Ty-Rods Spring Automotive Swap Meet held at Stafford Speedway

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Apr. 17, 2013
Ty-Rods Swap Meet
With a little help from his friends, Roger of Hubbardston, Mass., (center) secures a muffler he just purchased at the Ty-Rods Swap Meet to his dolley. Photos by Annie Gentile.

If one judged simply by the crowds alone, the 27th annual Ty-Rods Spring Automotive Swap Meet turned out to be another huge success. Held on the grounds of the Stafford Motor Speedway, the swap meet featured a huge assortment of display booths, with vendors selling automotive parts and accessories, tools, landscaping machinery and equipment, and much more. The swap meet also featured a “car corral” for those interested in buying and selling vehicles. The gates opened at noon Saturday, April 13, for vendors to begin set-up, and opened for guests and shoppers at 7 a.m. on Sunday, April 14.

“All of this benefits the Ty-Rods Auto Club,” said Sam Dunlop, a member of the Vernon-based club since 1976. “We put it on twice a year - once in the spring and then again in the fall. If you’re looking for antique car parts or even new parts, this is the place to come to get it. You’ll find a little bit of everything here.”

A little bit of everything was certainly the case. By mid-morning Sunday, a steady stream of customers could be found pushing, pulling, wheeling, or just carrying items on their shoulders out of the gates, and many people came prepared with wagons with oversized wheels or dollies that could handle heavy loads.

“I love this place,” said wheel rim dealer Howard Hughes of Philadelphia, who rented a booth with his business partner. Hughes said they bring their merchandise to various shows throughout the northeast, including another in Carlisle, Penn.

Josh Roberto and Paul Ashcom, both of Lebanon, took a more casual approach, putting their feet up and watching the crowds pass by their display.

“We love this place,” said Roberto. “We clean out the garage, then come here with stuff to sell and to have fun.”

“It’s a great opportunity to make some money,” added Ashcom.

At another booth, Deanna Savage of Uxbridge, Mass., stood in front of her big-ticket item, a 1950 Ford F-1 pickup truck. The truck drew plenty of attention to her booth, where she also sold a number of smaller, lower-cost items. “We’re hopeful about selling the truck,” she said. “We’ve got to make room in the garage.”

Depending on the items for sale, business could be steady or sporadic. Seth Matteson of Richmond, R.I., said he came with his father, who owns a repair shop out that way, and they brought whatever they had on hand in order to sell it and make some room in the shop. “Sometimes I can sit here and sell only one thing in three hours, and the next thing you know I sell a whole lot of stuff in just 20 minutes. You can’t figure it,” he said.

“We come for the socialization - for the good company,” said Tom Bjorkland, Jr., of Manchester, who, like Dunlop had said, had a little bit of everything for sale - including, literally, a kitchen sink. He also had a $10,000 John Deere tractor for sale. “We’ve been doing shows for 20 years or more, and one thing’s for certain - it only takes one person to make a sale,” he said.

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