The 44th annual Iola Old Car Show highlights a wide range of spectacular selection classic cars including this 1966 426 Hemi Charger that is mounted on a 1990 Ford cab over.
Iola, Wisconsin is a very small community with only a total of 1,301 citizens without any stoplight or even a McDonalds but once a year, for a whole weekend, over 120,000 motor heads flock the town for one of the country’s biggest and oldest classic car fest to celebrate the great American culture by preserving its iconic cars and the showcase parts that help in preserving these classics. Several famous classic builders also gather in this glorious automobile event.
So why the small town of Iola? Because the humble town is where Chet Krause grew up. Chet was born 6 miles outside of Iola and spent the rest of his life in Iola. Unfortunately, Chet did not make it see this wonderful event as he recently died last June 25 at the age of 92.
In 1972, Chet Krause talked to the Lions Club of Iola and requested if he, together with some friends, could have a car show at the Lions Club’s yearly pig roast and auction event.
From its humble beginnings, the 44th Iola Old Car Show has now grown to such a large event that it was able to generate $3 million worth of income for the north-central Wisconsin especially for the small town of Iola with its 130+ local organizations that provided 30,000 man hours to host the gigantic show. At the same time, a good amount of the money went to a number of charities as a way of giving back to the community.
1971 Charger Super Bee
The event covered a 300-acre field that is under the ownership of Iola Old Car Show, Inc., and the site also includes several buildings of Krause Publications, a company that started in 1952 when Chet Krause published his first issue of Numismatic News. Getting to and around the site was fairly easy as shuttle bus service was provided for free.
Chet Krause came from a farming family, studied how to be a stone mason, and then later worked as a mechanic in the 565th Anti-Aircraft Battalion during WWII. After the war, he worked as a builder and slowly saved up for his own company. The last structure he built was a 40×40 office located in Iola that became his first office for his coin collecting hobby that is now a $100 million publishing empire that publishes several books, magazines, and hobbyist papers such as the Old Cars Weekly.
Krause’s Standard Catalogs are one of the most subscribed reading material for American classic car enthusiast.
1966 Cotton Owens Dodge Charger was driven by David Pearson
Every year, hundreds of classics change ownership during the Iola Old Car Show and this year’s event hosted 4,200 sellers. The event had Car Corrals that allowed independent sellers in showcasing their classics and a camping ground for the thousands of visitors during the weekend.
This year’s event had something more for its visitors: an area for classic motorhome and camping trailer where everything should be made before 1975; 2 music concerts; and a special mini event for classic car owners aging bellow 25 years old.
1974 Charger SE
1975 Dodge Charger
1982 Dodge Rampage R/T
From Left: 1930 Ford Texaco tanker, 1969 ‘General Lee’ Dodge Charger and 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier
1965 Dodge D-100 Town Wagon
1976 International Scout II Patriot
1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota
1978 GMC Sierra Classic K1500
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