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Who’s going to Macungie PA swap meet this weekend August 5,6,7


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Good show and I don't want to be a nay sayer but the flea market is a shadow of it's former self. Maybe half the vendors and very few parts unless you're looking for tee shirts, hats, wiping rags, car polish wire terminals and chinese drill bits..........Bob

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I used to go for years when I lived about an hour north of there, but that was 30/35 years ago...  I always went on Club Day which I believe is still on Sundays.  I actually bought a 1964 Continental in the car corral there and my wife and I used it as our wedding car in 1998.  Had well under 50k miles, dark green with a parchment leather interior.  Drove it home, stopped on the way near Camp Hill PA where my BIL worked at a Firestone dealer.  Had 5 new tires installed and a front end alignment.  The original spare had sat on the "shelf" in the trunk for so long that the tread had actually fallen to one side quite a bit!  Installed a full new exhaust system.  Drove it up to northern NJ for a weekend from Northern Virginia.  Great car, but took up a lot of space in the garage and the fuel mileage was abysmal...  Sold it to finance my '63 Greenbrier which I still have!  

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I am here at Macungie.... I have set up at this show for over 30 years...

It used to be a phenomenal show / event / happening.....

 

It is, sadly a shell of what it used to be.... I don't  even know the spotlight car this year --- I will let you all know tomorrow....

 

97 ° / 75 % humidity setting up today --- It WAS rough --- sucking down waters like mad....

 

Thursday is set up day --- and the usual E Bay Vultures were here, racing around, looking for those $ 25 items that they can resell for

$ 500... They were all empty handed.....

 

The car show itself is still strong -- 800 to 1000 cars strong, the vendors area is weak --- vendors here have Died, or not made money and not come back...

 

Hall of Fame Rock Band " Flamin' Dick and the Hot Rods " will take to the stage, in the bandshell Friday Night, if Mother nature allows...

 

And, Saturday night, there will be a half hour fireworks display, shot off right here in the park !!!

 

Called " Das Awkscht Fecht " , it is worth coming by...route 100,

Exit 49 A off the Route 78 in East Pennsylvania,  8 miles South at the Macungie Fairgrounds / Park.....

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No Tee Shirt vendors and Sunglasses vendors here --- they can't make money here --- and are gone....

 

The few vendors who are here --- it is actually largely Automotive  --- and Signs.....

No Tupperware or beanie babies......

 

And my spread, on the macadam , adjacent to the OPEN swimming pool, is worth the price of admission,  alone !!!

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Who’s going to Macungie PA swap meet this weekend August 5,6,7

Craig of Mobile Parts has described it well. I stopped attending some years ago when the heat and humidity that were always there started to take its toll because of the dwindling flea market vendors with great parts for sale also started to see less attendance and the cars on display in the show saw the pre WWII era disappear . I like postwar cars but also need a good dose of pre WWII vehicles as well. The extra added attraction used to be the antique toy show in the school a few blocks south of the show field and I am not sure that is till on as a good friend in Allentown who used to help organize it is now in his nineties and not quite as active.

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20 hours ago, mobileparts said:

I am here at Macungie.... I have set up at this show for over 30 years...

It used to be a phenomenal show / event / happening.....

 

It is, sadly a shell of what it used to be.... I don't  even know the spotlight car this year --- I will let you all know tomorrow....

 

97 ° / 75 % humidity setting up today --- It WAS rough --- sucking down waters like mad....

 

Thursday is set up day --- and the usual E Bay Vultures were here, racing around, looking for those $ 25 items that they can resell for

$ 500... They were all empty handed.....

 

The car show itself is still strong -- 800 to 1000 cars strong, the vendors area is weak --- vendors here have Died, or not made money and not come back...

 

Hall of Fame Rock Band " Flamin' Dick and the Hot Rods " will take to the stage, in the bandshell Friday Night, if Mother nature allows...

 

And, Saturday night, there will be a half hour fireworks display, shot off right here in the park !!!

