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Crazy Swap Meet Stories

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustyfords, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. HotRodHighley
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 395

    from cincy, oh

    Kinda on the same lines as Rustyfords story. A good friend of mine (Tracer55) and I were at the Marion County fairgrounds in Indy several years ago and two guys got in an argruement over a mid 40's driver door and the owner laid the door on the ground and jumped up and down on it with both feet! Said its worth what you want to pay!
    Second best story I got was when I took my son to one of his first swap meets at 13 yrs old and we bought a 49 Chevy truck project. I still remember the look on his face! He is now 28 and heavy into traditional hot rods.
  2. intheshop
    Joined: Nov 25, 2011
    Posts: 12

    from W/Mi

    Thank you. I`ll be laughing about that all day..................
  3. I had a spare small block blower from a twin engine boat I told the guy ten times 900 bucks he was a younger guy in a wheel chair kept telling me he could not pay that much due to hospital bills. In the mean time a older rodder wants a 57 electric wiper motor and I told him 75 bucks he agreed. After listening to the other guys rant on the blower he pulls out a grand the original price and says ill take it, the broke back shit his pants and pulled out a wad and buys it. The old guy says I didn't want it just tired of listening to the bullshit. I thought it was pretty funny and gave him the wiper motor for I think 40 bucks as it was a spare that came with a car and had almost no money in it.
  4. dragster dude
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 194

    dragster dude

    I tend to buy stuff that i need at swap meets then put them on my site for a proffit that way if they dont sell i use them and if they do sell then i am that bit closer to buying new parts or better quality parts.
  5. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    at the redneck rumble this yr. we walked around for hrs and im crippled up but anyway i found a straight axle complete.all the steering everything for 25dollars.yes i said 25 dollars.i grabbed that thing and ran.and im crippled up!! but the coolest thing i saw was we tried to sell a bunch of nos taillite lences we had for 10 bucks a lences. now thats cheap for 51 pontiac, 52 buicks that kinda stuff. well im not doinfg to good so my 6 yr old granddaughter goes up there and this girl is selling them like hotcakes and for more guy gave her a 20 for being so damn cute.his words not mine.
  6. Had one of those guys while I was waiting in line for the swap at the International Centre a week ago. Had to stand in line with the guy for an hour and a half while he talked about everything... friends of his, his late 80's Oldsmobile that he 'picked up new from the dealership', installing high efficiency toilets in his house, how early he wakes up in the morning, the time he rented a trailer in Florida...
    I hustled away as quick as I could when the doors opened.
  7. Dr. Frankensickle
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 383

    Dr. Frankensickle
    from Kansas

    At the AMCA Swap Meet in Davenport Iowa,I'm selling Motorsickle parts,A gas Station across the street was selling 12 packs of bud for 9 bucks,next door to that was a pizza hut selling a single topping pizza for 7.99,I crawled under the fence and got 3 or four pizzas and 3 or four 12 packs.I sat there selling stuff and slobbering down pizza and beer,well this dude says "Damn that looks good",I said "yep it is,I can't sell it to ya though,but if ya buy something even from my 1 dollar pile I can make change at a buck a slice,or buck a beer"The dude says "You gotta be shittin me" "Nope,Try Me" I said,He picked out 5 one dollar items,gave me a 10..."How you want that change?"I said,"3 slices and 2 beers",so I did others saw this and it was GAME ON,I was swamped with customers and he yells "HEY GEORGE,GET YER ASS OVER HERE AND BUY SOMETHING OFF THIS GUY!!!!""Why?" said his buddy George,"YOU ARE GONNA LOVE THE WAY HE MAKES CHANGE!!!"within 30 minutes I was back at the gas station and pizza hut to re-supply.
  8. wacko1
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 32

    from Wisconsin

    Found this at spring Jefferson, WI swap. Guy wouldn't sell it.

    Attached Files:

    A_Burly_Wind likes this.
  9. fatkoop
    Joined: Nov 17, 2009
    Posts: 712


    You're not alone. I will GIVE parts to someone who really needs them for his project, but if I give you something (for free) and then I see you at a swap meet with it or find it for sale on Craigslist or ebay, you will never get another thing from me, at any price.
  10. japar
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 263

    from Seekonk Ma

    I was vending at Englishtown NJ it was a Saturday I was doing realy good, hoods were flying out of the trailer I was selling hoods $300 -$400 apop guys were buying scoops, roll pans , sold a 32 roadster body that day I was stuffing my pockets full of money making a killing strange thing though people kept walking by finding 100's and 50's on the ground seen a guy find 3 $100 bills all rolled up right in front of me. Towards the end of the day I was counting my money and 1 of my pockets was emty, had a big hole at the bottom. All that money the people were finding was mine. Yeah I figured I loss about 2 grand that day

