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Poster Boys: Iola Old Car Show 2010 'supermodels'

Trio of 1960s muscle machines share spotlight on poster

What better way to illustrate the “Sensational Sixties” theme of the 2010 Iola Old Car Show and Swap Meet than a trio of muscle cars to represent the most significant aspect of the decade?

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Featured on the event’s poster and other effects are a 1967 Pontiac GTO two-door hardtop owned by Jim Mokwa of Waupaca, Wis.; a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach I owned by John Carl of Belgium, Wis.; and a 1968 Plymouth Road Runner coupe owned by Bob Shapiro of Manitowoc, Wis.

Together, these cars beautifully represent the hot intermediate (GTO), pony car (Mustang) and budget muscle car (Road Runner), all popular during the 1960s.

They gathered on Thunderbird Field at Iola-Scandinavia School’s Football Field in Scandinavia, Wis., last year and were photographed by Clay Miller, who designed the poster.

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Jim Mowka’s 1967 Pontiac GTO features a 400-cid V-8 that has
taken him to both car shows and the drag strip. “I drive it about
500 miles a year,” Mowka said.

1967 Pontiac GTO
Starting at the front, the 1967 GTO is in the fleet of collector Pontiacs owned by Jim Mokwa. He is the second owner, having purchased it in 1988 in Ripon, Wis. It has a 400-cid HO V-8 and four-speed Muncie gearbox. It was bought with minimal equipment, as the original owner had drag racing in mind. This Pontiac had manual steering and brakes, “dog dish” hubcaps and only an AM radio.

Mokwa felt it was time for an upgrade and completed a frame-off restoration in 1992. He kept the Pontiac stock, but added power brakes, Rallye II wheels and a dealer-optioned Ram Air air cleaner. He changed the color from teal to black, but kept the original black interior.

After the restoration, he took it to a Pontiac show in Lincolnshire, Ill., and claimed the People’s Choice award. On the way back that weekend, he stopped at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wis., and took third in his class.

“I drive it about 500 miles a year now,” Mokwa said. “I make shows and cruises in the area.”

It’s not that he hasn’t the interest to spend with the GTO, it’s that he has a stable of collector Pontiacs that he also drives. They include a 1969 GTO Judge in a rare antique gold, a 1965 GTO convertible with Tri-Power, a 1970 GTO convertible, a 1969 GTO convertible he purchased as a basket case, a 1976 Firebird Trans Am he bought new and a 1999 Trans Am 30th Anniversary convertible.

Will there be more?

“A friend bought a 1970 GTO Judge brand new. I was only 13 at the time, but I just had to have one,” he said.

It was just that he couldn’t stop with one, and he notes his quest may not be over yet.

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John Carl and his wife, Jane Marshall, are the proud owners of
this 1969 Mustang Mach 1. The car has a 351-cid Windsor V-8
with a Top-Loader four-speed manual transmission and Shaker hood.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach I

Our Mustang supplier for the photo has a similar attraction for collector vehicles. John Carl and his wife, Jane Marshall, are (mostly) Mustang folks.

“I bought the Mach I at an auction two years ago. It was pretty much as you see it. I added new tires. It came out of New Mexico,” he said.

Carl’s 1969 Ford Mustang Mach I has a 351 Windsor V-8, Top-Loader four-speed manual transmission and Shaker hood scoop. The rear spoiler and slats on the back window are right from Ford. It has about 68,000 miles on it.

“We have a cottage north of Iola and have been coming to Iola since about 1989,” Carl said.

They also have a stable of Mustangs including a 1967 Shelby GT 500, which will be restored in time for this year’s show, a 1966 Mustang GT convertible, 1988 Mustang GT convertible with 10,000 miles and a pair of 2007 Shelby convertibles. The 2007s are being converted, respectively, to Super Snake and Anniversary packages.

They also have a 1970 Chevelle SS hardtop.

“My wife is not too keen on that one,” he said.

The future is also open to additions to the Carl-Marshall fleet.

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Bob Shapiro is very fond of his 1968 Road Runner. “I just sold
(in 2006) a 1968 Road Runner hardtop with a Hemi at the
Barrett-Jackson Auction and I missed it so much, I started looking
for another one,” he says.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner
When it comes to collecting muscle machinery, Bob Shapiro likes his MoPars of the basic persuasion.

His 1968 Road Runner coupe is his third such Plymouth. He bought it in 2007 off eBay with no power steering, brakes and just basic equipment, something the Road Runner popularized in the performance intermediate marketplace.

“I got it in Harbor Springs, Mich., in the U.P. It has bias-ply tires, ‘poverty’ hubcaps, an 833 four-speed manual transmission,” he said. “It was an early-1990s restoration and held up pretty well.”

The only major thing he did was to replace the worn-out 383 V-8 with a 440 that had a Six Pack and MoPar Purple Shaft cam. He kept all exterior appearances stock.

“I just sold (in 2006) a 1968 Road Runner hardtop with a Hemi at the Barrett-Jackson Auction and I missed it so much, I started looking for another one,” he added.

Shapiro also has a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere I two-door sedan with a Hemi and no radio.

“I like Chrysler products from the late 1960s; they were more basic and about 200 pounds lighter than the competition,” he noted.

The three poster cars will be displayed in a corner of the feature tent during the show, and the owners will be available at various times to talk about their cars and how they became Iola Old Car Show poster cars.

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