 

Called " Das Awkscht Fecht " , it is worth coming by...route 100,

Exit 49 A off the Route 78 in East Pennsylvania,  8 miles South at the Macungie Fairgrounds / Park.....

eBay vultures? Wow, my life defined at 66. You see, I talked my wife into going along- 3 hour drive and she loves to drive. On the way, I tell her this is probably my last trip to DAF. You know, the swap meet has shrunk to nothing. And we get there this morning (Friday); and it’s very warm but not oppressive. I haven’t been for 2-3 years, so the swap meet looks…rearranged. Some of the old timers are MIA. But to my surprise, there are more vendors than I expected. And yes, almost all are selling car parts.

So I bought a dozen or so items. One nice ‘63 gmc grille assembly that will make Great Wall Art over my ‘46 gmc; some great old literature that will compliment my oldest son’s upcoming 30th birthday present; and yes- a few items I will clean, polish, and resell- maybe on eBay. 
So I show the above post to my wife and I ask her: Do you think I am an eBay vulture? To my surprise, she says “yes”. Then we discussed why did the vendor bring those items and sell them relatively cheap? Again to my surprise, she said they are just cleaning out their junk and are happy to see it go away. So the vulture is performing a positive function.

So here is the conclusion: We should go to events like DAF; have a good time; support the sponsoring organization; and help the vendors liquidate their stuff. Don’t feel guilty if you make a few bucks. It helps offset the gas, tolls, gate fee, hotel, etc. And as long as enough of us vultures attend, the events will continue. 
By this time it was 84 and felt like 104. We hauled a$$ to a brewery in Hershey! Tomorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Vulture will be at the Carlisle Truck show. To quote the late Chip Miller, Life is Good!

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34 minutes ago, greenie said:

Don’t feel guilty if you make a few bucks.

Well said, Greenie.  Reminds me of the CEO of the company I retired from in 2017.  We were having dinner at his vacation home in Desert Mountain, Arizona back in 2009.  We started talking about staying profitable which we were doing a decent job.  In closing he said "Do not ever be afraid of making money".

 

Thanks for posting about Macungie.  Sorry I missed you today.  Had a great time to include great food.

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Have not been there in years, but remember the swap meet as being one of the best. Always found some great stuff, especially park plugs for my collection. Met a lot of great people there too.  After we raided the swap meet we'd catch the antique shops in the area.  Those were great times, but things change.

Terry

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I haven't been to Macungie for about 4 years.

It has always been an excellent show, though at

that time it was down from 1300 to 1100 cars.

All cars are AACA authentic--no modified or custom cars.

 

As another noted, the decline of pre-war cars occurred

there as well, and quite suddenly.  Around 2008, I counted

36 brass cars alone!  But, despite the sparse flea market,

it remains an excellent car show, definitely worth traveling to.

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Just got home it was a good show swap meet was ok didn’t find anything I needed bought some things I didn’t Met a father and son that have a 34 Plymouth coupe and a 36 dodge convertible awesome people 

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14 minutes ago, Porsche 68 said:

Met a father and son that have a 34 Plymouth coupe and a 36 dodge convertible awesome people 

Glad you enjoyed the show. Weather really co-operated.

They're my neighbors, Paul and Paul Jr. As for awesome, you don't know the half of it............Bob

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Bhigdog you are a lucky man they are great people to talk too we hit i off pretty good Paul jr said once I get my 34 up and running I will have a blast driving it If I need any machine work done I’m going to him Again great people. John

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We went half dozen times leading up to 2012 when Crosley was the Feature Make then life seem to get in the way after that and haven't been back since. We always went for all 3 days of the show and enjoyed all 3 variations. In the short time we went we could see the direction the flea market was going.

