KEARNEY, Neb. — Brad Kernick has been showing off prized rides at the Classic Car Collection in Kearney since it opened more than a decade ago.

But it’s never been like this. 

The museum on the east side of the Cabela’s building is relaunching under a new name: The American Automobile Experience.

“The more we thought about it and talked about it, the more appealing that became,” board chairman Brad Kernick said.

The change comes after much of the original collection was sold about a year ago. Before, the museum was stocked largely with wooden-spoke, pre-war cars. Now, the selection has broadened to include more vehicles from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

“I unquestionably say we’ve got the best mix of cars in here that we’ve ever had,” Kernick said.

The board marked the rebrand with a ribbon cutting. Blueprint Engines partnered to host a week of car shows that culminates Sunday with a drive-in theatre showing of Cars 3. CEO Norris Marshall is a new museum board member.

“By the time we’re done with this week, everybody is going to know that something new is going on at the American Automobile Experience," Marshall said. "It’s not the same old museum that it was before.”

Instead of owning the autos, most of the collection is on loan. That means the inventory will constantly be refreshed.

“It’s just awesome to bring your family here and look at the cars and tell the stories that you remember and pass those on,” Marshall said.

Some of the 135 cars are loaned from people out of state, but many, like the historic school bus, come from locals.

The remarkable collection of automobiles from the past has the museum’s organizers enthused about its future.

“The board of directors, our volunteers are all positive and upbeat. Hopefully the public can sense that,” Kernick said.