Ty-Rods Automotive Swap Meet returns

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Oct. 30, 2013
Charlie Hughes (left) of Tolland and Jim Gavin of Vernon picked up a partial leaf blower and a spoiler for a 1970 Camaro. Photos by Annie Gentile.
Charlie Hughes (left) of Tolland and Jim Gavin of Vernon picked up a partial leaf blower and a spoiler for a 1970 Camaro. Photos by Annie Gentile.

It isn’t everywhere that you can buy some shiny new rims for your pickup, then take three steps to the left and purchase a jar of homemade salsa. But that’s par for the course at the fall Ty-Rods Automotive Swap Meet.

The club celebrated its 40th fall meet Oct. 20 at the Stafford Motor Speedway with commercial and private vendors spreading out over the entire outdoor track area and spilling out beyond the gates. The swap meet also featured a separate car corral with cars and trucks for sale.

While automotive parts and accessories were the main attraction, almost anything that anyone thinks might sell could be found for sale at the meet. Leaf blowers, snow blowers, and woodstoves were - not surprisingly - hot commodities, but one could just as easily find roller skates, antique “Radio Flyer” sleds, and decorative bar lights being carted away by happy buyers.

Clark Brown of Webster, Mass., lugged a portable air tank he picked up at the meet. A restorer of old cars, Brown said he worked for 20 years as an inspector at the Orange County Speedway in New York and he has some clients who work on race cars. He said he can fill his portable air tank with his compressor at home, then bring that out to the track to fill tires.

Robert Hampson of Coventry said he got a good deal on a used steam-cleaning machine. While the written price on the item was $200, he was able to pick it up for $180. “I have a lot of equipment - lawn equipment, vehicles, trucks, tractors, so I’ll get some good use out of it,” he said. A new machine would cost him upwards of $2,000, he said, and while one takes a chance when buying something without a warranty, he’s found that most people with items to sell at the swap meet are honest.

While there was a fair number of backyard mechanics and restorers of classic cars on the lookout for specialty items, plenty more made it a family affair, with parents pulling their young children along in oversized wagons, nestled into warm blankets and pillows.  There were also quite a few bicycles and bicycle parts for the not-yet-old-enough-to-drive-set.

“I build bikes,” said David Crownshield, of Tolland, who, along with his friend Brian Fortier, was walking away with some bicycle parts they had just purchased.

“We both build them,” said Fortier, clearly pleased with the results of their trip.

The Vernon-based Ty-Rods Auto Club holds two swap meets annually - in April and October - at the Stafford Motor Speedway. For more information about the club, call 860-649-3697.

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