Fall extravaganza now part of expanding Carlisle Events schedule
Story and photos by Ron Kowalke
For the 38th year, central Pennsylvania was the place to be for collector vehicle hobbyists in early October. Since 1974, Carlisle Events has staged its massive fall car show and swap meet at the Carlisle (Pa.) Fairgrounds, held this year from Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 3-7.
The 150-acre fairgrounds hosted more than 8,000 vendor spaces filling the swap meet and car corral. As often happens late in the season, rain was a factor on both the opening and closing days of the meet. In between, sunny skies and warm temperatures welcomed a large crowd to the parts and automobilia at the show.
The car corral offered depth in postwar vehicles, including 1950s and ’60s models and street rods. One of the hard-to-miss — but unique — offerings was a late-model Ford Mustang-bodied dirt track stock car in black with neon-green graphics. Another seldomly seen vehicle for sale was a 1963 Rambler American 440-H hardtop. With its white finish with gold accents and “H” designation, it would be easy to mistake this car for a collaborative effort between Rambler and Hurst. That is not the case. The American’s gold-on-white paint scheme preceded the signature Hurst finish by several years, and the “H” (actually HT) suffix in the 440 moniker actually stands for “hardtop,” as this was a first-year model for Rambler in ’63. This 440-HT also featured an “un-Hurst-like” automatic transmission and a $10,000 asking price.
Within the swap meet, there were plenty of collector vehicles offered for sale, many in need of restorative efforts. One example was a 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury hardtop that, at first glance, appeared to be missing several key components. On closer inspection, what wasn’t attached to the Fury could be found either in its interior or trunk.
The Plymouth, owned by Richard Wagner of Middlebury, Pa., originated in Florida, according to Wagner, who added that it “runs great.” It’s powered by a 318-cid V-8 mated to an automatic transmission.
Wagner said he bought a 1957 Plymouth Fury new, and “I got everything I wanted with that one car.” Years later, he purchased the ’59 Sport Fury with the intent of restoring it. After stripping many of the parts from the car to begin the rebuild, he changed his mind. “I’m getting too old to restore it, so I’m selling it.” At Fall Carlisle, he had a $3,000 asking price on the car.
In addition to hosting its long-running fall car show and swap meet, Carlisle Events announced that it will expand its 2013 slate of shows from the current 12 to 16 events, to be held at both the Carlisle Fairgrounds and other venues.
For a complete 2013 schedule of events, visit www.carlisleevents.com.
More Carlisle highlights below:
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