The Automobile Gallery (www.theautomobilegallery.org) by Red Lewis opened on Jan. 4, 2016. Although it has been in operation for well over a year, many car enthusiasts who come to the Iola Car Show haven’t seen it yet. The Gallery is only a short hour’s drive to the east from Iola.
Businessman William “Red” Lewis completely updated Joseph G. Denil’s circa-1958 Cadillac dealership to give The Automobile Gallery a unique home. Lewis turned it into an art gallery-like environment where milestone cars of all eras are featured as artworks. Lewis calls the facility “An environment as impressive as the automobiles that it surrounds” and his goal was to create a setting where the “automobile is art.”
In its mission statement, The Automobile Gallery states that it wants to “educate, inspire and share” Lewis’ passion for automobiles with other people. The gallery presents an ever-changing retrospective look at cars from the early 1900s through 2015. The vehicles in the initial display include electric cars, Classics, sports cars, special-interest cars, hot rods, racing cars, Corvettes, muscle cars, exotics and pickup trucks and the displays are changed every month.
The modernized, renovated building also features a contemporary event space with a reception hall area, catering and dining facilities, and an executive conference room with multi-media capabilities and a touch panel control system. Admission fees to the gallery and event rental spaces will help support the non-profit facility in downtown Green Bay. There is also a Guest Vehicle Program through which cars owned by collectors from across the country can be displayed for several months on a fee basis.
The Automobile Gallery will have a display set up at The Iola Car Show. Many showgoers will want to stop at The Gallery before they head home after the car show.