STRONG HOBBY, CHEAP WRENCH

John Gunnell |

Every year we go to the Fondy Swap Meet in the middle of March. Most of the time, the day of the swap meet is the nicest day of the year. Typically we get to Fond du Lac and see our first motorcycles on the roads and our first top-down convertibles. And then, it snows a week or two later.

Not this year! We have had springtime weather for at least two weeks now and it doesn’t look like any snow is predicted. This seems to be helping the old-car hobby get a jump on the normal season and the swap meet at Fond du Lac was a good one. There were plenty of vendors and, like usual, plenty of cars outside the fairgrounds building for sale.

Mike Freund was there with his beautiful steering wheel restorations from Classics Plus Ltd. (www.classicsplusltd.com) in Fond du Lac. Mike said business is excellent. He’s building lots of hot rods and gasser cars. Robert Marx (b.marx@marxparts.com) of Marx Parts said that business–expecially overseas business — is strong and he now has a new fuel pump rebuilding service so Wisconsin collectors no longer need to ship pumps to the East Coast for a rebuild with materials suited for modern gas.

Chad Sells of Tri Power Upholstery in Fremont (tri_power_uph@yahoo.com) said he now has more timeto help his wife Becky stitich up some seats and interiors. Mark Seidler of Phoenix Restorations (www.phonixmachinellc.com) was getting lots of attentions with his custom-made billet dash panels and parts.

Gary Nehring of the Coffee Clutchers and Keith Baker of the Badgerland Chapter POCI were other visitors to the Fondy Swap Meet and everyone seems to be planning tours and shows for the old car driving season.

We saw lots of things we would have liked to buy on a whim, but this is a year where we have to limit our purchases to the necessities and things we really need. We did get a great buy on an 1-1/4-in. wrench to replace the one that seems to have walked away from our shop at home. A big wrench like that for $5 is hard to pass up.

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