2019 WSAH Spring Meeting

Eighteen members and one guest attended the WSAH Annual Spring Meeting held at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford on April 13, 2019. The Wisconsin Region of the Studebaker Drivers Club also held a meeting at the museum on the same day. The annual donation by the WSAH to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum was approved. The $1,000 donation will be used by the museum as it sees fit. President Ken Nimocks announced that a large Automobile Quarterly collection may be donated to the WSAH by the family of the late Richard Roubal (this donation to the chapter has since occurred). New member Ralph Kalal talked about his website www.automobilechronicles.com. There was extensive discussion about filling the position of Newsletter/Editor, which will soon be  vacated by member Dave Tesch. Members Ken Nimocks, Jim Morris, Dave Tesch and Don Gullikson are scheduled to attend the April 17 planning meeting for the Iola Car Show. The theme tent will likely be eliminated and more cars will be displayed in the adjacent building used last year.


The Wisconsin Automotive Museum recently acquired the only known surviving Badger automobile. The Badger was manufactured in Columbus, WI from 1910 to 1912. Photos courtesy of Museum Director Dawn Bondhus Mueller.

October 2018 WSAH Special Election Results

In September, long serving WSAH Vice President Michael Keller made known his desire to step down and provide another member with the opportunity to serve as the chapter Vice President.  President Nimocks suggested WSAH Director Don Gullikson as Vice President to succeed Michael, and Jessica Zdanowicz to succeed Don as a Director. A 9/23/18 email broadcast by President Nimocks suggested these candidates to the chapter membership and invited comments and other suggestions for candidates. Over the next few days a motion was made and seconded by email to present the slate of these two candidates for a vote, after only positive comments had been received.

On 10/2/18 President Nimocks called for an email vote by the chapter membership to approve or disapprove Don Gullikson as Vice President and Jessica Zdanowicz as Director. On 10/9/18 President Nimocks emailed membership that Don and Jessica had been elected without dissension, and by a quorum, and that they would take office immediately. Congratulations to Don Gullikson and Jessica Zdanowicz, and thank you Michael Keller for serving as Vice President for so many years.

2018 WSAH Fall Meeting

The WSAH Annual Autumn Meeting was held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Baer Park in Cross Plains, Wisconsin in conjunction with the 36th Annual Hill & Valley Antique Car & Americana Show. Eight officers, directors and members were in attendance, plus two guests.

Jim Morris and Jessica Zdanowicz have completed scanning all 41 issues of the previous WSAH newsletter, The Spark, and all issues of the current newsletter, the Carhart Chronicle. Jim and Jessica have posted these scans to the WSAH website for ready access by members and website visitors alike.

Joe Kapler, Curator of Cultural History at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS), was a special guest at the meeting and gave a detailed presentation outlining how the WSAH can be more involved with the WHS. Joe’s presentation included a description of their large new building and the types of artifacts that the WHS is seeking as donations. George Tesar circulated a list he had prepared of the items, which includes automobiles, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, small and stationary engines, tractors and light-to-heavy equipment, parts, tools and related memorabilia such as magazines, sales literature, repair manuals, and company records from both large and small concerns. The Society is not short of space, according to Joe, and the WHS wants to digitize printed and photographic artifacts while retaining the originals. The WSAH has long been affiliated with the WHS.

Michael Keller affirmed by email that he wants to step down as the WSAH Vice President.  Michael feels there are others who do much more and are more deserving of the position. A successor is in mind, and an email will be sent to all members for input. The election will likely be handled by email without waiting until the next Chapter meeting.

Jim Morris will check with the Milwaukee Public Museum about the possibility of the WSAH having a meeting there in early December and being able to view the Schloemer Motor Wagon exhibit, for which the Chapter made a sizable donation in 2015. The Schloemer Motor Wagon was one of the first gas-powered automobiles in America.

