Jump to content

Whats a swapmeet and junkyard junkie to do now


Recommended Posts

I went to the largest local swapmeet today and came home dissapointed again,I know the old parts are drying up and they are starting to fill up with what I consider latemodel parts. I only have a couple junkyards within a reasonable drive that have old stuff so I think now I will give up on the local swapmeets and attend Hershey or Carlisle as the parts have about dried up around here,I am glad I got the parts I needed for my projects years ago when they were more readily available and will never buy a basket case thats incomplete unless its a vehicle that the reproduction parts are plentifull. I just had to vent as the swapmeets around here are not that great anymore unless you have a latemodel truck or a camaro or mustang,a motorcycle club I got involved with had a ride today and I think I would had a better time doing that then scrounging around at a swapmeet

Edited by junkyardjeff
wanted to add something (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I blew off Springfield today for the first time in about 15 years (the first one I went to was the last one they held in the old location, when it was called Cars & Parts). I've purchased a little less there every year. Last year I bought a sandwich. :(

Was the car corral at least still good this year? Last year I spent more time there (with no money or intention of buying a car) than I did shopping the swap meet. They'd managed to keep a pretty good selection of interesting cars, restored and projects, despite the decline of the parts meet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The car corral did not seem to be as good as past events and plenty of empty swap spots too,a couple years ago I quit attending the fall and winter swapmeets and it looks like next year I wont be attending the spring swap too. I dont want to sound cheap but after gassing up a vehicle and spending 10 dollars to enter a car in the show (closer parking) which used to be the same as general admission its a waste of money that could be spent else where,I used to know quite a few friends who set up but with the rise in the cost for the spaces and extra passes for helpers they quit selling there. I am also going to pass on the Marion county swapmeet in Indy too due to it being way too small and finding nothing everytime I attend,I have been attending it for over 30 years and dont want to give it up but times are changing and I will have to travel to bigger events and forget about the local swaps. Next spring I should have my truck finished and will get a slide in camper for it and its travel time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're all getting older, there is no fun or profit loading up for a local flea market any more, if in fact there are any. Hershey is the only one I do, and that is just a dumping ground for stuff that won't move on eBay. The late model guys won, Pre WWII cars and the people that like them are truely things of the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff,

not sure what you consider "old" but if it means prewar you should consider the Chickasha, OK Prewar meet held each spring. the cutoff date for participation is 1945 and is strictly enforced. the majority is for Model T and A Fords but I have found items for my 28 Pierce and 32 Cadillac and have seen a lot more rare items. There are also a number of prewar cars for sale. It's not large, you can cover it all in one day but you don't have to pick through all the new stuff. I've gone the last three years and have always found something to drag home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Times change. I used to go to local antique flea markets almost every weekend. I collect antiques from the 1920's-1950's. I stopped going when they became dumping ground for tube socks, n.o.s shampoo and lotions, beanie babies or whatever crap McDonald's was giving away that year. Antique malls used to consider 1950's stuff "kitschy", but not real antiues. Now the malls are loaded with 1970's and 80's crap, Star Wars toys and more McDonald's movie give away crap.

While antique car swap meets are now going the same way, it seems to me that they held out a lot longer than the regular antique places.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to see 60s and older but I see more 80s and up parts now,there was a bunch of tri-5 chevy and 60s impala stuff at the Springfield swapmeet but I dont own one or ever will so it does me no good. Next year I am going to attend the Carlise Ford show to find parts for my 55 and 65 galaxies and 66 F250 then go to hershey to look for parts for my 37 Chevy p/u and forget about all the other swapmeets. The closest I found to my 37 was a bunch of parts for a 41 but nothing I could use.

Edited by junkyardjeff
add something (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have myself found that there are still good, old items to be found out there. Even with all of the "tri-fives", pony cars, muscle cars and rat rods, I have been able to scout out the goodies that a lot of guys cannot identify. They are usually in the "dollar" box. Some of my best finds were recent, so I know that it's a lot to do with what you know and how to i.d. a part in order to find the goodies. Keep lookin'....you, too will come across a treasure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to say it, but what do you expect? The further you get from the year of manufacture, the fewer used and NOS parts that there are still available. It's an unfortunate fact of life. Ten or fifteen years ago, there used to be quite a few vendors at Carlisle who would have trailers full of 30s sheetmetal. This year I only saw one or two. Life goes on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For years,springfield has been no good unless you are building a tri 5 or mustang.Car corral is usually ok ,but did not go this year.

