110,000 gearheads descend on Iola for 40th annual Iola Old Car Show

We’ve been trying to catch our breath ever since the Iola Old Car Show weekend concluded July 15, but in that time, the facts behind the show have been trickling in. The final numbers from Joan Schultz, executive director of the Iola Old Car Show, read like this: 110,000 attendees, 1,204 camp spaces, 628 cars in the car corral, 1,791 registered show cars (not every car owner registers once they arrive on the grounds) and 4,430 swap spaces sold out.

There is no denying 2012 was a scorcher, but the cars were as hot as the temperature, from the Ardun overhead-valve flathead in Bob and Diana Anderson’s 1932 Ford highboy roadster to the chopped 1969 Ford Mustang SportsRoof to the Mercury XM-800 concept car — and that’s just a sampling of the Ford Motor Co. products present! This year also celebrated Mercury, Oldsmobile, Plymouth and Pontiac, so I’ve included a few of those cars and others that won’t appear in the Aug. 16 issue of Old Cars Weekly. Be sure to join us next year from July 11-14 when the Iola Old Car Show pits Ford against Chevrolet with displays to show how competition between these popular brands has benefit the hobby.

Related resources:

Learn more about the cars below in our No. 1 go-to book for prewar cars, The Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805-1942

Stephen Murphy of Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage brought up the 1954 Mercury XM-800 concept car for the Theme Tent, where Pontiac, Mercury, Oldsmobile and Plymouth were featured. Murphy reunited the XM-800 with its restorer, Tom Maruska, who brought back the car from the brink.

Tom Maruska and the 1954 Mercury XM-800

Jon Cody’s Wedgewood Green 1955 Cadillac Coupe deVille is an unrestored and low-mileage California car and also features special-order all-leather upholstery. The Blue Ribbon Concours is made up of such originals and also finely restored vehicles.

Bill Stull set the original L36 427-cid V-8 and four-speed aside from his 1968 Chevrolet Biscayne coupe and installed a 468-cid V-8 and M-22 Rock Crusher transmission for driving. The car has just 28,000 miles and is one of two built in Canada for U.S. sales with the L36 drivetrain combo.

Rick Konkel’s 1961 Ford Sunliner packs a tri-power setup and black paint on its straight-as-an-arrow body.

You never know what kind of rusty gold you’ll find around the Iola Old Car Show swap meet, and this old iron certainly qualifies as a precious metal. The old Ford school bus once served the Willow River, Minn., school district, but during the 2012 Iola show, cruised the road between the swap meet and car corral.

Speaking of buses, John Benz brought two Volkswagens —a Karmann Ghia and this 1977 Type 2 camper bus. Both are attractive brown colors.

Good, old International trucks from the 1970s are a rare sight in the rust belt, but the Sperl family’s 1975 200-Series 4x4 is a very fine example.

Trevor and Marla Yoho brought two sets of fins — two for land, two for water — to the Theme exhibit. The land-locked fins are on a 1960 Plymouth Fury four-door hardtop, while the water-bourne fins adorn a 1959 Herters Flying Fish boat.

Evan and Marcia Wollschlager brought this 1936 Dodge Brothers 1/2-ton pickup, which wore eye-catching blue paint on its body and box set against black fenders and running boards.

The Wisconsin Packard Club’s display was braced by this duo of 1941 convertible coupes: a One-Twenty and a One-Sixty. Also note the mini 1941 One-Sixty, which was molded by hand from fiberglass on a 1972 Montgomery Ward lawn mower by the One-Sixty’s previous owner.

Acres of chrome cover James T. Ford’s 1958 Buick Roadmaster 75 convertible, one of just 1,181 built that year.

Road race, anyone? Dan Steehle’s jet-black 1954 Lincoln Capri coupe brings back shades of the Carrera Panamericana where the Lincoln’s wins were black and white. It graced the Blue Ribbon Concours.

There’s no denying the handsome lines of a 1940 Ford Tudor, this example being the V-8 Ford model brought by Steve Davel.

From Peoria, Ill., came Jesse P. Curry Jr.’s 1940 Plymouth Roadking two-door sedan. The jet-black Plymouth was dressed with whitewalls and accessory fog lamps.

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