Swap Meet Classics – My Turn as a Vendor

I always enjoy attending the local swap meet that runs every year in mid-February here in Lethbridge. I am sure part of the attraction is that it occurs in the doldrums of winter when nothing much else automotive-wise is happening. The last several years we have been lucky enough that it fell on unseasonably warm days but that streak was not be repeated this year as we were well into the coldest February in several decades. Temperatures were stuck in the -20C (-4F) to -40C (-40F) range for almost the whole month. Rather than just be a participant it seemed like a good idea to clear out some extra automotive related clutter as a vendor this time around. And, of course, at the same time see what other people’s junk was on offer.

Swap meets are always more fun to share with someone so my friend Rod agreed to share a table with me. I was the first of us to arrive during the unloading and set up day on the Friday afternoon/evening. To get your items into the swap meet one actually has to drive their vehicle into the Exhibition Centre building for unloading. It certainly made for less carrying and kept us all warm. Since most of my sale items were fairly small my Acura TSX was suitable for transporting all of them in one trip.

I soon had all my excess items taking up about half of the table.

Unfortunately Rod was pressed for time this year and was only able to bring a few bigger and bulky items but this meant I was able to spread my wares out to almost all of the table. Before the event even started I managed to sell a few surplus die-cast cars as I still have a large number from childhood. In fact, I think those were the first ones I have ever parted with voluntarily anyway.

Most years it is almost a mini car show in the parking lot but due to the snow and cold weather this year it was fairly minimal. There were a few interesting vehicles to share like this classic Chevrolet pickup truck project.

This Cadillac hearse is certainly a bold choice of transportation.

An AMC Eagle certainly seems like a great choice for a winter classic car. I have seen this one around town often enough to think it is someone’s daily driver.

A classic Seventies GM pickup truck bed with a period correct camper. Not a light weight rig to be sure.

Here is one I have not seen before, a Kei class Mitsubishi Town Box van.

I am unsure if the poor weather played a big role or not but the swap meet seemed rather less busy than in previous years. We did slow but steady business with most sales occurring around lunch time.

Despite being a vendor I did manage to sneak away to get a view of the other items for sale.

These used drag radials are impressively massive.

A selection of Ford Model T parts.

A few things I recognize from previous years like this Norton motorbike.

This motorized bike lacks a front brake and looks rather homemade. (update – it is a Tote Goat – see the comments below)

I was briefly tempted by the French car model kits before I remembered I was supposed to reducing rather than adding.

There were several of these sign boards with vehicles for sale on them. The 1956 Ford delivery van looked like a good deal for someone willing to undertake a large (both in time and physical size) project.

There were plenty of vehicles to examine in the flesh as well like this Lincoln limousine.

1923 Ford T-bucket hot rod.

1964 Ford Galaxie with patina and Eighties era hubcaps.

This 1969 Buick appeared to be in really nice shape.

This rat rod creation is an interesting mix of GM trucks from different eras.

This Ford Model T tow truck was my favorite vehicle at the event.

At the end of the day I had managed to sell just over half the items I brought. This meant after the vendor entry fee and lunch I still made a few bucks but wouldn’t you know it just after leaving I get a phone call from the wife asking me to buy some folding chairs for a birthday party. The cost of those pretty much equaled what I had made. Easy come, easy go I guess. Regardless it was an interesting experience as I able to catch up with some folks as well as meet some new people.