All posts by Dennis David

Dennis David is a technology teacher and a professional writer for the collector car industry. He has been writing for 25 years and has authored hundreds of magazine articles. His current work involves writing catalogs for several collector car auction companies. In between writing assignments he does research and judging tabulations for some of the nation’s best concours shows. Dennis has also written five books on antique toys and automobiles. He lives in Northwestern, Connecticut and his current stable of collector vehicles includes a Corvette, a Harley Davidson, and a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II. For more information visit www.dennisdavidauto.com

Eye Candy: Connecticut Street Rod Association Swap Meet and Car Corral

Photos by Dennis David

It marks the beginning and the end of the season in the Northeast, where the winter chill forces all but the hardiest of classic car road warriors off the roads for a few months. The Connecticut Street Rod Association’s spring and fall swap meets are the first and the last to be held each year, with an opening meet held around the first weekend in May and another meet in early November.

The weather can be dicey within those parameters, but the weather gods shinned brightly on the November 8 meet with sunny skies and comfortable temperatures. The good weather helped to create one of the biggest turnouts ever with several thousand people in attendance. It seems that everyone was looking to stock up on parts, tools, and projects for the cold winter.

The show is held in the vast parking area of the Lake Compounce Amusement park in Bristol, Connecticut. The park closes for the season before the show is held. The show hosts approximately 200 venders selling anything from used car parts to new restoration pieces.

The show has something for everyone with some very odd and unusual artifacts found in the isles. Walking the entire show takes the good part of day and many show-goers pull their wagons filled with parts and treasures along to make things easier.

The popularity of the show caused many to park as much as a half-mile away, but the street rod members did an excellent job of finding room for everyone.

The big show is a great way to end the collector car season in the Northeast and is also worth the drive from anywhere. Indeed, license plates could be seen on spectator cars from Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire.

Eye Candy: Hershey Car Corral

Photos by Dennis David

Once again, the annual AACA fall meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, was a success with vendors lining approximately 25 miles of cars, parts, and everything in-between. Lining the outside perimeter was the famous car corral, featuring cars and trucks from all decades. Indeed, collectors bring their vehicles in hopes of a sale with the profits going toward their next purchase.

The car corral is the natural extension of the swap meet, which is easily among the largest in the world. All cars for the car corral must be at least 25 years old and driven in.

Cars that are labeled as “parts cars” or restoration candidates usually find their place in the swap meet

There are some mild customs, but most are restored or restored-to-original condition cars that look very good.

Just walking through the car corral one is able to find anything from a brilliantly restored car to an extreme low-mileage original.

The AACA car corral is the highlight for many show goers. The corral also changes from day to day throughout the meet as cars are sold and more arrive. If you don’t find what you’re looking for one day it could very well turn up the next day. The variety also keeps things fresh from one day to the next.

 

Eye Candy: Hershey Swap Meet

Photos by Dennis David

For the classic car community, this is the Super Bowl, World Series, Master’s Tournament, and the Daytona 500 rolled into one: The biggest car show and swap meet on the face of the planet. If you need a starter for a 1934 Hudson, you’ll find it at Hershey. If you need a headlight switch for a 1941 DeSoto, you’ll find it at Hershey. If you need absolutely nothing, you’ll come home with something you can’t live without. Indeed, there is no other show on earth that features more parts and more cars in the same place.

The show this year again fulfilled all expectations, with the weather cooperating for most of the week. Opening day Tuesday enjoyed sunny skies with slightly cool and comfortable temperatures throughout the week. Saturday dawned with a slight drizzle, but skies had once again cleared by mid-morning.

Several hardy vendors saw things through to the bitter end and one even remarked that Saturday tended to be the best day as the other vendors leave and there’s a lot of customers that are still walking around.

Hershey is also the time of year when old friends get together. The show draws people from all over the globe with countries such as England, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, and Sweden all represented.

Also present are the various marque clubs where members gather to swap stories about the latest acquisitions or restorations. This year’s show featured clubs from DeSoto, Rolls-Royce, MG, Chevrolet, Ford, Auburn, Hudson, Cadillac, Buick, Austin Healey, Packard, Chrysler, as well as any other marque that was ever built.

There are hospitality tents from clubs like the Antique Automobile Club of America, the Classic Car Club of America, and the Society of Automotive Historians as well. In the spirit of comradely, many clubs offer members a place to rest and even a few treats as well.

If you’ve never been to Hershey it’s time to get on the road. Next year’s event takes place during the week of October 7-10.

If you’re looking for that rare part or just looking to meet a few friends with similar interests, the annual fall AACA meet at Hershey is must for any car collector enthusiast.