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  11. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    So a buddy and I had walked most of the L.A.R.S. swap about four years ago, and we had noticed the family walking around where it was clear "dad" had put his foot down about what he wanted to do with "his" day. Wife, two kids just barely walking and NONE of them wanted to be where they were. Dad was sort of a yuppie type and mostly just stared at stuff trying to comprehend what things were... He was trying though. We had passed them every row for four or five rows at that point, and the wifes demenor was getting worse and worse, and the kids crabbier and crabbier. On one of the very last rows there was always an older guy that restored license plates, and always had an impressive display of freshly restored plates laid out over two spaces on the ground in neat rows by year. As we were walking near his space, we saw coming the other way the pissed off wife, but this time the second little monster was out of the stroller, and mom clearly didn't care what happened next. As we passed the plate guy, the four year old monster at a dead run, hooked a hard left and happily started hop-scotching down the first row of perfect plates! We all stood there in abject disbelief as she made it 2/3 of the way down the first row leaping from freshly painted plate to freshly painted plate, then jumped to the next row to come back. I yelled at her to control her child, and she shot back a snotty "SHE'S JUST A CHILD, AND THIS STUFF IS ALL CRAP ANYWAY" The poor guy running the space I'm sure was having a heat attack, and my buddy and I took the "dad" aside and calmly suggested he get his wallet out 'cause this was one costly mistake....
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  12. hallrods
    Joined: Feb 21, 2012
    Posts: 1,217


    Not a swap meet story but when I was 15 years old in junior high I told every car guy that I new I wanted a 1932 ford coupe. One guy tells me he knows were a 32coupe is for sale for 40 bucks.The problem is most of these guys think anything from 1950 and down is a 32coupe. I pedaled my bike about 6 miles and there it was behind a burnt out garage. I raced home and told my dad about the car. I told him it wasn't a 1932 ford coupe but I think it's a 1934 ford 3 window coupe. The next morning we drove out to look at the car. It was just a body and a frame. My dad looked it over and said it looked just like a 1934 ford but the dash was different and the fire wall was not right and the frame wasn't a ford frame he didn't know what it was. I wanted to buy it but he said you would never find parts, fenders door latches window cranks that kind of stuff. I wanted it anyway he said NO.... Years go bye and I built a model A. I got a hot rod book and there was an article about if I remember correctly a guy finding a hupmobile that looked like a 1934 ford he did some research and it turned out that hupmobile bought all the left over ford bodies no firewalls or dashes in 1934 and made cars in 1935. I drove out burnt out garage and the owner was there he sold the car about a month earlier gone!!!! 40 BUCKS!!!!
  13. Chupacabra? :eek:
  14. HellsHotRods
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,338


    I'm at a swap in Canoga Park, I spot a '29 gas tank, pick it up and ask the seller how much...he says "$15"..... so I walk over to where he is standing to pay him (left the tank in the grass). While I am paying the seller, another man picks up the tank and asks how much it is...the seller tells him "It's already sold" (points to me) "he's buying it"....
    then all of a sudden, this guy sitting there with the tank in his hands (I already handed the seller the cash) starts going ballistic and says "you can't take it from my fucking hands, who the hell are you??? etc etc..... " finally after a rant, he throws it down and leaves, but gives me the finger and dirty looks all day long......

    Whack jobs at the swaps....I meet them every time
  15. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,872

    from Nicasio Ca

    Back when I drank a lot more beer than I do now, a pal and I drove 200 miles to the Turlock swap meet for the weekend in his Torino. Saturday afternoon I bought a '69 Malibu sitting on the grass at the car corral, $600 with a blown trans. Went out and cruised Turlock Sat night in the Torino. Sunday back at the swap meet I bought a th350 for 100 bucks, told the seller it better work because I'd know in a couple hours. Changed out the trans on the lawn where the car sat, with tools we had in the Torino, in front of many rather surprised onlookers, and drove it home.

    Here is that very car after I painted it.

  16. thommoina33
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,046

    Alliance Member
    from australia
    Staff Member

    Down here in Australia we have a pretty damn big swap called the ballarat swap meet, it gets blistering hot during the day. Whilst doing the rounds noticed this real charmer( note 250 plus pounds) soaking her feet in a bucket of ice water, just as I walked past I watched in disbelief as she dipped her cup in the bucket and proceeded to drink the contests, it was a given I skipped lunch that day.

