Welcome to the Thrill Show Museum website, one of the few thrill show websites in the nation. Our website is an introduction to our home office, The Real Deal located off scenic Highway 218 in historic La Porte City, IA, and not far off the beautiful Cedar Valley Nature Trail where the summers are hot and the winters are cold, but friendly people abound.
Stepping into The Real Deal will amaze you and take you back into time. Never before, for public display, has there been such an eclectic colletion of Thrill Show items. The names of Auto Daredevils Joie Chitwood, Lucky Lott, Jimmie Lynch, Paul Riddell, "King" Kovaz, Crash Moreau, Jack Kochman and so many more adorn the walls, displayed on old Thrillcade fliers.
You'll go back into time, if you are 50 or over, to the day when these daring young men - and 'yes, even women - put on their colorful and entertaining display of daredevilry behind the wheels of vehicles now old and collectible to us, but brand new and shiny to the driver and the audience of the era. These were skilled drivers showing no fear as they raced down the track to the ramps, jumping them high above a line of cars, or skillfully manipulating their vehicle in precision driving maneuvers weaving in and out, at breakneck speeds, from vehicles driven by their equally skilled partners.
Mingled within the display of Hell Driver memorabilia is the Real Deal Collectibles Store which has a vast collection and wide variety of items of great variation. From the cooking utensils used by your Grandmother, to the toys played with when your parents were youngsters, to novelties found in the old neighborhood pubs, your visit will not be a waste. If you are a fan of Elvis or Evel Knievel, we have quite an offering for you as well. Our ever-changing variety of collectibles is sure to please some part of you and encourage you to take it home.
Be sure to visit with Chad Van Dyke, proprietor of this unique and unusual establishment, as he will surprise you with his wit and stories of growing up 'behind the scenes' of the County Fairs and their race events. If he doesn't have a good story to tell, then the store must be closed. And, if you wish to see some old Thrill Show clips, he'll be happy to put in a tape and let you go back down memory lane as you watch the Old Timers when they were young and without fear.
Van Dyke doesn't stop with The Real Deal and his Thrill Show Museum. He spends many nights and weekends lending his talented voice and uncanny wit to announcing live events throughout the Midwest and calling the auctioneers call with Kastli Auction Company, pushing for the best bid and interjecting his sideline stories while he's doing it.
We hope that you enjoy your visit to our website and hope to see you soon at the store. Stop by next time you are driving through our historic community or make special plans to drop by The Real Deal when you are planning a day or weekend getaway.