Hershey Car Corral, 2016: Head ‘Em Up, Move ‘Em Out


I won’t say that the Car Corral at the Hershey AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Fall Meet in Hershey, PA is better than the Saturday car show. The show attracts the cream of the restorer’s skill, performed on rare and unusual vehicles, and a win in one of the many classes is quite a feather in the cap. But the Car Corral is more accessible. Displayed on a ring road around the border of the flea market is a diverse collection of cars from every era… and, they’re for sale. Here are some cars and details that caught my eye. This 1933 Chevrolet sedan was photographed from the bridge over the Corral that separates the two halves of the flea market. Like 90% of the vehicles found at the flea market, it never moved all day. Most of the wheels actually turning at Hershey are parts wagons, carts and electric scooters like the one in the foreground.



This Plymouth Belvedere Custom Suburban embodies the commercially unsuccessful Virgil Exner design ethos that gives it a funky appeal now. Somehow, the ungainliness of the ’61 Plymouth sedans is muted in the wagons. Cars from this era always surprise you with nifty little details, like the tiny ring of Saturn shaped embossings that radiate around circumference of the wheel covers, and the ignoble but irresistible square, translucent steering wheel. When it catches direct sunlight, it looks like a neon tube on a gas station clock. This car also had a funky period antenna booster featuring six red plastic discs. Nitpickers might note that the white walls are correct period width; mid year in ’62, narrow whitewalls landed with a splash, but these are proper for 1961 at about 2 1/2 inches across.


A 1954 Ford Crestline Skyliner also shows its translucent bits: the green plastic roof insert (also available on the ‘54 Mercury Sun Valley) mimicked by a see through dome behind the speedometer that demonstrates how stylists of this era loved playing with natural light effects. It was offered for $27,500.


In the movie comedy, Arthur, Dudley Moore tepidly compliments his fiancee to the woman he is trying not to fall in love with by describing her as quite beautiful when the light hits her a certain way. “Of course, you can’t depend on that light”, he grouses. This XKE Jaguar was not done any favors by its positioning relative to the sun, which appears to circumscribe the result of changing hardware under the hood without double-checking clearances.


I can’t recall ever noticing how the aluminum eyebrow screens on the ’59 Chevy split from the hood when it was opened. Looks like your local mechanic had to be gentle leaning in, or a bent stamping might result.


$29,900 was the asking price of this 1956 Mercury Monarch from Canada. It’s face is an interesting fraternal twin of the US version.


A gorgeous 1978 Ford F-250 Ranger Camper Special in white and brown from Utah would be tough to resist if you were looking for a play truck at $16, 500.


I’m a sucker for compact wagons. This is a 1961 Buick Special. I couldn’t tell if it has the new for 1961, aluminum V-8, which eventually powered many British cars over the next four decades. My pal, Phil showed me that you could tell the year of the car by looking at the part code embossed into the tail light lens. It seems that was true with U.S. cars throughout the 1950s into the ’60s.


Beyond compact, a tiny 1990 RHD Suzuki Join minivan powered by a 660 cc mill was hugely space efficient at an $8900 show-special price.


A virtually unknown marque, this 1923 Lexington was made in Connersville Indiana. It had a straight six with factory dual exhausts making 75 HP. I included it to show the driving lights that appear to incorporate sociable anti-glare shades.


Well, I never. Really. I have no awareness of the International Scout 800 Aristocrat Edition, and wouldn’t have believed it ever existed. Stainless roof rack, rally wheels, unexpectedly attractive dark blue and medium green two tone, and a nifty power winch. $35,000 OBO.


At day’s end, we passed this sharp 1980 VW Brasilia in the flea market. It was a marketed in Brazil, Mexico and, in kit form, Nigeria. Beetle engine, Karmann-Ghia floor pan, 412-style face, but a smaller car.Very nice package.


“Non Auto Related”: I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a pic of a Pennsylvania Dutch dinner (Dutch not being referential of the people of the Netherlands, but an evolution of Deutsche) enjoyed on the way home to NY. Deitsch Eck (“Dutch Corner”), in Lenhartsville, PA served up this combo of meat loaf with gravy, scrapple with apple butter, potato filling (mashed spuds with sautéed onions and celery, milk and bread) and sauerkraut. Scrapple is a loaf made from pork and beef bits mixed with corn meal, sliced and deep fried. Comfort food for the Pennsylvania German-American hoi polloi, my people.