One weekend a year, the population of Iola, Wis., grows exponentially from 1,200 to more than 130,000 for the annual Iola Old Car Show. The vast majority of those visitors have come to buy and sell parts and cars in the more than 4,000 swap spaces. However, more than 2,000 show cars are also in attendance. The show-car area provides some relief for the weary parts hunter who needs a reminder of why he or she is scouting through the thousands of swap spaces: to finish that special project car waiting at home.
Many of the automobiles in the show are exceptional original cars and trucks or finely restored vehicles that are displayed in the by-invitation-only Blue Ribbon Concours area, located in front of the F+W Publications building. The building is home to Old Cars Weekly, its sister automotive book division, and many other book and magazine divisions.
Each year, a theme is selected for the Iola Old Car Show, and this year, show organizers selected Chevrolet. General Motors products bearing the "bow tie" came from across the country to participate in the theme exhibit area. Standouts in this area included the prototype Chevrolet Suburban, several first-generation Corvettes, and a variety of prewar Chevrolets.
For those with a taste for modified cars, the Iola Old Car Show sets aside a special area for these street machines. Deuce coupes, hopped-up Mopars, and chopped Mercs could all be viewed during the event.
The largest portion of the event is occupied by postwar cars, which are displayed in a large area near the theme tent. Adjacent to this area, the Fox Cities British Car Club from Appleton, Wis., was invited to display its members' cars for the first time. The club did just that with a strong 59 entries to add a new dimension to the 34th annual show.
Next year's Iola Old Car Show will be held July 12-15. For information regarding the show, call 715-445-4000 or go to www.iolaoldcarshow.com.