 

One story to share since the member has long pasted, back in 80s or 90s several of our local region went every year and talked about how great the show and flea Markey was and how hot it was. They use to take their class C camper and one year the fellow, not a small guy, couldn't take the heat anymore and went back to the camper, not sure if they had a flea space or they were in the parking area but he put the AC on high striped to his skivvies and crawled into the upper bunk. After rolling around awhile he fell a sleep with his butt up against the front window and his undies had work part way down and he was mooning anyone that walked by. He took kidding about the floor show for years after. They gave him a special award that year at our yearend banquet.

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I was at this show today.

 

A few random thoughts.

 

It just hasn’t been as good since Covid ruined everything.  Having said that, still a decent number of pre WWII automobiles.  
 

There seemed to be enough Overlands present such that it could almost have been the featured automobile.

 

I met a 15-ish year old lad admiring an Overland with an above average knowledge base relative to Overlands and pre WWII cars.  That’s great for the hobby.

 

Others in this thread complained about the heat.  So did my wife.  Why isn’t this show in May or October?

 

The flea market was basically defunct.

 

I haven’t been to any other shows so is Covid the problem and has it changed everything?

 

I thought the 50’s and 60’s cars were less than usual.  I didn’t see any 1959 Cadillacs, including the hot pink one that is usually there.

 

Attendance was on the light side.  Anyone know how many automobiles actually showed up today?

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9 minutes ago, mrcvs said:

 Anyone know how many automobiles actually showed up today?

No, but they were accepting day of show entries. I think that's a first.

 

11 minutes ago, mrcvs said:

 Why isn’t this show in May or October?

Because then it couldn't be Das Awkscht Fescht (The August Festival) and because "We've always done it this way".

All that said, it is a nice venue in a clean uncongested small town. The show is held on grass and there are plenty of mature shade trees to sit under. The cost is only $15, trailer parking is free, and the modest spectator entry covers all costs and returns a profit to the park which helps keeps the town clean and attractive.

What's not to like?..................Bob

 

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There was plenty to like and I had lots of fun.  It just doesn’t seem like what it once was, pre Covid.  The park is beautiful, and there was some shade.  But, if one can a better turnout if it was a cooler time of year, it seems that could be beneficial.

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8 hours ago, mrcvs said:

But, if one can a better turnout if it was a cooler time of year, it seems that could be beneficial.

If you are looking for a cooler time of the year show try the Strausstown Lions Club show, Sept 11 this year. It's kind of Macungie Lite. Judged show with trophies. The flea market is actually getting bigger than Macungies, live music, great food, participation prize for AACA awarded cars, super friendly show management. (when was the last time a show official chatted you up and asked for suggestions on improving the show)? All for a $10 entry fee that benefits the Lions club. And trailer parking is free.

Try it. I think you will like it..........Bob

 

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I don’t mind the heat.  My wife did.  But others on this thread disliked it so maybe it diminishes turnout some???

 

To expand the interest in early cars, perhaps pre WWII should be free entry.  Right now it’s pre 1920.

 

Das Awkscht Fescht is 4 miles from where I live and it’s convenient.

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1 hour ago, Russ_H said:

Nice blog and write up but he failed to mention two other notable Eastern PA shows. In June is the ATCA truck show. Maybe the biggest US antique truck show. About 600+ antique trucks of every kind and sort all gathered in Macungie on Fathers day weekend. You'll see plates from Florida and Quebec there. No judging just a bunch of good, salt of the Earth, type folks having a good ole time.

The second show, Strausstown, I mention in the post above. Another very well run, inexpensive show that still returns a dividend to a local town charity.......Bob

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6 minutes ago, mrcvs said:

I don’t mind the heat.  My wife did.  But others on this thread disliked it so maybe it diminishes turnout some???

 

To expand the interest in early cars, perhaps pre WWII should be free entry.  Right now it’s pre 1920.

 

Das Awkscht Fescht is 4 miles from where I live and it’s convenient.

Agree with all of the above. Car show, or any other organizations should be fluid and adaptive. Evolve or die.

BTW, Strausstown is only 20 minutes on RT 78 away from you. If you have a car bring it on down. Show is mostly antique cars but are separated into classes including a couple of open classes where if it rolls you are welcome.

