For most of us when restoring a car or truck some time will be spent looking for parts. Certainly online auctions and classified sites have made it much easier to locate parts but sometimes the old ways are the best, when we woke before dawn, stood outside the gate in the cool morning air of the local car swap meet with the faint smell of coffee being enjoyed by our fellow car enthusiasts. And once the gates opened the real fun began and the different car swap meet strategies revealed themselves.
Having the right swap meet strategy can help you avoid making costly mistakes and may even assist you in locating the parts you need. Some parts are best bought at a car swap meet while others may be best with further inspection and perhaps simply exchanging contact information is the best course to take. We would all like to think every swap meet vendor is an honest man, and mostly they are, but there are always a few ready to weave a tall story simply to make the sale. Complete engines, or internal engine parts that routinely wear often require closer inspection to determine if it’s a usable part, whereas components like intake manifolds can be easier to inspect and less prone to unseen wear or damage.
We join Mark Simpson at the “Mopars in the Park” car swap meet in St. Paul, MN, where he shares some of his insights on making the most of your time in the car swap meet. Simpson reveals big items like fenders, trunk lids, hoods and seats are great items to buy at a car swap meet to avoid high freight costs and the potential of shipping damage. He’ll also discuss different strategies to cover more area in less time and discover all of the hidden treasures the classic car swap meet has to offer.