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Grounds donation finalized to Iola Car Show

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Old Cars Weekly has been published from several offices in the small hamlet of Iola, Wis., in its 47 years. Now, nearly five decades after it was started in 1971 by Chet Krause, founder of Krause Publications, Old Cars Weekly’s staff has moved slightly westward to a new zip code. Part of the change involved a greater purpose for Old Cars Weekly’s old office building.

On June 15, Old Cars Weekly’s parent company, F+W Media, completed the donation of the publication’s former office building and surrounding property to the non-profit Iola Car Show. Krause Publications was purchased by F+W Media in 2002.

I’m excited to say the donation of the F+W Media building to the Iola Car Show guarantees the car show will have full control over all areas upon which the popular annual event is held, thus strengthening it for the future.

Although the Iola Car Show now owns the property once occupied by F+W Media and its publications, Old Cars Weekly will remain a key sponsor and active in supporting the event.

The history and the relationship between Old Cars Weekly and the Iola Car Show is strongly intertwined, and the Old Cars Weekly staff is looking forward to continuing to partner with the Iola Car Show staff in the production of a successful event each July to benefit the hobby and the community.

It all started when Chet Krause — an Iola Lions Club member — in an effort to help his fledgling automotive publication grow, asked the Lions Club to add a car show to its annual pork and chicken dinner, held each July. Soon thereafter, a swap meet was added, the cars overtook the chicken and the Iola Old Car Show was born.

Until it could financially sustain itself and fund an independent staff dedicated to its operation, the Car Show was supported by Krause Publications. The staff of Old Cars Weekly and other Krause Publication magazines organized the automotive aspect of the show in support of the Lions Club and other Iola community groups, which continue to sell chicken during the show.

By 1985, the Iola Old Car Show was clearly a hit and profitable enough to fuel its own success. At that point, an independent staff was formed for show and Krause handed over all operations to Iola and surrounding community organizations. Meanwhile, the staff of Old Cars Weekly and F+W Media have continued to support the car show — now known as the Iola Car Show — by hosting part of the event on our grounds as well as producing the car show directory and poster. Together, the Iola Car Show and Old Cars Weekly also coordinate the Wine & Cheese Party (now the Cars & Coffee Reception). This collaboration will continue, regardless of Old Cars Weekly’s address, because the success of the show is a success for our hobby.

Although Old Cars Weekly no longer calls the car show grounds home, I look forward to seeing you there every July. We’ll be back in the Tower, ready to help you renew your subscription for another year.

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