Visitors get lots of mileage out of swap meet
By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Wed., Oct. 19, 2011
If it runs on wheels, then it – or at least some part of it – was probably available to purchase at Ty-Rods Auto Club’s fall swap meet, held on Sunday, Oct. 16, at Stafford Motor Speedway. From doors to hoods to fender and tires, thousands of guests on a quest for car parts started lining up at the gates during the early morning hours. Hundreds of vendors displayed nearly anything car-related, for all makes and models of vehicles.
Ty-Rods club member and event coordinator, Gary “Skip” Hallwood, said that the turnout was “as good as we’ve ever had.” Hallwood said he believes that the majority of people these days are maintaining their existing cars. Guests at the event came from as near as Stafford and from as far away as Ohio – a consistent trend for this semi-annual swap meet, which is held in April and October.
Primarily, the meet is auto-centric, but one never knows what one will find among the vendors’ tables, where anything goes – including chain saws, boat motors, clothing, books and bicycles. According to Hallwood, nearly one-half of the vendor space that is available for the April event will be sold during the October session.
Many vendors return, meet-after-meet. Tolland resident Greg Schmidt and his son, Stafford resident Timothy Schmidt, both rent vendor space. They have attended twice per year for several years and always look forward to the event. Greg Schmidt said that, in addition to selling his automotive items, he likes the social aspect of the event, where he meets people and hears about their car stories.
The swap meet also offers a car corral, where would-be car shoppers can look over an array of vehicles, from cars to trucks, ranging from classics to newer models. Even a gutted Airstream trailer was sold on Oct. 16. Some car owners will either sell their vehicle or trade for a different one. Guests are not charged to visit the car corral, but there is a fee to gain access to the swap meet.
Ty-Rods Auto Club is a private, Vernon-based club. Its next swap meet is scheduled for April 2012.
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