Report and photos by Will Silk
The Antique Automobile Club of America held its annual Eastern Fall Swap Meet and Collector Car Corral from October 6-9, 2010 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey is known as the sweetest place on earth due to the chocolate bars that are made there; but every October, Hershey becomes the mecca for collector car enthusiasts with a four-day extravaganza of classic automobiles, parts, and automobilia.
The Hershey Annual Fall Classic takes place at the Hershey entertainment complex which is home to Hershey Park, a world class amusement park for all ages, and the Giant Center Arena. Admission to the fall show is always free, with a $10 charge for parking.
The swap meet is held largely in the parking lots between the Giant Center and the amusement park and generally requires two days to make a sweep of all the aisles. Just about anything pertaining to the collector car hobby can be found amongst the hundreds of vendors that turn out from all over the world. Looking for a set of Ardun heads for your flat head Ford race car? They can be found here at Hershey, amongst millions of vintage parts and tools.
Quality automobilia can also be found throughout the swap meet area with everything from diecast cars of all scales to dealer literature from decades ago. One vendor was from France and had a treasure trove of fantastic artifacts from the European race scene all those years ago. Among his offerings were a rare Dunlop wall clock dating from before the WW II, a large Delahaye dealer sign, and several grille badges from some of the most prominent rally races pre-1960.
The real draw for most of the people is the variety of quality collector cars up for sale in the car corral, which starts at the intersection of the perimeter road and Park Boulevard and runs the entire way around the outside of the Giant Center parking lot then concludes in a lot behind the arena. The car corral alone takes the better part of an entire day to walk through, as the variety of machinery on hand is simply mind-numbing. Cars ranging from the early 20th century all the way to mid-1980s Ferrari 328s were on hand for examination.
Some of the rarities lingering in the car corral were a Facel Facellia F3 that was in need of restoration, but was for the most part entirely there and ready for work to begin. A late 1930s German Ford Roadster with body by Eifel was in pristine shape and looking for a new owner that was willing to prepare an offer in the realm of $125,000. Hyman Classic Cars was on hand with a variety of their high quality machines including a rare Lancia Astura with body by Pinin Farina that is one of six of its kind and carried a price of $550,000.
While the Lancia Astura was marked as having been sold, there were plenty more quality cars for sale at the other end of the collector car spectrum, including quite a few Ford Thunderbirds of the 1955-1957 vintage in conditions ranging from daily drivers to full on show machines and prices ranging from $19,000 to $40,000+. Many of these tri-five birds had the word “sold” scribbled on the windscreen. A very nice and surely rare by today’s standards Renault R10 was up for offer complete with fresh paint and a nice price of $7500.
People from across the globe come to Hershey each year, including some die-hard enthusiasts that made a 20 hour flight from Australia all the way to Central Pennsylvania for this year’s Fall Classic. Many enthusiasts take advantage of the many other tourist attractions in the area, such as the Gettysburg Battlefields located in Gettysburg, PA and the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Factory in nearby York, PA. Some enthusiasts make it a collector car double-header by attending the annual Fall Carlisle Collector Car Show held the weekend prior to the Hershey event. Any way you go about it can’t be wrong, as the annual AACA Eastern Fall Meet held every October in Hershey, Pennsylvania is bound to put a smile on any car enthusiast’s face.
For more information, visit http://www.hersheyaaca.org.
[Source: Will Silk]