Under The Hood

Spring 'firsts'

As a national publication, Old Cars Weekly covers a lot of the spring’s “firsts.” First car shows, first swap meets and first auctions. As I write this, Auction and Technical Editor Ron Kowalke and I are preparing to leave for our “firsts” of the season. For Ron, that is Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Corral in Carlisle, Pa. For me, that “first” swap meet of the season is the Spring Jefferson Car Show and Swap Meet in Jefferson, Wis.

I’ve been attending Spring Jefferson for many years now, and I always come back with my arms full. Last year, I found several Ford factory photos of 1930s, 1940s and 1950s models, and some of them have appeared in Old Cars Weekly. I’ve come home from Spring Jefferson with Cadillac parts, which any Cadillac owner will tell you is difficult to do at nearly any swap meet. Several years ago, I owned 1968 and 1969 Buick Skylarks, but found it difficult to find parts for these cars and gave up looking. It became clear that looking for Cadillac and Skylark parts was like looking for a radiator on VW Beetle — it wasn’t going to happen. However, had I been to Spring Jefferson and seen all of the 1968 and ’69 Skylark parts for sale there, I would never have sold my Skylark.

Some of my friends have even benefit from my trips to Spring Jefferson. One year, I brought back a door for a friend’s 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. Another year, I had a solid lead on a 1961 Chevrolet Impala “bubble top” for a friend, but it didn’t pan out. However, I did have success with a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice ex-squad car lead — retired Old Cars Weekly Editor John Gunnell ended up buying it for his collection.

When it comes to the 2008 Spring Jefferson swap meet, I anticipate the same success as I have had in the past. And I think my friends hope I do, too.

If you’re attending Spring Jefferson, be sure to stop by the Old Cars Weekly booth in the Jefferson County Fairgrounds’ main building. While Advertising Sales Representative Michelle Kraemer and I are taking subscriptions and offering books, you can tell us about all of your Spring Jefferson swap meet finds.

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