Pre-registration only until Sept. 3.

Not sure what I'll bring yet but it will be in class 1. Stop by and say hello. Bob and Caroline Beck on the W/S paper..........Bob

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Where is the straustown show in relation to Macungie? I was working in Macungie a couple of years ago same time as the show was going on. Putting a steel roof on a large building. Heat was multiplied many times. The show had to feel like a walk in the park, LOL. 

But I agree, that there should be more shows in general in the fall. Seems like spring rolls around and everyone is antsy to get their cars out of hibernation. Then the show season gets busy for the long hot summer. By the time fall comes around nothing to be had. 

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Strausstown is about 20 miles West of Macungie just off RT78. Easy to get to not even a mile South of 78. Show is on grass, $7 spectator fee, free trailer parking. No shade for the show field but it's usually a bit cooler then. There is a small grove with a band shell and a band if you enjoy shade and music.

This year I hear Paul McCartney is playing the first set, then Springsteen............Bob

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Strausstown used to get a lot of Studebakers at its show, not sure if it was a club gathering of some kind.  They also had a good display of old hit and miss engines running old farm equipment. I was a vendor there many times in the 1990s.  Great place to spend a Sunday.

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9 hours ago, mrcvs said:

I don’t mind the heat.  My wife did.  But others on this thread disliked it so maybe it diminishes turnout some???

 

To expand the interest in early cars, perhaps pre WWII should be free entry.  Right now it’s pre 1920.

 

Das Awkscht Fescht is 4 miles from where I live and it’s convenient.

I was at Das Awkscht Fescht yesterday with my DPC 1985 VW. I registered that car specifically because it has working A/C which I knew I would need for the trip home after spending 6-7+ hours in the heat at Macungie. This year I lucked out because they moved Class #4 to the area between Gates #2 & #3 which had some trees with shade. That helped some of us who are not getting any younger and needed a shady place to sit down after walking the show field and flea market.

 

I had some nice conversations with other car owners at the show which were very interesting. During those conversations some of the owners spoke about other older cars in their collections. These same owners decided to bring cars they owned that were newer specifically because those cars had working A/C in them.  Many of these car owners drove 1-3+ hours to DAF and wanted the A/C. With real temperatures in the mid to upper 80s and the real feel temperature (factoring in the humidity) in the low-mid 90s it is understandable why at least some car owners felt the way they did. I know I appreciated having the A/C for my 1 hour trip home. That kept me cool even when an impatient person driving a pickup truck tailed gated me for a few miles then passed me over a double yellow line on a two lane road. I guess me driving at or slightly above the posted speed limit wasn't fast enough for this impatient person. 

 

Yes the flea market appeared smaller this year but that is nothing new as it has been shrinking in size for at least a few years prior to 2020-2021. 

 

Regardless, I had a good time at DAF and plan to go again next year. 

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Thanks to all for giving reports of the activities , attendance etc

I recall the years I attended with great enthusiasm ( this was before getting married , then not, etc.) I did attend at least once if not more in my 1953 Cadillac coupe - which I should never have sold. It is a long trip from long island to Macungie and back in one day even if there is no traffic and although still really hot it didn't seem like the humidity then was as high as it is now. Or maybe being younger I didn't pay as much attention!

So happy to read that it is still a great show, but as I guess many do , wish the flea market was still full to the brim and pre war cars were more prevalent in attendance.

MaCungie was a learning experience for me - it was the place I first saw in person a toy Lincoln sedan of the 1927-30 era made by Turner toys . I thought it was a factory made item that was for dealerships, but no it was just a well detailed pressed steel toy of gigantic proportions. I was determined to own one and eventually did find one to buy , that was added later by two "brothers" of similar appearance and manufacture.

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I'm trying to remember the last time we went to Macungie, has to have been 30 years ago. I'm still living on the good memories, going back and seeing a far smaller swap meet and less prewar cars, would be a bit of reality I'd rather not see first hand. Nice town, nice event, great memories. 

 

Bob

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