Iola show to feature “Public Enemies” movie car display

Several mid-1930s cars on the set of the film "Public Enemies".
(Sharon and Heinz Diehl photo)

Just as the Hollywood film "Public Enemies" starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger makes its away around movie theaters nationwide, more than 35 pre-war vehicles used in the film and their owners will converge in Wisconsin at the Iola Old Car Show July 9-12. Dozens of 1930s coupes, convertibles and trucks were used in the making of the Michael Mann film. Filming took place last summer at various locations throughout Wisconsin.

"Public Enemies, which premiers July 1, chronicles the federal government’s attempt to stop the career of notorious gangster John Dillinger, who reeked havoc on the upper Midwest during the Great Depression. The criminal activities of fellow gangsters Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd are also featured in the fillm.

To add authenticity, many scenes were shot in Dillinger’s original haunts in Wisconin and Chicago using cars owned by people local to the area. A large number of those car owners also attend the Iola Old Car Show each year and were first invited to participate in a special display last year. So far, 37 have committed to returning to this year’s show in celebration of the movie debut.

Owners of these vehicles were often required to allow minor modifications performed to their cars in order to meet the director’s demand. Such changes, such as blackwalls and black-painted wheels, were often employed by the movie production company.

Some owners were asked to permit more drastic modifications, including color changes. In the case of one owner, the car was returned to the original color at the conclusion of filming.

To learn more about the display and the Iola Old Car Show go to www. iolaoldcarshow.com or call 715-445-4000.

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