Annual AACA fall fling in Hershey is still the place to be
This driver-quality 1906 Cadillac Model K was available for $63,000 in the car corral. Its great patina made it a good contender for Horseless Carriage Club of America tours.
Story and photos by Angelo Van Bogart
Most hobbyists will agree the best way to close out the show season in the northern reaches of America is at the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Eastern Division National Fall Meet in Hershey, Pa. It’s a long name for a car show and flea market, but it takes much longer to walk the event over its four days than it does to say the name.
The geographic location of the event leads many to simply call it “Hershey,” and it’s as sweet as the candy made adjacent to the parking lot where the event is held. There are 9,000 flea market spaces, about 1,000 vehicles in the car corral and another 1,200 vehicles in the Saturday-only AACA-judged show. This year, vendors, car sellers and show car owners gathered from Oct. 8-11; with spectators, the overall number of attendees was estimated to be 250,000 souls.
The meet is notorious for rain, but the rain clouds avoided Hershey during the big swap days — Wednesday to Friday. Water finally dropped on the show field on Saturday. Many empty spaces in the show field abounded in the brass-era section and even a bit in the row home to Classic cars, but the unrestored, postwar and driver-participation vehicle display areas provided plenty of eye candy.
Cars and trucks of all types gather in Hershey, but the show’s storied past going back to 1955 means its foundation is in prewar cars and parts. As such, Hershey is the best place to find brass era cars as well as Classics, but as the accompanying pictures show, Hershey is home to every type of car and part imaginable —regardless of its flavor.
Air conditioning isn’t as rare as the glass panel atop this 1955 Mercury, which indicated the car was a Sun Valley model. Only 1,787 Sun Valleys were built, and the number with factory air conditioning — indicated by the vents on the rear fenders — was a fraction of that number. Interested parties in this available Sun Valley had to inquire with the owner.
Just 26,000 miles showed on this Greater Hudson Eight rumbleseat coupe from 1932. It was originally priced at $1,045 during the height of the Depression, and the seller of this fine example in the 2014 car corral was looking for a reasonable $23,500.
This swap vendor specialized in brass. One of his prewar projects was this 1911 Elmore Model 25 complete with engine. It took $16,500 to drag home this handful.
Where else but Hershey can you find such a sweet surviving V-8-powered 1957 Nash Ambassador Custom? This looker was priced at $25,000 — not a bargain, but you’d be looking a long time for another.
Sporting a body similar to an Auburn of the same model year, this 1935 Hupmobile sedan had plenty of patina, and a $17,500 price tag.
The price on this 1936 Packard Eight was slashed throughout the show and showed $6,200 when we stopped. The sellers of the drivetrain-less Packard Model 1401 five-passenger coupe were listening to the best offer by Friday at noon.
This dandy 1950 Plymouth business coupe had everything one could want from a postwar car — a California history to indicate a sound body and a good original interior to hint at a well-cared-for past. The asking price was $12,900.
Rarities in the form of parts — and cars — abound in the swap meet at Hershey. This coachbuilt 1934 Ford bodied by Hollbrook of London was first displayed at the London Motor Show Olympia stand. The handbuilt body is different than the standard Fordor body at the rear, where it is more squared off. It also has a sunroof and full leather interior. It’s unlikely many, if any, of this body style were reproduced by the coachbuilder on another Ford chassis. This good original was offered at $48,500.
Many fire department vehicles have low odometer readings, and this 1972 Chevrolet C-30 from the Floreffe Volunteer Fire Co. wasn’t an exception. Just 5,880 miles had registered on the odometer, which explains the dually flatbed’s $12,500 asking price.
An unusual and right-hand-drive 1949 Triumph roadster with a windscreen for the rumbleseat passengers was of at least driver quality. Its price in the car corral was $38,000, which didn’t raise as many eyebrows as its appearance would at a cruise-in.
Even air conditioning isn’t as rare as the glass panel atop this 1955 Mercury, which indicated the car was a Sun Valley model. Only 1,787 Sun Valleys were built, and the number with factory air conditioning — indicated by the vents on the rear fenders — was a fraction of that number. Interested parties in this available Sun Valley had to inquire the owner.
Repaired rust issues that were coming back to haunt this 81,000-mile 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Seville made it a big restoration project or, as the seller stated, a donor for another Eldorado (probably a Biarritz convertible). The car retained its special Eldorado components and was priced at $9,800.
An elegant 1937 Chrysler convertible sedan stood proud nd tall in the car corral of Hershey. This stunner wore a reasonable $48,000 price tag. Where else would you find a survivor this well restored from the 642 originally built —and fewer remaining.
Some swap meet vendors had rows of Corvette fuel injection units, but this vendor had just one Rochester unit, and it wasn’t a more common ’Vette unit. The unit on this table fits a 1958 or ’59 Chevrolet passenger car, of which it’s estimated less than 100 cars were fitted with fuel injection over the two years. Asking price was $2,300.
It needed everything redone, but this 1953 Buick Skylark was a great foundation for a cool cruiser. The car appeared to have all of its hard-to-find, Skylark-specific parts to ease the restoration process. The seller was asking $67,000.