Swap meets, the hidden fun at a car show.

For most people when you talk about a car show they think of shiny paint, chrome bits glistening in the sun, and proud owners prepping their cars in anticipation of being judged. This is the reason you go to a “Car Show” is for the “Cars”; right? Meanwhile there is a overlooked portion of most every car event that the your average show goer forgets. This is the swap meet or auto jumble (as our British counter parts like to call them). Most every show sees trucks and trailers full of old parts brought in, sold, traded, and dug through by fellow enthusiasts. These swap meets often can be a great way to find that hard-to-find bit or bob for your project that you have been searching for. Some, like myself go to a swap meet with more of a “treasure hunter” mentality, looking for rare or obsolete collectible parts that normally would be a fortune if sold in another venue.

Often times when unregulated (like when the wife wanders away to get lunch) we end up buying things at the swap meet we may question our thinking on later. This goes from something you already had 10 of to maybe something that is “neat” or “rare”, but you have NO real need or use for. I can recall a number of times walking out of a show with piles and piles of parts, only to try and figure out how to get it all in my car! One of my most guilty of times was when I bought a vintage VW/Audi/Porsche Microfiche machine (think of that giant machine you used to blow old newspaper/magazine articles up with in the high school library) for viewing old parts diagrams. If this wasn’t bad enough, I already had one I inherited from a local repair shop. But while in the moment, I couldn’t turn down the “amazing” price. Next thing I knew I was lugging this thing a mile across the parking lot in 90 degree weather to my tiny little car and asking myself what the heck I was thinking!

This past weekend our own “J.R.” here at Eastwood had a similar moment and came home with a vintage GM diagnostic tool. This is one of those cases where the price offset the forethought of where to put it, or the real necessity for it. But hey, who cares when it is something this neat! Apparently this unit is from the early-mid 70’s and it has all kinds of connections, from a timing light to a emissions analyzer lead! Measuring in at 4’5 in height, this is not something you can easily hide from the wife! In true swap meet fashion he even did a little “haggling” or negotiating to get the price to a comfortable spot for his wallet. If anything, this will be a cool vintage garage decoration and discussion piece, so definitely money well spent! Feel free to respond or comment with any cool treasures (or ridiculous items you regretted!) that you have turned up at the local swap meet, flea market, etc.!

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