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Charlotte autofair


31nash880
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I drove to Charlotte from Upstate NY to see the Autofair a couple of years ago, something I've always wanted to do. I was a bit disappointed, mostly hot rods. The flea market was a little better. It had some vintage washing machines and roto-tillers.

 

Frank

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Wow, so many negative vibes. After missing it for 2 (Covid)years , we will be happily making the trek from north central Maryland. It’s typically warmer there, but this year it looks like a high temp of about 60. (Pack the sweatshirt)

The two swap meet fields behind the track are very much reminiscent of Hershey. Inside the track, there are a lot of shared spaces with car folks hanging out. 
We might walk the 1.5 mile track to see the various muscle cars for sale, but that’s optional.

The AACA show on Saturday is always a treat.

Like Spring Carlisle, it’s a large event that caters to so many tastes. Both are well run and both are still great events in their own right.

 

Are they Hershey? No, only Hershey will claim that title.

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I never miss Charlotte and I'm a brass car guy. There are bargains to find but walking and visiting is always a highlight. I've always referred to it as the friendliest meet in the South. 

Terry

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I will be there Friday and will attend the Judging School. I will also look around a bit and can usually find something to buy. On Saturday I will be judging the AACA Meet.  

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I've been there several times, but not his year.  My two new knees are not reliable yet and big flea markets require good knees.

However the Show is outside the Speedway and has easy access.   Maybe next year.

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19 minutes ago, pmhowe said:

I've never been. But, I think this year I will go. Any prewar  parts? Any British sports car parts?

PMH

We play with British stuff too but have found only a few items over the years for our MGBs and TC. It's a treasure hunt though and you're just as likely to find what you need mixed in with Chevy parts. Advantage is, the vendor has no idea what he has. It is a real treasure hunt. As for pre-war, it's slim picking, but...a few years ago I found some great brass age stuff from a vendor cleaning out grandpa's shed. I bought brass era T stuff, a couple of nice brass speedometer, clocks, gas headlamps etc. It was a big score cheeeeep. No doubt, Hershey is king for prewar but Charlotte is just so much fun.  I'll be judging at the AACA show too.

Terry

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You just never know. Several years ago, a vendor in one of the back fields sold me a Becker Mexico radio with a large Bakelite speaker enclosure. All for $20. They joked about being able to get another case of beer. The radio traced to mid 1970’s European sports cars and the speaker to late 1950’s Mercedes. The radio went to the UK and the speaker to the UAE. And not for beer money. You have to walk every aisle and look in every space. 

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

You mean the Charlotte Parking Lot where all the tow vehicles are parked in the car corral? Yeah, I did that once.

 

Once.

Yep.   I went once, over 20 years ago & it was all modern stuff then.   Probably less than 5% was pre war.   It's great if you collect 350 Chevy chrome valve covers.   

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Went several years ago and judged some cars there. That was the only thing I liked. The event was a real disappointment!  Car corral had some cars but mostly modern cars and trucks for sale. Flea market had very little pre war or even antique car parts, mostly hot rod parts.  Won't go again unless it's to judge cars for our club.

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I have been going every year since the 70's. It is not Hershey with the pre-war parts but they can be found and usually get a great deal on them

. Most club members do not realize that AACA will be judging 1997 and older cars and the younger generation will be hoping to find parts for 70's 80's and early 90's cars and trucks. I also enjoy the AACA National Meet on Saturday. It is a great weekend at the Auto Fair.

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16 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

You mean the Charlotte Parking Lot where all the tow vehicles are parked in the car corral? Yeah, I did that once.

 

Once.

Matt,  tow vehicles are only allowed in on Thursday and Sunday and they are monitored by Hornets Nest Staff to limit their time in there.  This has been in place for many years.  

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29 minutes ago, 42cady said:

Most club members do not realize that AACA will be judging 1997 and older cars and the younger generation will be hoping to find parts for 70's 80's and early 90's cars and trucks.

 

I'm confident that AACA members haven't forgotten the

25-year rule.  I have cars of the 1970's and 1980's, and

collectors of all ages can appreciate them.  Though I don't

want to see trailers parked in a car corral, or Beanie Babies

in an automotive flea market, I would be happy if vendors

carried a good selection of 1970's to 1990's material.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, 61polara said:

Matt,  tow vehicles are only allowed in on Thursday and Sunday and they are monitored by Hornets Nest Staff to limit their time in there.  This has been in place for many years.  

That definitely wasn't the case when I was there a few years ago (2018). A significant number of the cars in the car corral were late-model trucks or SUVs, and they were there the entire weekend. Yes, it may technically be a "rule," but it apparently wasn't enforced when I was there. In fact, I think someone told me only duallies were forbidden but everything else was OK. I made a post about it at the time with photos of the various modern trucks parked everywhere.