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  17. HellsHotRods
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,338


    One more..... I was at a swap near Long Beach and walk up to this guys space and these 2 guys are looking at a set of NOS looking Lincoln Zephyr gears the seller had stored very nicely in a wood box. Anyways, these two guys are trying to talk the seller down to $50 then $60, then $75 for the set (He was asking $100) while the 2 guys are arguing and trying to fuck with this old timer, I pull out a fresh $100 bill, hand it to the seller and say it's over. The two guys bent over on the ground are pissed, but we all know what that set is really worth.
  18. hiboy32
    Joined: Nov 7, 2001
    Posts: 2,774

    from Omaha, NE

    Might as well join in.. While trying to make a deal on a deal on a fender for my ot 70 chevelle, I recognized a full 32 ford hood standing there with $ 1 scribbled on it. I of course dropped the chevy fender and ran over. Said I'll take it! Yes it was pretty rough, then I had listen to the sellers line..."I know it is a model A hood and I just want someone to buy it that may do something with it" . So then I said "all I have is a 5, do you have change? He then made his buddy spot him 4 bucks, and then I carried my 'new' hood away. No, I never made it back to buy my much needed fender

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app

    Attached Files:

  19. This is kinda funny when I think of the stories posted of buyers trying to get prices down because they don't have much money. A couple weeks ago I spent all of what money I had for the engine and tranny for my '57. Well, at the same time I was getting antsy for a road trip, and saw a post here about the Sunflower swap in Witchita, Kansas. Told the wife I was gonna drive on up just for the trip cause it looked like a good one and I'd never been, and I love just walking around those things. Everything is going as planned, I'm almost at the end when I see a booth with a guy selling plastic engine mockups for displays and using for drivetrain setups. I'm looking at them thinking, man with my inadequate equiptment and garage, this would sure save this old man alot of hassle. It turns out the guy not only has one there of the motor I'm using, but it had some casting flaws that wouldn't make it a good display, but would be just fine for setting up the drivetrain. I could have it for only a hundred instead of the usual 450. I told him I just went there for a roadtrip, not expecting to buy anything. He kinda looked at me and said.." I can't go any lower than a hundred". I, I said I wasn't trying to talk you down, that's a really good price, but I'll have to pass. I kicked myself all the way home. I called Monday, and he still had it. It's in the mail.
    Sunflower was a great swap meet, BTW.
  20. Poesrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 192

    from Kentucky

    I was set up at the Frog Follies swapmeet, had some late 70s early 80s steel wheels I was tired of hauling around. Put up my FREE sign (which was pinstriped pretty nice) and sold the free sign in about 30 min.
  21. hotrodmano
    Joined: May 3, 2011
    Posts: 373

    from Norway

    Oh yeah. I`ve got a pretty funny story.
    Many moons ago I had an old 50 Hudson, and Afterwar Hudsons are pretty scarse in Norway an Sweden. They where never imported to Norway thru any official channels, so its not like you can go to any swap meet and swim in Hudson parts.

    I did my first long trip with the car to Vesterås, Sweden and Power Meet. Its about 400 miles one way from where I live. On the way over it rained heavily. Really poring down, and my vacuum wipers really struggled, until the vacuum engine finally collapsed just three, four miles from Vesterås. I managed to get there somehow, driving with my sidewindows open pulling (with help from my buddy on the right side) the wipers back and forth with a piece of rope I had tied up in each wiper arm.
    Anyway. I didnt have a clue how to get home again with the forcast saying more rain was in the horizon that week end. When I had parked the car, and went to the swap meet, the VERY FIRST seller I met had a very few parts that he was about to unload from his car, I new him a bit from earlier, and asked him, just to tell him the wiper story, if he could possibly have a Vaccum engine for my Hudson, and at the same time I asked, he turned around from his trunk, and held a Hudson vaccum engine in his hand. We both where equally surprised and started laughing. What an amazing coincidense. It was a bit bigger than the one I had, but the screw holes fitted just right. Probably from a Wasp or Hornet, I had a Pacemaker. Damn. I was lucky. I still cant belive it happened. It was ment to be, I guess.:p
  22. Well as long as someone brought up this dead thread I'll add my pair of cents.

    Anyone remember the lightening strike or the shooting at the Carlisle swap meet?

    I do, I was there.
  23. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,461

    from Napa

    Went to two swaps last weekend, Saturday at Sears Point, Sunday at Cosumnes College, and both days somebody wanted to buy my Radio Flyer out from under my booty :p Saturday was an old gal who just thought it was cute, Sunday was a wagon vendor who ran out in the aisle to ask me if I'd sell it- maybe I'm missing something? It's a Big Red Classic ATW, didn't think it was that big a deal- and it's the same one that the Scooter Store Commando backed into and dented at Turlock :rolleyes:
  24. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,263

    Atwater Mike

    When I was gathering parts for my steel '27 Highboy (1976) the Watsonville Swap was
    Flathead Heaven: Saw a seller with some flathead stuff, some cams (real flat on the lobe heels, 'racy' stuff) took a look, brand new Potvin Eliminator. $15 bucks. Asked about manifolds...he had a new one in the box. Pulled it out slow enough for me to count the flanges...FOUR! $25.

