For 2012, the Iola Old Car Show celebrates its 40th year as a hub for car-crazed men and women to gather for fun, food and four wheels (not necessarily in that order) in early July.
The first Iola Old Car Show was held in 1972 at the village’s park and was simply an addition to the Lion’s Club Chicken Roast. That year, Krause Publications founder Chet Krause invited some friends and acquaintances to drive their old cars to the chicken roast. In exchange for displaying their cars, Krause bought the car owners a tasty chicken dinner.
There was a method to Krause’s madness, as he had just formed Old Cars and later purchased Spoked Wheels magazine and rolled it into Old Cars. His goal all along was to grow both an automotive publication and a car show, with the show becoming a separate entity to benefit the community on a larger scale than the chicken roast offered.
Less than 20 cars attended that first car show in Iola, but word spread quickly and in July 1973 the event became the Iola Lions Club Antique Auto Festival, Chicken Roast and Donation Auction. The turnout grew exponentially, finally building into the event it is today.
The Old Cars Weekly staff dug deep into the archives to honor 40 years of old cars gathering in Iola and found this group of pictures to be the oldest representatives of those early years. The images are believed to be from 1973, when the event was officially advertised as a car show (and chicken roast, of course). If you can identify the owners of the cars or the cars’ current whereabouts, drop us an email — we’d love to add to Iola’s history.
To learn more about the 2012 Iola Old Car Show, visit www.iolaoldcarshow.com.
Fans of the 21st-century orphans to be seen at 2012 show can learn more here:
- The Standard Catalog of Oldsmobile 1897-1997, the ultimate reference guide for Oldsmobile fans and auto historians, is back with updated collector pricing through 2004 models!
- Find Mercury info with the Mercury 1961-1975 Standard Statistics Download.
- Plymouth pricing and data can be found in our Standard Catalog of Chrysler 1914-2000.
- The Standard Catalog of Pontiac 1926-2002, the ultimate reference guide for Pontiac fans and auto historians, is back with updated collector pricing through 2005 models!