At the head of the table is Joe Kapler from the Wisconsin Historical Society.   (Jim Morris photo)

2018 WSAH Summer Meeting and Iola Car Show

The Iola Car Show has been growing and evolving for 46 years. The 300+ acre show grounds hosts 4,200 swap meet spots, a Car Corral of some 1,000 vehicles and 1,600 campsites. Upwards of 2,200 show cars are displayed each year, with 200 selected for the annual Special Exhibit. Some 120,000 enthusiasts descend on this village of 1,100 residents for three days, with the dedication of thousands of volunteers making one of the largest car shows in the Midwest a continuing success.

For 2018 the WSAH continued an annual tradition, dating from 1991, of staffing the Special Exhibit of the 2018 Iola Car Show, July 12th through July 14th. The Special Exhibit displays upwards of 200 vehicles selected to represent annually designated themes. In past years the Special Exhibit Tent has featured approximately 50 of those 200 vehicles which exemplify the themes of the year, as selected by the Iola Car Show staff and WSAH members. The other 150 vehicles in the Special Exhibit have been displayed just outside the Tent. This year the themes were Movie Cars and Service Vehicles. The vehicle selections were made  during the months preceding the show by the Iola Car Show staff working with WSAH members Ken Nimocks, Jim Morris and Don Gullikson. This year most of the specially selected vehicles were displayed, for the first time, inside the Special Exhibit Building, just north of the Special Exhibit Tent. During the three day show, chapter members manage the parking and display of the vehicles for the Special Exhibit and staff the WSAH table in the Tent. Chapter members sell Iola Car Show memorabilia in support of the show, answer questions, and engage show attendees about the WSAH. The WSAH banner is on prominent display at the chapter table in the Tent. The Iola Car Show pays the chapter for providing these services, which is a primary fund raiser for the WSAH.

The annual WSAH Summer Meeting, held in conjunction with the Iola Car Show, took place on Friday, July 13th, at 2:00 in the Special Exhibit Building. Ten members were in attendance.  Discussion included honorary member designations, newsletter expenses, and WSAH relations with the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS). George Tesar reported on his second visit to the WHS. George was appointed as the WSAH Liaison to the WHS, and plans to make a return visit to the Society, with David Tesch, to explore with the WHS staff specifically how the WSAH can be of assistance to the WHS.

Three WSAH icons at Iola:  Long-serving President Ken Nimocks, the dark gray storage chest (aka “the coffin”) and the Chapter banner designed by Director Jessica Zdanowicz.   (David Tesch photo)
At the 2018 Iola Car Show:  1931 Ford Model AA Service Car assembled by Hornburg Motors of Hartland, WI.  This vehicle was in service at Hornburg from 1931 to approximately 1976.  Owned by SAH member Jordon Beller. In the left background is a corner of the Special Exhibit Tent.  In the right background is the Special Exhibit Building.  Both are staffed by WSAH members.

2018 WSAH Spring Meeting

Thirteen WSAH members and two guests gathered at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford, WI on April 28, 2018, for the chapter Spring Meeting, hosted by museum Executive Director Dawn Bondhus Mueller.

The annual donation by the chapter to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum for 2018 was approved.  Dawn distributed copies of the new full color double-fold marketing flier recently issued by the museum with the sponsorship of WSAH annual donations. Chapter webmaster Jessica Zdanowicz continues to scan back issues of the chapter newsletters, The Spark and the Carhart Chronicle, on to the WSAH website for easy access by members and website visitors alike. George Tesar recently visited the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison and told of their need for assistance in organizing the automotive related sections of their collection.

Front (l-r):  Don Chandler, Gary Koehnke, Ken Nimocks and Dan Manola.  Back (l-r):  Don Gullikson, Jim Morris, Randy Nimocks, Greg Vanark, Dan Sharpee, George Tesar and Museum Director Dawn Bondhus Mueller. David Tesch was present, but missed the photo-op.

Gene Grengs Video Preview link.