I disagree. As little as 10 years ago there were several dedicated Olds and Buick vendors @ Springfield that my brother and I regularly purchased items from. I've carried trunkloads of parts off that fairgrounds, and I used to have better luck on literature there than anywhere else. I've even got one or two Triumph parts and literature bits I bought there early on.

However since about 2005 or 2006 this is a very accurate description of Springfield. :(

The best stuff is now strictly on eBay. The rest can be found on Craigslist and/or forums like this one. It is convenient.

It's not helping the community aspect of the hobby, that's for sure.:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd have to agree that times have changed. But as Bob mentioned, we're getting older too. I was talking with a good friend the other day about vending. The two of used to do half dozen swap meets every year including spring and fall Carlisle, Charlotte, Hershey and a few local events in conjunction with car shows. We flat out got tired! It's a lot of work to load up, set up, pack up and put it all away when we get home. It's always been fun, but we've tapered off. Of course AACA duties have taken up a lot of my time these last few years too. I noted these past several years the crowd isn't really looking for brass era items. At Carlisle, my spaces became sort of a stopping point for early car guys. It was a nice place to visit but thank goodness I wasn't seriously trying to sell anything. I was just there for the fun of it, and if I happened to move a few things and covered expenses, or better yet, made enough to spend at the next swap meet, it was a success. Still I've noticed some return to the good old days. Our own club swap meet started out small and has grown a bit but remains true to the hobby - no yard sale stuff, crafts etc. and the club supplies really cheap food-BBQ and Hot Dogs. We've tried to keep it friendly and simple with cheap spaces. Over the past few years it's been more like a good old fashioned swap meet than anything else. I know Chesapeake Region does a nice swap meet at Howard County Fairgrounds up in Md that is also a great one. So-my observation is that some smaller events are still great. It's the larger ones that are more "big business" and have changed more rapidly. Hershey is still king, but there are others out there that are still worth the trip in my opinion.

post-30751-143138223544_thumb.jpg

post-30751-143138223549_thumb.jpg

post-30751-143138223554_thumb.jpg

post-30751-143138223559_thumb.jpg

post-30751-143138223564_thumb.jpg

post-30751-143138223569_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems on one hand we hear talk lamenting how some old-timers die and all the parts and stuff get disposed of in the dump or cheaply at an unadvertised auction just to clear a property for sale cause the next generation won't do the necessary work or research to keep these worthwhile fleamarkets going. On the other hand the new vendors are selling inflated "dollar store" items or cell phones like a guy was doing right here a few days ago.The "Awkscht Fescht" in Macungie,Pa is all but useless to most people anymore,so are all the Englishtown events.I haven't attended Carlisle for some 20 years but that was due to getting a ticket for illegally sleeping in my truck, Anymore these shows are just a social gathering. I will still bring my stuff out and back home again but there won't be anybody taking over for me when I'm gone.

Edited by Dave Mellor NJ (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just saw an interesting ad in the HCCA Gazette - an estate sale involving a good looking 13 Buick touring along with 35 boxes of early T parts, license plates, gas lamps, bulb horns, etc. It was a "buy-it-all" combo. Sounds like it might have been someone's flea market stuff that went along with the car.

By the way, if any of you retiring swap meet vendors have any old unusual spark plugs left over let me know.

Terry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know what to think myself. Junkyardjeff, my favorite meet in the 1980s was the Hoosier Swap Meet and it has become a shadow of it's former self as you know. This year I chose to go to Spring Jefferson (WI) instead, and it was indeed very active. But going through the aisles all I found was:

1955-57 Chevy and LOTS of used 1960s and 1970s Chevy parts.

Cheap tools on EVERY corner (at least it felt that way).

Toys and die cast in the inside spaces.

But likewise, I went to Hershey last fall and on Friday with just the CHANCE of rain vendors were pulling out of their dry and paved spaces in the morning. By 3PM (no real rain occurred) over half were gone.

