Over 500 historic automobiles hidden just southwest of St. Louis

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LEBANON, MO (KTVI) – In a drive down memory lane, FOX 2 unveiled a monument to history Wednesday night that had essentially been hidden in rural Missouri for decades. It’s called Evergreen Historic Automobiles. Few have heard of it, let alone seen it. The owner is about to go public.  But we’re taking you inside first.

There really is a great “Hudson Hornet” like the one in the Disney animated movie “Cars”, about 150 miles southwest of St. Louis just off Route 5 outside Lebanon, Missouri.

“Doc Hudson in that movie was a ’51 Hudson Hornet,” said Steve Plaster, owner Evergreen Historic Automobiles.

Plaster has a real life Doc Hudson and a whole lot more. There are 3 acres of cars under roof in show rooms he calls “car barns”.

“People uptown call every once in a while say, ‘oh we’re doing the Christmas parade we need a convertible.  Do you have a convertible?’ I say, ‘well, what color?'” Plaster laughed.

He has about 550 cars, nearly all convertibles including the 1932 Lincoln KB that FDR used for his first inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Plaster is a walking encyclopedia on everything there:

  • He has cars once owned by Rod Stewart, Sam Snead, Alan Jackson, and Michael Douglas, among others.
  • He owns everybody style of Corvette ever produced.
  • He owns a Batmobile from the TV series.
  • He also owns the Mutt Cuts car van from the movie “Dumb and Dumber”. An employee’s son took it to the prom.

All the cars are in mint condition and they all run. Plaster has one employee whose only job it is to keep it that way. It seems a shame to keep it all hidden anymore, Plaster said.

He was talking about the cars, their stories and his story. The cars are as much about family history as anything else.

His dad, the late, Bob Plaster, started it all in the 1970’s. Bob Plaster was a Springfield, MO, grocery store worker who founded the Empire Gas Company with nothing in 1963; building it into a propane gas empire, quietly stocking the “car barns” with his son, Steve, along the way.

“It’s a lot of fun.  I love the old cars,” Steve Plaster said.

He said he didn’t know the cars’ total worth; and didn’t want to.  He just liked the idea of finally sharing what his dad shared with him. You can’t put a price on that.

“Yeah, it was very much a father and son thing,” he smiled.

He said his father vowed never to drive a small car when American cars downsized during the gas crisis in the ’70s.  He bought two Lincolns and two Cadillac’s to last him the rest of his life.  He built a barn to store them. Steve Plaster now buys and sells cars around the world. He’s going start offering public tours by appointment.

There’s also a new banquet center adjacent to the “Car Barns“.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Latest News

More News