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 and so the nighttime car show the city puts on each May is always filled with cool cars.
The car show is a fundraising event for the Northeast Wisconsin Beat the Heat youth Program. Beat the Heat is a non-profit youth program for young enthusiasts to drag race against local police. We are personally involved with the Fox Valley Technical College Beat the Heat Club because we took the club’s Firebird to Bonneville in 2011.
Billed as a cruise, but actually an on-the-street evening car show, the Clintonville event featured everything from an early Dodge roadster to examples of Detroit’s latest super cars. There were perfectly restored cars and trucks, barn find Corvettes and even a hoodless rat rod tow truck.
Things that stood out were a pair of antique Dodges, a pair of mid-‘50s Packards and very very strong turnout of Mopar muscle cars from Dart 340s to Road Runners. The show was predominantly American iron, with a sprinkling of Volkswagen Beetles.
Businesses lining Clintonville’s main street stayed open for the evening to take advantage of a surprisingly large crowd and the shops, restaurants and taverns were packed.
Iola Old Car Show (www.iolaoldcarshow.com) Operations Manager Larry Fechter was looking for interesting four-door cars and Mustangs to invite to the July show to help fill its two themes for the 2014 edition of Iola.