it again,” he told The Indianapolis Star. “Somebody’s taking a big part of who I am that I’ll never get back.”

Parmer, 48, said he fell in love with muscle cars while growing up in the 1970s. He and his wife bought the Chevelle for less than $20,000 in 2008. He estimates he spent $300,000 on parts and labor to restore and upgrade it – including a new engine, a custom-made polished intake manifold made of aluminum and a custom-made trunk and interior.

“That’s one of the things that’s driven me all these years to work so hard,” he said. “My love for cars.”

Parmer, who works as a car dealer, brought the car from his home near Lansing, Mich., for last weekend’s Goodguys 3rd Speedway Nationals car show at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jonathan Klinger, a spokesman for Traverse City, Mich.-based classic auto insurer Hagerty, said it’s common for such cars to reach a price tag of $300,000 because of the restoration process.

Parmer is offering a $10,000 reward.

“You can’t process it. You’re just numb,” he said. “Driving home, I couldn’t think straight. It’s like a bad dream. It’s comparable to someone close to me dying.”

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