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An Iola-sized 'Thank you!'

Gorgeous weather, an overflowing show car field and a sold-out swap meet appear to have made this year’s Iola Old Car Show the biggest yet. For me, it may also have been the best.

With all of the guests we welcome at the show, I enjoy spending a lot of time talking to Old Cars Weekly subscribers and usually run out of time to meander through the gigantic swap meet. (I’ve never seen the whole thing). However, I found several treasures in the swap meet this year, including the Kidillac pedal car I mentioned in my editorial following last year’s Iola car show. I didn’t let it get by me again and scooped it up this year.

I also purchased a spare dual-snorkel air cleaner for a 1955 Cadillac and 1962 Cadillac wheel, but my biggest score was a solid 1955 Cadillac back bumper, complete with nice bumper ends. Each year, I make it a point to stop in at Cadillac and Ford collector Jim Huotari’s swap space in search of Cadillac parts, and every year he has a surprise for me. This year, he had the best surprise of all. Now I can end my 15-year search for a 1955 Cadillac rear bumper, thanks to Jim.

The show concluded by helping nearby car collectors Dave and Marlese Lindsay return their collection of Full Classic Packards, as well as their Duesenberg, to their home. Dave handed me the keys to his 1934 Packard Super Eight convertible Victoria. Packards from 1934 represent my favorite year of Packard production, and driving the car was absolutely magical. Thanks, Dave!

Such a wonderful and huge event as the Iola Old Car Show cannot happen without the efforts and expense undertaken by people like Dave and Marlese Lindsay; the family of Jess Ruffalo, who brought their recently deceased father’s collection of finned Mopars and ’50s trucks to the Iola Old Car Show one last time; Bob Schmidt, curator of the ’57 Heaven museum in Branson, Mo., who, after showing his 1957 Belvedere at the Tulsarama! activities, brought his car to the Iola Old Car Show; the hundreds of “Coming Up Sevens” theme tent and Blue Ribbon Concours exhibitors; prewar, postwar and modified show car owners who drove their cars to the event; thousands of swap meet vendors; and the people offering more than 1,000 cars for sale in the car corral.

To everyone who came to Iola, Wis., for the Iola Old Car Show, I offer a giant Iola-sized “Thank you!” The show is one of the best in the world because of you, and we hope to see you next year.

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