Car collectors make Iola Car Show a tradition

Dan Nicewander talks to people interested in learning about his car.
Dan Nicewander talks to people interested in learning about his car.(WSAW)
Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 5:39 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

IOLA, Wis. (WSAW) - The Iola Car Show returned for its 49th year this weekend, bringing a large collection of cars to the area. Many people have been attending the car show nearly every year since the beginning, simply “because it’s Iola.”

Dan Nicewander has been attending the show since 1978, when he was a high schooler in Waupaca.

“We just kind of made it a habit. It just became something my buddies and me do. It was just something that became, if you live in Waupaca, you come to Iola,” Nicewander said.

Through moves to Washington D.C, California and Minnesota, nearly every year since he’s come back for a week around the Fourth of July. Since 1995, he’s brought a car for display.

“There’s this tradition that It’s, it’s always changing but it’s also always the same. You know they’re going to have cheese curds, you know they’re going to have the swap area”

While Nicewander has over 40 years of Iola Car Show experience, car collector Dave Lindsay has 48. Since the show’s inception, he’s attended and brought a car to every single year except for the first one.

“I’ve seen the same people here for the last 40 years, probably,” Lindsay said.

Collecting cars his whole life, he had a total of 30 cars at one point, though that total is now down to 10. What keeps him coming back to Iola is the proximity to where he lives in Manawa. It’s also because of the people he sees every year he comes back.

“The friends that we have developed and the camaraderie and the ability to see other people with older, collective cars,” Lindsay said.

Both will continue to come back every year as long as they are able to. And through all of the changes the show has been through over the years, consistency still remains.

“Well, it’s never going to become another car show because it’s Iola. And that’s what’s special about it.” Nicewander said.

Copyright 2021 WSAW. All rights reserved.