So I do not know what to think. Medium sized 2-3 day meets are full of junk, but somebody must be buying it. And at a destination with long time enthusiasts like Hershey people bail out early, is it because spectators are NOT buying? I do not get it, but it is different all right. Todd

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite swapmeet was the Hoosier swapmeet when it was at the Indy 500 track and always found something but after it moved to the Marion county fairgraounds its slowly went down hill to where I doubt I go back this year,I never found much at the Springfield swapmeet and will not go back as I have better luck finding parts in junkyards and will stick with them instead of swapmeets but the good old junkyards are dissapearing just as fast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest billybird
We're all getting older, there is no fun or profit loading up for a local flea market any more, if in fact there are any. Hershey is the only one I do, and that is just a dumping ground for stuff that won't move on eBay. The late model guys won, Pre WWII cars and the people that like them are truely things of the past.

Yes, just consider us the "Rodney Dangerfields" of the old car world now. R.I.P. However, on a positive note, I have noticed when I take my pre war car to a show it stands out. { excluding National Meets } Us pre war guys have something to be proud of because we the exception rather than the rule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest 390Merc

I just skipped the spring Hoosier swap meet because I thought if I had something else to do it would be better, and it was I'm sure (going to the Indy Mecum Auction).

Aside from vintage & retro magazines and occasional car parts, the swap meets are basically a time to get out and see people you havn't seen or heard from for months or more.

As for the junkyards, I've been hitting them pretty heavily all winter & spring hauling everything home I could imagine that may be worth grabbing. Still in the process of parts retrieval but it is getting too hot to spend ALL day pulling a wagon full of tools around rutted lanes and hills. I've been very lucky finding stuff too. A lot of the yards have either closed or crushed almost everything in the last several months too. Just by being there right before a certain car gets loaded into the crusher is the only reason I bring home everything I can get off a 69 Caddy, 48 Pontiac, 49 Packard, Nash Metro, etc... and clean each and every part just to hide it in the basement in a somewhat organized manner. Every once in a while I'll gather everything from a certain vehicle I have and put it on ebay or something. No longer than I've been doing this, its easy to see how people accumulate an unbelievable amount of stuff over the years. I at least want to be able to load up and move everything in a semi trailor or two if I should have to (not counting my cars).

Its been a lot of fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even if I did not find anything I liked the Springfield swapmeet to see friends I had not seen all winter,I would go around and visit them in their spots and chat for awhile but they all have given up and not setting up now so its not worth the time for me to attend. I gave up on the spring Hoosier swapmeet a few years ago since its not worth the 2 hour drive and now the fall event is not worth it too,they need to advertise the Hoosier swapmeet more as its hard to find and I had to look it up on the Marion county fairground website to find the dates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blame it more on eBay than the newer car collectors. Plenty of pre-war stuff on eBay, but that's the problem with the flea markets too. It's a lot easier to sit in front of a computer than to load and unload from a truck, stand in the rain, stand in the sun, etc. We lived through the best of times already as old car collectors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Ctskip

I don't see the lack of enthusiam as a sign of defeat. I see the market as evolving. The few diehards that are left, will surly be the last ones standing, they are standing, not sitting on their butts in front of a computer. They know what they have and they enjoy the attention. Becoming rare is good. There's nothing everyday (common) about a 1910 Winton or a 1939 Ford. I'm glad for that. I want to stand out. The true collector is becoming a tru classic and thats what it's all about. Sure the Camaros and the Mustangs are hot now, but the pre war vehicles have always been hot and still are among the collectors. I have been a gear head all my life. I now have a pre war vehicle and I am enjoying learning all about it. I go to shows and swapmeets for parts and entertainment. I see all the newer vehicles drawing attention. Thats fine . It leaves me more room to view what I want and for as long as I want. They can stay "over there" because I will stay here with the pre war vehicles. That, in my opinion, makes a car show a real car show.

What drives me away and leaves me shaking my head is a beautiful pre war vehicle with a small block Chevy and a Ididit column. I understand the reliability aspect but I go more for originality and it's drivability. Now if they could put some shade over theses vehicles, I'd be in 7th Heaven. I just love talking about parts and real steel. I don't even look at the Mopars anymore, if i don't ever see a Chevelle again, I'll be happy. Not that I don't like them, I love them and their raw power . It's just how many can you see in one show? How many 48 Ford real steel pick-ups are ther left?

Just my two cents worth.

Ctskip

Edited by Ctskip
speling (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...