This year’s theme will be “Showdown in I-Town, Ford versus Chevy” playing off the age-old rivalry between Ford and Chevy. The theme is meant to be a challenge to the car owners of America to bring out their best Fords and best Chevys and pit them against their counterparts in the spotlight.
For example, Ford Rancheros will share the stages with Chevrolet El Caminos, Chevelles with Torinos, Mustangs against Camaros, and so on.
Old Iola Car Show Inc., the nonprofit organization, which organizes the show each year, teams up with more than 125 civic and service groups that provide an army of 2,900 volunteers to help set up and operate the show. Proceeds then support the Iola-Scandinavian area, along with regional, national and international charities.
“We are indeed all about giving back to the community,” said Mitchell Swenson, Iola Car Show public relations and marketing director.
The organization raises an average of $270,000 each year and has paid out more than $5 million to charity since its beginning. The Iola Car Show Foundation has also donated more than $1 million to community projects.
The Iola Old Car Show attracts between 115,000 and 130,000 people each year and is the largest car show in the Midwest and one of the largest in the nation.
More than 2,500 show cars are expected to be featured this year, with 4,430 open swap spaces for car traders.
But there is more to do at the Iola Old Car Show than admire and trade cars.
The Teamed to Learn educational tent, which started in 2008, will return this year to offer educational opportunities for the car show guests and will feature a variety of speakers, demonstrations, entertainment and workshops.
The learning tent is hosted by Fred Beyer, who is founder of the Hot Rod High Student Motivational Technology Education Program, a program that helps develop skills in automotive repair, machine tools, welding, foundry, design, and engineering through hands-on experience.
Beyer is noted for his musical talents with his World War II-era upright piano, as well as his “Hot Rod Keyboard.”
Beyer will also host events in the Teamed to Learn tent, such as music by the Dixieland band Banjo Buddies who play “high octane” ragtime Dixieland jazz and rock and roll piano. In the old cars and old-time music tradition, they will play songs from the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, the rip Chords Hondells, and other groups that eco the “surf and hot rod” era.
Another feature in the tent will be informational guest Matt Banach, a Gold Eagle Co. sales representative, who will talk about understanding the effects of today’s fuels in modern engines and how the changing fuel compositions can have positive and negative effects on engines and the environment.
The professional car magazine photographer Al Rogers, from Freeze Frame Image LLC, will also make an appearance to give aspiring car shutter bugs tips on how to get car photos published.
A retuning attraction to this year’s car show will be Beja Shiner’s Fun Cars, Parades and Circuses. Dedicated to supporting the Shriners Hospital for Children, David Oshefsky will present a collection of unique cars from clown cars to fire trucks.
New to this year will be the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s mobile training facility called THE REF (Transportable High-End Rider Education Facility). THE REF is designed to reach out to motorcycle riders and promote formal rider training. The mobile training center encourages both riders and non-riders to lean more about sharing the road.
Parking is free at the event and tractor pulled “people-movers” are available to help shuttle people to and from the parking areas. For more information visit www.iolacarshow.com.