Author Archives: John Gunnell

This vendor at the 2014 Iola Old Car Show (www.iolaoldcarshow.org) got lots of laughs with his googly eyed Chevy truck.

Vendor Laffs

When we first got involved in the old-car hobby in 1972, we tried being a flea market vendor. It was a lot of work to load and unload the merchandise we were trying to sell. For the most part, sitting in a field or parking lot hoping for a sale was boring. To top...

Our car building at home is getting really crowded.

Been Sick

Our last blog was posted in mid-August, but we’ve actually been sick since the last day in July. We made it through a month in the hospital and have a long recovery ahead. Things like this lead us to reflect on the direction our life was going in before reality caught up with us....

Ron Eggelseer of Rubicon, Wis., is the proud owner of this 1953 Cadillac convertible, which had a continental kit at the rear.

The secrets to Appleton Auto Show’s success

  What made the one-day July 20, 2014 Appleton Auto Show (www.applewtonoldcarshow.com) so big this year? A lot of organizers of other hobby events would like to know why the number of participating show cars seemed to suddenly grow by several hundred cars. The trend for most shows today is fewer show cars and...

When Larry Fechter of www.IolaOldCarShow.com was asked about how this Chevy truck was put on the fake mountain, he didn’t know for certain.

Chevy on the Mountain

  The question I was asked the most after the 2014 Iola Old Car Show was “How did they get the Chevy on the mountain?” The people who asked that were mystified b how a new Chevrolet pickup truck was hoisted on top of a fake mountain about 15 ft. high. The dark blue...

When Larry Fechter of www.IolaOldCarShow.com unearthed this untouched “barn find” Road Runner it had Keystone mags mounted.

Keystone “Cops”

  Are you kidding me? I heard something about certain magazines not wanting to run photos of nice muscle cars because they had Keystone mags or Cragar wheels in place of factory rims. Back in the real muscle car era, when GTOs, Cobras and Super Bees were new, nobody wanted a car with factory...

Halibrand magnesium wheels are another throwback item.

A Real Champ Car

This little racing car is a real “Champ Car” because it has a 1940 Studebaker Champ engine. It is called the F. Davi Engineering, Hillegass Studebaker Special. It is a full midget racing car from the prewar era and also raced as a dirt tracker. After sitting for 30 years, the car was resurrected...

Classic Chevrolet fire truck.

Vintage Fire trucks at Big Rig Show

  Oakie Allen is a veteran firefighter — a former Battalion Chief who worked at Station 3 in Eau Claire, Wis. That’s the city where the Chippewa Valley Chapter of the Society for the Preservation & Appreciation of Antique Motorized Fire Apparatus in America (www.spaamfaa.org) gets its mail. “Like the name SPAAMFAA says, we’re...

Air Needle Sander

  Heavy undercoating treatments were popular in the ‘’70s and ‘80s. Now that such cars are becoming collectible, cars are showing up that have every piece of sheet metal looking like new. That’s nice, but the undercoating isn’t “factory original” and sometimes it collects moisture and dirt. Before the car can be refinished, the...

Royal treatment

  Once Pontiac set out to become General Motors high-performance division around 1959, it needed a dealer to build racing cars. Ace Wilson’s dealership was near the factory and Jim Wangers talked him into the new job. The whole story about this is in Wangers’ must-read book Glory Days. Royal took factory stock Pontiacs,...

Could It Be?

  In 1974 we drove a 1953 Pontiac to the second annual convention of the Pontiac Club (www.poci.org), that was held in Wichita, Kansas. In 2014, we drove a different 1953 Pontiac to the 42nd annual POCI convention. A lot of things have changed in 40 years—but maybe not everything. Back in 1974, Byron...