Milwaukee is a racing town. The famed Milwaukee Mile has hosted everything from Indy Cars to USAC stockers. For drag race buffs, historic Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove—just south of the city—is a place where “1320” legends were made. Straight up to the north is Slinger Speedway with its awesome oval. For sports car fans, a short jog east brings you to Road America.
This may explain the outpouring of racing machinery at the 52nd Annual “Milwaukee World of Wheels.” On display were open-wheel cars, sprinters, slingshot dragsters, gassers, sports racers and Bonneville streamliners.
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys.
Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.
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