Author Archives: John Gunnell

Little did we know when we photographed this car on June 3, 2013 that we’d be bringing it home to Iola on June 3, 2014.

Surprise of the year

  The other night we realized that 2015 will be the 60th year of the ’55 Chevy so we decided to write an article honoring six generations of the first of the “Tri-Five” Chevys. After gathering facts about ’55 Chevy history, we started looking through the 560 photo files on our desktop computer for...

Superior Cadillac high-headroom ambulance at Eau Claire.

Ambulance Chaser

  We own about 150 old ambulances, but you could fit all of them inside the orange and white Cadillac ambulance we took a photo of at the Eau Claire Big Rig Show in 2014 in Eau Claire, Wis. As anyone who visits Gunner’s Great Garage knows, we have a toy ambulance collection showcased...

Most, but not all of the cars are inside four huge steel buildings.

Noel, Noel

The other day we heard Christmas carols being played in a Big Box store and when the words “Noel, Noel” rang out we thought of meeting Russ and Anita Noel just about a year ago. We were on our way back from a road trip to the National Funeral History Museum in Houston, Texas....

Restorer Jerry Kopecky invented this dashboard rotisserie.

Necessity is the mother of invention

  They say that necessity is the mother of invention and there’s no better place than the world of old car restoration to prove that’s true. Take, for example, the conversation I had today with a man who rebuilds British car transmissions. He told me how he makes shims for his projects out of...

This all-original 1964 Rambler was seen at a local car show last spring.

AMC cars are catching on with collectors

  Anyone who has visited Gunner’s Great Garage and met my son Jesse knows that he is a quiet young man. He is also my secret weapon for keeping abreast of changes in the old-car marketplace. You see, Jesse spends a lot of time reading old car magazines and checking out cars for sale...

The General Motors Heritage Center (www.gmheritagecenter.com) says that only 659 examples of the 1990 Grand Prix SE with a five-speed manual transmission were sold.

Late Model Rarities

  Did you ever look at ads for old cars for sale in magazines from the ‘50s or ‘60s and wish that you had invested some money in cars like a Model A Ford or a Duesenberg way back when? Well, even though you didn’t, somebody did and those are the folks making big...

An ATHS representative was signing up new members at the Big Rig Show in Eau Claire, Wis.

Wheels of Time

  When we worked in the Old Cars Weekly office, one “club” magazine that we enjoyed reading was Wheels of Time published by the American Truck Historical Society (www.aths.org). Best of all was the fat issue ATHS put out once a year showing every truck that attended its annual convention. Since we own a...

The STP pajamas caused quite a stir at the Speedway and were a great promotional item.

STP Pajamas Revisited

  About a year ago we were trying to find out made the famous STP pajamas that Granatelli and his crew wore when they ran the STP turbine car at Indy. It all began at the 2013 Performance Racing Industry. We had been searching around for racing uniform companies because we needed a racing...

Volunteer firefighters in the small village of Bear Creek, Wis., restored this FWD fire engine as a department project.

Hot for fire engines

  The first year or two of my life, my family lived in an apartment over a firehouse. While that led to many sleepless nights for mom and dad, it turned me onto fire engines for life. We don’t own any fire engines, but we should, After all, the collection already has a police...

The days of touching up the paint on your old car with a brush are gone.

Painting a car was a whole lot easier years ago

  Painting a car was a whole lot easier and cheaper years ago. The accompanying photo shows a Mr. Thomas brush painting the fender of a car that looks like a Franklin (judging by the shape of the hood). The car has 1920 New York license plates and Mr. Thomas is fairly well dressed...