Gunner’s Garage

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...

Could have been worse

Kurt Kelsey of Iowa City, Iowa, is an old friend and a big dealer in NOS Pontiac parts. A few weeks ago, while driving my ’53 Catalina to the Pontiac club (www.poci.org) convention, I heard a ratting noise under the car and figured I might need a U-joint. As soon as I could, I...

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...

“Studie-ous”

  I’ve got to hand it to the Studebaker Drivers Club (www.studebakerdriversclub.com)—the organization does a great job keeping the passion for those South Bend buggies alive. We were recently in a meeting where the size of various car clubs came up and someone said that SDC had 14,000 members. According to their Website, the...

Back From the ‘50s

Our travels recently took us to the Pontiac club (www.poci.org) show in Wichita, Kan. We drove the ’53 Catalina down to Kansas, heading out to Albert Lea, Minn., and then traveling south on I-35 nearly all the way to our destination. Forty years ago we drove a ’53 Pontiac Chieftain sedan there. This time...

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...