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Miles of parts at Carlisle

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Fall extravaganza now part of expanding Carlisle Events schedule

1928 LaSalle

Touted as “one of three known to exist,” this 1928 LaSalle four-passenger Victoria had an asking price of $29,500. The paper plate signage in the windshield belied the classy nature of this car.

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.

1957 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special

Showing equal parts patina and potential, Annapolis Classic Cars of Maryland offered this “Montana car,” 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special four-door hardtop in the Fall Carlisle Car Corral. The asking price was $6,500.

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.

1959 Plymouth Sport Fury

Richard Wagner of Middlebury, Pa., offered this 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury hardtop project at $3,000. Promoted as being in running condition, the car featured a 318-cid V-8 and automatic transmission. Many of the car’s visibly missing components were stored in the trunk.

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

More Carlisle highlights below:

1955 Chevrolet

Tri-Chevy Nomads are a desirable lot, and this first-year 1955 example was offered in project car-condition for $19,500. It was advertised as being a California car that was stored in a container for more than 20 years.

1963 Rambler American 440-H

With its white-with-gold accents and “H” designation, one might mistake this 1963 Rambler American 440-H hardtop parked in the Fall Carlisle Car Corral for a Hurst-affiliated product, but it’s not. Rambler introduced this new hardtop (HT) model in its 440 lineup in ’63. The car is equipped with an “un-Hurst-like” automatic transmission, and had an asking price of $10,000.

1939 Mercury

The Fall Carlisle Car Corral was filled with a variety of collector vehicles, including this restored, first-year 1939 Mercury convertible. Its $53,000 asking price included an original tool kit in a handsome wooden carrying case that was stored in the Merc’s trunk.

1967 King Midget

Its windshield calling out its “street legal” status, this 6,500-original-mile, 1967 King Midget convertible was offered for sale for $7,950. Also promoted heavily on its windshield was this microcar’s 60-mpg fuel rating.

Kingsbury model

Jim Linz from Virginia was a first-time vendor at Fall Carlisle. One of the items for sale at his vending site was this mid-1930s Kingsbury model of the Golden Arrow land speed racer with an asking price of $1,095.

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