    Halibrand Jack (Pleasanton swap) sold me twelve 97 cores for $20. (I had put him onto some Halibrand 16" 'Salad Bowls' a month before...great deal...he returned the favor!)

    My brother and I attended the Turlock swap for years...there was an older gent in an old Fedora hat that sold stuff on three long tables, on the grass. This day I spotted a Stewart Warner MARINER dash, engine turned face with the chrome bezel. I grabbed it, asked "How much?" He looked at me, said "Fifteen dollars."
    I reached in my pocket and handed him a ten and a twenty. He said, "You gave me too much, I said fifteen."
    I said, "I say thirty. I've been looking for this for a long time, that's for keeping it safe."
    Some guys laughed, he said "Thank you, Son...God bless you."
    As we walked away, my brother said, "You're crazy! You coulda got him down to 10!"
    I said, "But then I wouldn't have gotten blessed."
    Dumb shit didn't understand...
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    Yes, I remember the shooting. It occured at the end of the same Spring meet that started with a snowstorm in the early '90s.
  26. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,364

    from New York

    This summer there were two guys walking around a swap meet in Niagra in high 90's heat one older and one younger. You can tell the guys were enjoying themselves, sun burnt, thirsty, covered in dust but still had the energy to look for those darn parts. Both guys had their reluctant women with them sun burnt, dusty, tired and barely able to continue. As the guys were looking over a old 3x2 setup the women just looked at each other sadly for a few seconds without words. After a while the older woman said... yours looks like he is having as much fun as mine does. I have been doing this for so long and I don't envy you. I hope yours finishes his project sooner rather than later. The rig was for a 348 so no luck for me. I know the pain it is like being dragged around and air conditioned mall with food and restrooms at every turn :). After that I started going to the meets alone, must be torture for them.
  27. silversink
    Joined: May 3, 2008
    Posts: 917


    if your not going to use it give it back so maybe someone else can benifit from a freebe
  28. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Some of my favorite swap stories of the current days include my girlfriend, "The incredible Miss Judy". She is this adorable little bundle of crazy from Hong Kong that walks most meets with me these days. Being from Hong Kong, in her original culture, EVERYTHING is bargined for. You are considered dishonorable if you pay retail for anything. And I might add that without me as a translator, you really aren't going to understand too much of what is being said! It's english alright, but more like "engrish"! I have actually witnessed her making a 6'6" tall 250lbs man almost cry during the bargining stage on a miniture Radio Flyer wagon! He still sheepishly asks if she is with me when I see him...

    The best thing she ever did though was at the Watson Lake mid summer swap here in AZ about five years ago. We had walked just about the whole swap at that point, and I had many treasures and a flat wallet at that point. On one of the last tables we passed I saw a pair of billet '26-'27 "T" windshield posts that I though I could clean up and make far less billety, with a price tag of 85.00. I asked about them and told the guy that if he would take 60.00 I'd like to buy them, and that was all I had left to offer. The answer was a resounding "NO". We walked on. She said "do you really want those? I'll go back and get!". Up the hill she goes. Five minutes later she comes skipping down the hill with the posts in hand laughing like a crazy person (not much of a stretch!) "I get them for 35.00!!!" I'm not even going to ask...
  29. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Been on the same level with friends and aquaintences all of my swapping life. I have yet to be burnt.
  30. Motorhead Extraordinaire
    Joined: May 19, 2009
    Posts: 225

    Motorhead Extraordinaire
    Alliance Vendor

    When I started restoring the Raven, the hubcaps were missing. Arthur used a set of aftermarket 16" hubcaps that he bought from Ellis the Rim Man in Boston back in the 50's. I spent two years contacting every hubcap dealer I could find to no avail.

    So it was off to Hershey in the spring of 2008 to look for a hubcap. On the second day I spotted a shiny object in a box in back of this lady's space. I walked over and low and behold she had a NOS set of the exact hubcaps I needed. I asked her how much and she said $100. I then said is that for all four? She looked at a piece of paper her husband had left her and said to me "You can have all four for $80."

    Needless to say I bought them and then got out of there as quick as I could. My brother in law made me buy the beers and steaks that night. That was okay with me.

    The first pic is from back in 1959, the other from 2009 with my great find. The only difference is the black background color on the ones I bought at Hershey.

    Attached Files:

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