To keep up with the old car hobby at this time of year, you have to travel lkie crazy. But this year, with income down and costs up, I decided to enjoy the old car hobby while sticking closer to home. This past weekend, I skipped the annual British Car Field Days in Sussex, Wis. and drove “only” 90 miles to the Fond du Lac Optimist Car Show. Traveling with Colette and Shane Hanke of Waupaca, we brought two of the five British cars that made it to the show. We stopped for a Father’s Day breakfast in Weyauwega, Wis. (where I nearly got nibbled to death by the proverbial black sheep) and after sorting out Shane’s Triumph a little, we continued on to Fond du Lac. We took the lake road in and ran right past the shops of old-school hot rodder “Cowboy Bob” Norris (Grade A Welding) and Classic Chevy lover Mike Freund (Classics Plus Ltd.) I have relatives in Fond du Lac, but I had never been aware of the Lakeside Park where the show was held. It was a cool place and it was even cooler to see it loaded with old cars. The first person we ran into was Denise “GTO Lady” Clumpner who was at the show with her family. Though we stuck relatively close to home, the show turned out to have many nice cars and some interesting automotive history. Bob Novacs, of the FDL Historical Society, showed up with a home-built car that was fabricated in the FDL High School automotive shop in 1962. Built from pieces of many 1930s-1950s cars, the “Old Goat” cost just a couple of hundred dollars to build and has lasted quite a few years in good shape. We will be researching this unique creation and welcome any input about the car.
Gunner’s Garage with John Gunnell
"Gunner" is one of of the most prolific authors and most visible characters in the old car hobby. He has written dozens of books about old cars for Krause Publications and is the former editor and publisher of Old Cars Weekly. His collecting pursuits range from old Pontiacs, to MGs, to retired police cruisers, to Indian motorcycles. He remains a frequent contributor to Old Cars Weekly and owns and operates Gunner’s Great Garage, a classic car restoration and gift shop in Manawa, Wis.
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