Speedway hosts Ty-Rods' semi-annual swap meet
By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Thu., Apr. 14, 2011
Ty-Rods Auto Club held its spring swap meet at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 10. The infield and pit areas were filled to the max with vendors, parts, cars and spectators, some coming from local towns, and others traveling from out of state. Ty-Rods organizes two swap meets per year - one in the spring and one in the fall.
The Vernon-based club was formed in 1959. Gary “Skip” Hallwood is one of the founding members of the exclusive, 15-member group.
“There were six original members, of which only one remains, and that’s me,” said Hallwood, who explained that the club first worked out of a garage in Ellington.
“We were just interested in cars. We were teenagers. We couldn't work in our parents’ garages, so we found a barn. We were basically a drag racing club back then,” Hallwood explained.
Originally, the club held car washes to pay for the wood that was burned to keep its “clubhouse” warm.
“Then, we started a swap meet,” Hallwood said.
For those who do not understand what the swap meet is all about, Hallwood has the answer: “It's auto-related - auto parts and cars, and there's a car corral. If it goes on a car, it's here somewhere – literally,” Hallwood explained, while pointing out a visitor who was walking by carrying a miscellaneous car door.
“These things start very early. We start at 6 in the morning,” said Hallwood.
Most people who attend a swap meet seem to know exactly what they are doing, and exactly what they are looking for. Others are collectors, hobbyists and browsers.
According to Hallwood, “People bring car parts and people come to sell them. It's hobbyists and also people looking for parts for their daily drivers. There are antique parts here that are very limited and hard to get, and there are also very common parts. What happens at a swap meet like this, especially with the economy, people have held on to cars for years. They're bringing parts to a swap meet that normally wouldn't be here. It's always a mystery as to what is going to be here.”
Hallwood explained that some people come to the meet looking for one thing, but bring home something else they think they need. If it turns out they didn't need it, they bring that item back another year and try to sell it.
“It's perpetual motion, really,” Hallwood said.
People could advance-register for the meet or register at the gate. Some auto enthusiasts attended the meet to sell their cars, which can include antique, restored vehicles, or project cars that need to be restored, or even cars that are eight or 10 years old.
Ty-Rods’ next swap meet will be held in October.