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The Iola Car Show has opened for the 45th consecutive year in Iola, Wisconsin

Iola Car Show Opens for Business

John Gunnell has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wis. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles.

Don “Big Daddy” Garlits of drag racing fame, and automotive TV personalities Courtney Hansen, Jo Coddington, Kevin Schiele and Dave Kinddig are headlining the Iola Car Show this week in in Iola, Wisconsin. The show opened July 6 and runs through Saturday, July 8.

The 45th anniversary event celebrates Camaros, Firebirds and Trans-Am series pony cars.  Chevrolet even brought the very first Camaro built to the show.

Butch Patrick, best known for his role on the 1960s TV program The Munsters, is also in attendance during all three show days.  He’s bringing with him some awesome nostalgic vehicles and pieces from the show.

The Iola Car Show is a community organized event that supports service organizations in the Village of Iola. The nonprofit event has contributed more than $2.5 million over the past decade to more than 130 groups. It is one of the largest car shows in the Midwest and a major tourist attraction in Wisconsin. Over the three days, 100,000 people pour into Iola, which has a normal population of 1,100.

The show includes a swap meet with 4,200 vendor spaces and puts over 2,200 show cars on display.

Major companies like Chevrolet, Ford, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Miller Electric have exhibited at Iola. The event also includes a Blue Ribbon Concours for select vehicles and separate show fields for prewar cars, postwar cars and hot rods. There are also free concerts on the grounds with car show admissions and a pin-up girl contest has been added for 2017.

A Car Corral with classic vehicles for sale is another major attraction at the Iola Car Show. About 1,000 spaces are available for people wanting to sell their 2000 and earlier model year vehicles. The offerings in the Car Corral include everything from a fixer-upper to a polished showpiece.