By Angelo Van Bogart
The fin cars were out en masse for the 39th annual Iola Old Car Show in Iola, Wis., which featured Dodge and De Soto automobiles when it was held in the hometown of Old Cars Weekly July 7-10, 2011. However, there was more to the show than finned MoPars, evident in these photos that show the sights to be seen in the event’s nearly 4,500 swap spaces, 800-vehicle car corral and 2,500 show cars.
Join us next year when the show hits the big 4-0 July 12-15, 2012. That weekend, the show will feature 21st Century Orphans: the vehicles of Mercury, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Plymouth. Come see why Iola is called “the Midwest’s Greatest Old Car Show and Swap Meet.”
Sporting a 10-year-old frame-off restoration, this still-fresh 1966 Chevrolet
Chevelle SS396 sported a 375-hp version of the big-block backed by the
oh-so-desirable four-speed manual transmission and several options
(power steering, windows and brakes, rear window defrost, tilting wood
wheel, etc.). The price? $34,500, or trade for another GM muscle car. (Call 608-575-6170*)
Only 37,000 miles in the last 77 years separated this 1934 Chevrolet coach
from new. The car sported original paint and interior and had obviously
been loved for many years. It could be yours for just $25,000.
If you’re too cool for a Prius, try this 1970 Subaru 360 pickup on for size
(warning: you may need a shoehorn to get in). The seller said just a handful
of these 59-mpg, street-legal trucks remain, and he wanted $12,000 for the
Parked next to the 1957 De Soto Adventurer poster car under the theme
tent rested this 1958 De Soto Firemite, a 3/8th scale fiberglass, gas-powered
ride. Originally intended to be a kids’ car (albeit a wealthy kids’ car),
restored examples of these cars command now “adult” prices.
Jon Cody’s mostly original 1955 Cadillac Coupe deVille in Light Wedgewood
Green graced the Blue Ribbon section, parked back to back with another ’55
Cadillac, this one a sedan in Celadon Green Iridescent.
Just 40 of these Max Wedge-powered Dodge 330 coupes were built in 1963,
and this survivor was apparently raced throughout the Midwest. The car
had just received a frame-off restoration and sported an original aluminum
You could have any color of Model T at the Iola Old Car Show, as long as
it was black. These early ebony Fords were parked in the Blue Ribbon section
of the 2011 Iola Old Car Show.
If fins catch your fancy, you were in luck at this year’s show. Many finned
MoPars of all flavors graced the grounds, including this pair of finned
Coronets parked at the edge of the theme exhibit area. The two-tone pink
1959 Dodge is owned by Jerry Kopecky, while the 1958 Dodge Regal
Lancer in copper and black is owned by Randy Guyer.
These longtime Iola Old Car Show swap meet vendors always have eye-
catching projects (usually convertibles), and this year, there were lots of
double takes to their space. The Studebaker is a rare 1950 Commander
convertible, priced at $2,995 (it sold), while the even rare Continental is a
1940, priced at $6,500. (Call 715-551-9658*)
The asking price of $24,900 for this solid and original-looking 1934 Ford
Tudor appeared right on the money these days.
The east side of Old Cars Weekly’s home office hosts the modified section of
show cars and the eldest part of the Iola Old Car Show swap meet. Many
swap meet shoppers start perusing the nearly 4500 swap spaces from this
corner and work their way south and east.
Advertised as, “runs and drives great, very fast,” this 1969 AMC AMX
with the potent 390-cid engine and four-speed combo seemed a bargain
at $16,500. (Call 920-824-5634*)
The seller stated Mercedes-Benz made just 500 of these 190SL convertibles
in 1962, and this looked like a dandy of a survivor. (Call 715-281-9459*)
The Iola Old Car Show flea market is a partying place for many longtime
vendors, who have grown to become friends with their neighboring vendors.
That fun is manifested in many ways, including this moustached and
four-eyed Mr. Goodwrench cardboard cutout.
Is this 1958 Edsel Pacer two-door hardtop one of the original Edsel press
cars that lined up on Ford’s proving grounds at the make’s introduction?
It’s the right color and if it’s early enough, it certainly could be. The asking
price on this project, which had been parked since ’65, was $1,800, with a
solid front-clip available. (Call 608-547-0620*)
Someone had a good start on building this 1940 Ford coupe, plus it included
thousands of dollars worth of new parts, but there was clearly a ways to go
before it made it back to the road. No price was listed, which usually means
the seller knows what he has and is willing to hear reasonable offers.
One of the coolest but least-seen wagons from 1956 is the De Soto Firedome
wagon, complete with add-on fins to update the 1955 body. This sharp example
was displayed in the Theme Exhibit area of the 2011 Iola Old Car Show.
* Obvious information that still requires addressing: Phone numbers on items for sale are for the convenience of readers and Iola Old Car Show vendors, and are shown here when presented on items. The information is accurate as of July 9, 2011. Circumstances around the availability of items shown here may have changed (items may have been sold, prices may have changed, etc.). Be respectful of the sellers and understand the circumstances may have changed since this information was posted.
Vehicles and other items shown here without prices were not listed for sale. Please do not contact the persons mentioned and operate under the impression they are available.
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