40-Year Flashback: Early Iola Old Car Show

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 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.
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Iola has always had a little bit of everything for everybody. Here, a racy straight-axle 1956 or ’57 Corvette shares the green with a few Model A’s

Iola has always had a little bit of everything for everybody. Here, a racy straight-axle 1956 or ’57 Corvette shares the green with a few Model A’s

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.

Iola Old Car Show founder Chet Krause is a Model T man, and his favorites have been a mainstay of the show since its early years.

Iola Old Car Show founder Chet Krause is a Model T man, and his favorites have been a mainstay of the show since its early years.

A young couple checks out a 1931 Ford Model A coupe braced by a 1932 Ford roadster and what appears to be a spotlight-equipped 1946-1948 Plymouth convertible.

A young couple checks out a 1931 Ford Model A coupe braced by a 1932 Ford roadster and what appears to be a spotlight-equipped 1946-1948 Plymouth convertible.

Just like in the old days, show cars are mixed together, with Packards, Fords and Chevrolets parked together on the turf.

Just like in the old days, show cars are mixed together, with Packards, Fords and Chevrolets parked together on the turf.

A regal 1933 Packard sedan basked in the park of one of the earliest car shows. Take note of the woodie and 1940s truck surrounding it.

A regal 1933 Packard sedan basked in the park of one of the earliest car shows. Take note of the woodie and 1940s truck surrounding it.

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: