Author Archives: John Gunnell

Friday Evening Fun

  Although I live in Iola where Old Cars weekly is headquartered, my restoration shop business Gunner’s Great Garage is located 15 miles to the east in Manawa, Wis. The city of Manawa has a downtown revitalization program going and as part of it the city will host car shows in downtown Manawa every...

All Dressed Up

We went to out first old car show around 1959 at a very old-fashioned drive-in restaurant on Staten Island, N.Y. called Al Deppe’s. Actually, the show was across the street at the Kiwanis Club. This was so long ago, that during the show, my brother and I went over to an empty lot next...

Quite a busy old car day in the Hartford area

  It was a busy morning. We were on our way to Jackson, Wis., to pick up a squash-colored MG Midget to bring it north for some engine work. We had also made plans to deliver two Triumph Spitfire distributors to a friend, Jim Rugowski, who said he was going to a car show...

Carl and Fay Keller showed their Packard 250 convertible.

Drivin’ to the home of Four Wheel Drive

When we started driving to Clintonville, Wis., on Friday night May 16 it was raining. Luckily the precipitation let up before we got to the historic home of the Four Wheel Drive Company. Clintonville is where the first four wheel drive trucks were invented. There are a lot of automotive experts in the area...

The Colemans Commeth

  In 1916, Harleigh Holmes patented his designs for front-wheel and four-wheel drive systems and founded Holmes Motor Co. in Littleton, Colo., to build four-wheel-drive trucks. In April 1921, following a heavy snowstorm, Holmes rescued a man from Creek Canyon with one of his four-wheel-drive trucks. That same year, Holmes’s company became Plains Motor...

Proof that automotive history can be fun is the big smiles on everyone attending the WSAH annual meeting at the Wisconsin Automobile Museum.

WSAH joins “Wheels” to video Gene Grengs

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for us. It started with a visit to the Wisconsin Automobile Museum in Hartford, Wis., where we dropped in on the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Society of Automotive Historians. The big news from the WSAH is that it joined forces with Green Bay TV personality...

Rambler wagon had its eye punched out.

Kelsey Tire open house: The trip was a “trip”

  During the first weekend in May we took a short 1,300+ mile jaunt down to the Lake of the Ozarks area to attend an open house at Kelsey Tire Co. (www.kelseytire.com). We’ll tell you more about John Kelsey’s 70th birthday party in his now-private car museum over the next few days. The trip...

If the ’83 Eagle Limited wagon returns to Iola, it will fit right into the four-door car theme. We hope to see it and other “quart-port” cars there in July.

Eagle Limited Wagon has 4 doors and 4 x 4

  At first I had my doubts when the Wisconsin Society of Automotive Historians selected the theme for the 2014 Iola Old Car Show (www.iolaoldcarsshow.com). They picked “Four for all in ‘14” to honor four-door vehicles. It was the 50th anniversary of the Mustang—and the GTO, so my initial reaction was why go after...

A good assortment of old exhaust parts books helps Bob find the proper clamps and hangers and other parts.

Bob Andes bends factory exhausts for old cars

  In the back shops of an old-time auto parts store on the main drag in Antigo, Wis., Bob Andres uses his 17-year-old Huth bender to make stock-look exhaust systems he ships all over the country. Bob’s “be-bop” haircut may have a ‘50s look to it, but his pattern cards date back further than...

The Antique Auto Shop restored the prize winning Plymouth coupe.

A Young Man’s Fancy Turn to Plymouth

I have always been amazed by how many men who were around my father’s age had a Plymouth for their first car back in the 1930s. When Chrysler launched the Plymouth, it was a car with looks and features a cut above a Chevy or a Ford. It’s true that the Plymouth lacked the...