Symco Shake Up

Nov 18th, 2015No Comments

Seven years ago Mike Rosenow (a.k.a. Cliffy) started a traditional hot rod show in Unionville, an antique village that a man named Larry Werth built in the small town of Symco, Wis. with the help of a bunch of tractor collectors (and good guys) called the Union Threshermen.

The Village of Symco and the privately-owned Unionville are located just two miles from Gunner’s Great Garage. The Union Threshermen meet there weekly to put in hard work maintaining the place.

For years Unionville was best known for its July Thresheree. But the early August hot rod show that took the name “Symco Shakedown” really put Symco on at least the regional map and probably the national one.

Before we left for SEMA we heard rumors that the Union Threshermen were going to cut their ties with “Cliffy” and the original Shakedown promoters. This has now come to pass and while we don’t yet know every detail, it seems like a fellow named John Spence is going to manage the show.

Naturally there is some friction with such a change. “Cliffy” created the Symco Shakedown name and apparently he now plans to move the Shakedown show someplace other than Symco. Here is some information we recently received from “Cliffy.” We are open to hearing from John Spence (who we do not know) and blogging his side of the story, too.

Cliffy said:  Any people other than myself are NOT affiliates of Symco Shakedown (and) do NOT represent Symco Shakedown and do NOT have rights to use the name. Symco as an automotive event and Symco Shakedown is an entity owned by myself.

 Symco Shakedown will be moving venues for 2016. The date will still be the second full weekend in Aug. We have some new and exciting changes planned! The show will remain basically the same. We will make announcements in the coming weeks.

We are sad to leave the wonderful village of Unionville, we have made many friends and memories there. Unfortunately, we are unable to continue producing a successful show there. 

Please use our Facebook page and for everything official in regards to the show that Shakedown Promotions puts on. 





Nov 17th, 2015No Comments
Richie Clyne (l.) and Barry Meguiar (r) were two old friends I ran into in Vegas.

Richie Clyne (l.) and Barry Meguiar (r) were two old friends I ran into in Vegas.

Gee, is it already over a week since Jesse and I got home from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas?

As a lot of you know, I worked at OLD CARS WEEKLY for 30 years. That job also involved lots of travel. It was great to go out and see the world and meet some interesting people. But it was also nice to come home to the sleepy village of Iola, Wis., and get back to the everyday grind.

My friend Richie Clyne lives part of the year in Vegas and surprised me with his new car store and restoration shop Clyne’s Antique & Classic Cars ( I had no idea he had started it early in 2015. Check out his Website to see some cool cars.

On Friday Nov. 6 Richie hosted the Western Chapter of the ACD Club at Clyne’s Anyique & Classic Cars, so we skipped SEMA and went to see some Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs. Who showed up but Barry Meguiar of “Car Crazy” TV.  I had not talked to him for two years, so we had some catching up to do.

What did we talk about? Well, as you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.






Oct 28th, 2015No Comments
Dave actually does work.

Dave actually does work.

The other day my friend “Hot Rod” Dave Schneider of Schneider’s Signs in Waupaca showed up at Gunner’s  Great Garage with the new signs I have been waiting for.

Dave said he was going in for rotator cuff surgery the next day so he better put the signs up before that. Now, that’s dedication as far as I’m concerned. He’s not only a great artist and a “car guy”-he’s willing to shoulder the burden for his friends, too.

Signs 02

The design of the sign is based on my shop business card and shows my ’36 Pontiac. That’s the collector car I own now that I’ve had the longest and it’s also the car that Brooklin Models of England used as the model for their ’36 Pontiac die-cast. Not bad for an old jalopy, huh?

Signs 03

Now, after I snapped these photos of the new sign I realized the red and black letters on the old signs below are a little redundant. That means they say the same thing, as in “Department of Redundancy Department.” So, I’m looking for all of you guys (and gals, of course) to tell me how I should change the messages on the lower signs.

Here's the opposite side of the sign board.

Here’s the opposite side of the sign board.

I was thinking one of the lower signs could show the hours of operation, but what about the other three? Got any brainstorms? If so, send me an email at



Aug 2nd, 2015No Comments

I feel like I should be on the old TV game show “The Price is Right.” Since about April I have been hired to do at least 53 appraisals of all kinds of collector cars.

The need for appraisals has been growing and I’m lucky that I learned a lot about collector car values when I worked at OLD CARS WEEKLY and OLD CARS PRICE GUIDE. Now the stuff I learned is coming in handy.

My appraisals take from a half day to a day to do. First I go to see the car, gather information about it and take photos of it. Then I go home to research the history and value of the car through my sales literature, books, network of friends and the Internet. The end resut is a booklet from 8 to 10 pages long that gives a proper appraisal of what the car is worth in today’s marketplace.

My standard rates are $300 for the first car and $150 for all other cars in the same collection appraised at the same time. If I have to go a long distance I charge travel costs.

I have appraised vehicles from an Electric Car to a dragster, including a $2 million race car. And that’s exactly what that car brought when it sold at an auction.

I do not appraise cars that my shop restores. I do not ask the owners if they want a high or low appraisal. I simply try to evaluate what a car will bring in the marketplace if you put it for sale today.

If you ever need an appraisal you can call me at 1-715-281-5925 or email


This 2001 Saleen Mustang was recently appraised by Gunner's Great Garage.

This 2001 Saleen Mustang was recently appraised by Gunner’s Great Garage.