INDIANAPOLIS (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan man says a big part of him as 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’s locks cut and the car gone from outside a motel Sunday. Parmer and his wife were in town for the Goodguys 3rd Speedway Nationals, a weekend car show at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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

The 48-year-old Parmer said he fell in love with muscle cars while growing up. He bought the Chevelle for less than $20,000 in 2008, and estimates he spent $300,000 on parts and labor to restore and upgrade it.

“In building this car, I see that 8-year-old standing there. There’s me and there’s that kid I was that had that passion, and I still have it today,” Parmer said, his voice breaking. He stopped, then apologized. “That’s one of the things that’s driven me all these years to work so hard. My love for cars.”

Jonathan Klinger of classic auto insurer Hagerty said it’s common for similar restored cars to reach such high price tags.

Parmer is offering a $10,000 reward for the car.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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