Car show to invade McHenry County Fairgrounds
A new kind of car show will be rolling into Woodstock Saturday, Oct. 6.
The Iron Invasion festival and fundraiser will take over the McHenry County Fairgrounds and entertain crowds with artists, live bands, more than 60 vendors, a swap meet selling auto parts, vendors selling vintage apparel and furniture, a classic pinup girl contest, vintage motorcycles, hot rods and custom cars.
Iron Invasion will be especially unique in the fact that all auto entries must be pre 1965.
There will be a separate area for muscle-type and other vehicles outside the main entry way for qualifying cars.
Where did the idea for Iron Invasion come from?
Event coordinator John Wells, Bettendorf, Iowa, said he always loved exploring car shows across the country. In 2006, his infant daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis while still in utero.
Hannah underwent surgery while in the womb and again two years later.
With climbing medical bills, Wells and his wife decided to call car clubs together and create Vintage Torque Fest, an Iowa car show, which would help raise funds for not only their daughter’s medical costs but also for families going through similar situations.
Wells and his wife formed Helping Hannah’s Heart, a nonprofit 501(c)3 foundation, and Torque Fest was very successful.
A few years passed, and Wells began to get word the people of Chicago were interested in having a Chicago-based Torque Fest.
The Chrome Czars, a popular club which hosted regular car events, stopped holding shows and the people of Chicago were disappointed.
Wells met with the Chrome Czars, and the group expressed interest in joining him to create a large car show in Woodstock.
The event would appeal to the disgruntled car groupies while providing another fundraising opportunity for Helping Hannah’s Heart.
Iron Invasion, Woodstock, was born.
The show will bring cars and motorcycles from several states.
Many vehicles are already registered, with entries from Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Wells said he expects between 700 and 750 entrants.
The event also will feature international magazine coverage from publications such as Car Kulture Deluxe, Cycle Source and Street Chopper. Vintage Torque will provide video coverage.
Other attractions will include custom-vehicle builders; artists such as Max Grundy – an internationally known artist from Los Angeles; Trophy Queen – an artist who specializes in handbags made from vintage car interiors; an area dedicated to car clubs; an awards ceremony, live “rockabilly” and “honky-tonk” music from performers such as Pearls Mahone and the One Eyed Jacks, Hot Rod Hucksters, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, The Afterdarks and more.
Specialty cars will be showcased inside five buildings, including the Anderson ’36, the 1940 Ford featured in “Rebel Without A Cause,” and the Chrisman Brothers Coupe – dubbed one of the most “iconic” hot rods of all time, from the Dana and Patti Mecum collection.
Show cars from the ’60s also will be on display.
A highlight Saturday will be the classic-style pinup girl contest at 10:30 a.m.
“[Forty] contestants will be dressed in classy, not trashy, attire,” said Wells.
“This is going to be a family-friendly event.”
A children’s ’50s and ’60s fashion parade will take place before the pinup contest.
Iron Invasion will welcome car lovers as well as people who want to get out, have a good time, people watch and experience something different.
“We’re going to put a unique spin on this,” said Wells.
“But the whole point of this show is to raise money for [Helping Hannah’s Heart], a foundation which helps other families [suffering] with congenital heart defect issues. All gate money will go to the foundation.
“The local fire department has offered to come out and provide medical services for free. I’m really excited about that … [it would have been] a huge expense, so it’s really great of them.”
There will be a preparty featuring vehicles and live entertainment beginning at 6 p.m. Friday night. Cost is $10 and will cover the gate fee for Saturday as well.
The main car show will open at 8 a.m. Oct. 6.
Cost will be $10 at the gate, unless preparty tickets are purchased in advance.
Wells said he advises people to arrive before 9 a.m. to avoid traffic problems.
“People who have no remote interest in cars will enjoy coming out because of the artists, vendors, and the fun of people watching,” he said.