 

Here are my spaces in the car corral:

20180405_151711.jpg.0e6f15bf83bb415a927d63c93c354416.jpg

 

Here's the view in front of my spaces for the entirety of the weekend:

5ac91f60e4df8_20180406_1126121.jpg.a5d0f013dac784f01e5b69500d6cffe6.jpg

 

And this was behind me:

5ac91f5a5f4de_20180406_1126031.jpg.19457ad3ba3868d356a5940736ea4cfa.jpg

 

Here's the post showing photos of just some of the late-model trucks in the car corral:

 

It was very disappointing to spend a lot of money to bring several high-quality AACA-appropriate cars to the event and be completely overshadowed by modern pickup trucks. The AACA show was great, but I found the car corral to be a waste of my time and money, I'm very sorry to say.

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Any way, back to the topic of this post.  I will be there, as I'm Chief Judge of the AACA National.  You'll find me in the large tent outside the track with the AACA Registration Packet pickup most of Thursday - Saturday.  Stop by and introduce your self.

 

Dave Bowman

Edited by 61polara (see edit history)
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Have a great time everyone.  Looks like the weather will be dry on the weekend but certainly could warm up a bit.  Will miss the show Saturday but new replacement parts were installed last Wednesday and I am getting around slowly.  Dave, Stan has more trophies he is bringing down for us.

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41 minutes ago, SC38dls said:

Steve I hope those replacement parts are NOT nos parts and are brand new production modern state of the art parts. 
dave s 

They no longer have NOS replacement parts for this body.  I don't know if there is a word for an inside exoskeleton But I have enough metal and plastic in me that the worry is not a natural death but a rusting away! :)  ( yes, I know the cobalt steel and titanium aren't going to rust!)

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Never been but would like to go someday just because. My brother will be moving to NC in a year or two. Maybe I can stop by on my way to see him.

Matt, I understand your comments, but keep in mind. By the looks of those trucks they are the people than can afford to buy the kind of stuff you are selling.

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18 hours ago, oldcarfudd said:

Wait 'til you want to get on a plane.  You'll set off the alarms just getting out of the cab! I have two fake shoulders and a fake hip, and I've seen just about every kind of pat-down they've invented.

Not to hijack this thread but I got you beat by a mile!  Sadly, back, neck, hip, knees, shoulders, toe, heart all have meatal.  Back a ton...one of my shoulder replacements has come loose after 11 years and is being replaced in November.  I am all too familiar with some of the pat downs...the neck seems to really set things off.

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Well then, you really ought to have taken better care of yourself! Bionic AACA executive...

 

I know a lot of my misery was self-inflicted, but I also have bad genetics. We even call it "Williamson Arthritis Curse"- we all have it.

 

And WAC is why I'm passing on AutoFair. Not sure I can walk the thing anymore and I'm too damn cheap to rent a scooter!😁

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I just got a call from a friend who is at the Autofair today and he's telling me that attendance of vendors in the fields and car corral is WAY down. Possibly because it's early on and things will maybe (hopefully) pick up tomorrow? It'll be interesting to hear from others that made the trek. I was hoping to go but just couldn't swing the time away this week.

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7 hours ago, Steve Moskowitz said:

Not to hijack this thread but I got you beat by a mile!  Sadly, back, neck, hip, knees, shoulders, toe, heart all have meatal.  Back a ton...one of my shoulder replacements has come loose after 11 years and is being replaced in November.  I am all too familiar with some of the pat downs...the neck seems to really set things off.

Steve, I still think you qualify as HPOF ORIGINAL!

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Outside swap meet fields are sparse (Friday); we got inside the track long enough to see the spaces there seem full. What I saw of the car corral does look light. NTL, going back on Saturday for the inside swap meet and the AACA show. The weather is chilly compared to previous years, but no rain!

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Had a great day in the swap meet areas with one really good find and a number of the usual tool and supply purchases.  Many of the pre-COVID vendor ‘regulars’ not here, but a beautiful spring day with lots to see (and buy).

Looking forward to the AACA show tomorrow!

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The Saturday swap meet and car corral were like nothing I’ve ever seen at Charlotte. Sparse trending to deserted. Sad, but Covid and other factors have taken its toll. I know the region is at the mercy of the facility owner- but $15 gate fees and (very) poorly maintained portable toilets mean next year is likely to be worse. Very sad. 

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This is not good news obviously. What has gone wrong? Covid? Weather? Poor management? We need these swap meets to not only survive but to thrive or else we'll all become couch potatoes and do all our "swapping" online. 

It'll be interesting to see how Spring Carlisle is in a couple of weeks. Hopefully full, busy and thriving.

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Unfortunately, I think there are several forces at work. Online sites (ebay, C-list, FB marketplace) make it easier and less expensive to sell to a much wider potential market. Couple this with the fact that used parts are drying up and the hobby is aging out. Carlisle shrinks every year, and frankly, even when there are crowds, few people are actually buying parts for projects.

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We just got back. Swap meet was sparse from what we could se - but I know a few folks who found great bargains there including some pre war stuff. Nasty storms earlier in the week and cold Temps with stiff breezes didn't help. Can't control the weather.  The AACA show was great. Another fun weekend for us and hats off to Hornets Nest Region for another fun time. Glad I decided not to wear shorts today though.

Terry

Edited by Terry Bond (see edit history)
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