Gunners Garage

Symco Shakes Off the Rain

Symco, Wis., is a small village located about 11 miles due east of Iola. The Symco Shakedown is now one of the biggest “old school” hot rod shows in the country. Symco 2010 drew over 4,000 people and featured everything from Matnard G. Krebbs look-a-likes to Lucille Ball wanna-be’s. .  

At Symco 2010 it was rainy, then cloudy, then sunny, then hot and humid. It didn’t matter. The grounds that the show is held at is just plain kool with fascinating buildings to hide in when it rains. It’s called Unionville and it’s like an antique tourist town, except that it’s only open three times a year. The Shakedown is one of those times.

The focus of the Symco Shakedown is on “traditional” kustoms and hot rods, but there were shiny hot rods, too, and Chevy 350s, vintage circle track racers and some just-about-stock ‘50s and ‘60s cars. Cars that didn’t meet the rules were parked in VIP Parking near a lake with a covered bridge. We doubt if any of the owners complained about the gorgeous setting.

Rockabilly bands from California, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin were shaking things up in the Unionville Dance Hall. The Unionville Saloon offered $1 tappers and $5 pitchers. Other attractions included the roller derby girls, a dragster exhibition run and mini-bike races.

Shakedown gave away a 276-cid Ford flathead V8 with a four inch stroker kit, Egge cast pistons, a custom-ground Howard’s cam, new Edlebrock heads and intake and new Speedway 9 Super 7 carbs. The block came from Flat Jack Meyer of Oshkosh, Wis., who did the build. Kelly’s Hot Rod Parts, Porter Mufflers and Appleton Crankshaft were also involved in the project. 

Rain or no rain, the 2010 Symco Shakedown was a success. If you missed it, put this show on your calendar for next year. You’ll be glad you did.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.