Under The Hood

All shook up at the first Shakedown

The quiet little town of Symco, Wis., got a lot louder Aug. 7-8 during the first Symco Shakedown, a pre-1964 traditional hot rod show that forbid billet and anything else made after Kennedy died.

The show was just down the road from Iola, Wis., so I couldn’t pass up a chance to hang out at the event and relish in the old-school rods, the bands, the beer and the folks in attendance there, many living the rockabilly lifestyle.

Symco is home to many old buildings, petroliana and farm equipment (it’s known for hosting a big thresheree), making it the perfect place to shoot some cool cars in cool backgrounds.

Check out these pix from the first show, and if you like what you see, head over to www.symcoshakedown.com to learn more…We’ll see you next year!

Is that a 348 or a 409 between the rails?

This dark green Deuce Tudor had a flattie with open headers, and sounded like it!

A 1933-34 Plymouth coupe built as a traditional-style rod.

Check out the Continental grille shell on the Plymouth.

A slick ’50 Merc coupe with subtle striping and slamming. This is how it was done, folks.

A front view of the Plymouth. I must have really liked this car!

Ca.-31 GM coupe (probably Chevy, as pointed out a blog visitor) with a Deuce grille shell.


A good selection of machines made it to the first event. You can also get the flavor of the grounds in this shot.

Check out this wicked, old-style coupe. My guess is 1940-41 Chebby with its ass in the grass. (My guess is wrong; apparently a 1946-48 Chevy.)

This Fiat was a legitimate, old-school racer, built in 1962 with a 348 Chevy engine. The car was painted this way in the early 1970s and caused crowds to run when it was fired up, and glued to its patina while it was parked.

The paint tells the tale of this ’55’s past. When you find an old machine like this, complete with a ’60s-style interior with a sparkling-gold three-spoke steering wheel, you don’t touch it. You just drive it.

I’m guessing there were 100-200 cars at the Shakedown, but however many there were, it was enough for me to miss this Chevy two-door sedan among the buildings until it was time to leave. That chopper is pretty cool, too.

This green ’69 Biscayne was one of my favorites, even though it was too new to get in the Shakedown. Its owner parked in a special parking lot. The fender badges said 327, while the shift handle poking out of the floor from in front of the bench seat said four-speed. Too cool.

A little T bucket and some cool gas pumps make for a nice combo.

There were two sweet ’51 Merc coupes at the shakedown, and this purple beaut was hard to photograph without throngs of people by it. Perhaps part of the reason it was hard to photograph was the dunk tank featuring girls from the roller derby.

One thought on “All shook up at the first Shakedown

  1. Big z

    HI, I am glad you made it to the show, it was the best show I have been to in years. I was glad to see you took pictures of my Fiat drag car also. Are you going to publish this article also?


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