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History What was your best swap meet score?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. It's been a long time since we had this discussion,

    My best score to date was 2 different items at 2 different swap meets in North Carolina on the same day, I bought a deck lid from a man selling Model A parts he inherited from his grandfather.

    The first item was purchased at Maggie Valley.

    As I was looking through the boxes and part I noticed a couple of deck lids, he said the nicest one was 200 dollars but one had some rust in it and he would take 1oo dollars for it, I noticed it wasn't a Model A and ask my pal Randy to look at it, he confirmed what I though so I looked it over and it did need some rust repair, I told him I would give him 50 bucks and he said OK, I ended up with a nice 1932 Ford 5 window/ roadster deck lid, it needed about 2 hours to cut the rust out and replace it with new metal.

    The second item was a 1932 Ford column drop at the Fletcher, North Carolina swap meet.

    I was digging in a box of odd parts and and the sign on the box said," Anything in the box $5.00, I picked it up and ask is this 5 bucks and he said yes, that was the only 32 piece the guy had, the amazing thing about finding the column drop for a give away price it stll had the key in the cylinder. HRP
  2. Cedar Rapids: Had just sold my 40th carburetor and was packing up what was leaft, not much. So I strolled down the isle and noticed a set of headers under a bench. Everyone had a set of headers under their bench, this is racing country. These were different. Three tubes, V6, I noticed the offset tube on the flange and they were for a Buick V6. Just what I was looking for to put on my dirt modified, $50.00 for $300 headers as I had just priced them. I went home with an empty trailer and have full pickup bed and the headers I dreamed of finding.....
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  3. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,619


    Just recently I picked up an Olds 394 Offenhauser 2x4 intake for what amounts to $50 invested.
    A few years ago, I picked up a used set of 15 degree Brodix aluminum heads with Jesel shaft mounted roller rockers complete for $1200. Those things make my 427 really breathe.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    bchctybob, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  4. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,007

    from Oregon

    You did good. ;)At the Portland swap meet I bought a Fenton shifter for $2.00 at another a front pair of Model A fenders for ... shhhhh and a rechromed 1939 Ford swan shifter for ....:D Best garage sale find at the same place , $20.00 air bumper jack , small block Chevy complete Enderle fuel injection set up for $40, a $40 heavy duty horizontal band saw and a Rockwell magnetic drill for $60. Best garage sale ever.:D
    bchctybob, weps, raven and 2 others like this.
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  5. It was a few years back but my best score was a pristine set of four trim rings for a 1957-58 Cameo pickup. The guy wasn’t sure what they fit. I paid a buck apiece.

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  6. 41hemi
    Joined: Jul 2, 2007
    Posts: 951


    My best buy was about 30 years ago I went to the Laurel Lions Club show in Maryland. Was walking through the flea market and saw an aquaintense unloading his truck. I saw a 6-71 GMC blower in the truck and asked if the blower was part of his for sale items. He said yes, I'll take 25.00 for it. I couldn't give him the money fast enough! The blower on my 41 Chevy(avatar)is the very same blower after a rebuild and sanding and buffing.
  7. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,589


    Mine was in the 90's at Pleasontan GG's. Outside the gate was a guy with stuff, I spied a 3/4 IR Impact wrench. I sorta walked by, guy said "You can have it for a 100" Well when leaving he was still there, I said "how much for that impact gun?" Guess he'd been drinking or something, he say's "1/2 in IR gu ...20 bucks" I paid him and walked away. Still in service today.

    Never scored on parts, seemed I always paid the going rate, but I've only went out looking for something I need, never looked for an elusive part for a deal someone else would pay up for.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  8. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,007

    from Oregon

    Let me ad a garage sale in Virginia I got a pair of sbc 461 heads with screw in studs and guide plates, a sbc Lakewood blow proof bell housing and block plate and three mid 60’s Corvette factory exhaust manifolds. And a Canadian sbc two barrel intake. Cost me $100.00 . Now I cannot stop at a local garage sale I bought two new 15x10 aluminum slot wheels, a Snap On 1/2 hardly used air impact wrench and three twin blu line gauges for $80. That’s enough for now. :D
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  9. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,007

    from Oregon

    Ok the last one for now . In Virginia went to a farm auction and won a set of factory nailhead valve covers for $60. Oh oh oh a five model A wire wheels primed and painted for $20. Somebody stop me :p
    bchctybob, 3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  10. My most recent one was when I bought 2 working headlight motor assemblies for my 65 Corvette for $10. Thats at least a tenth of what they are worth.
    And another good one was when I bought 4 chrome Guide headlights for $20. Two were 682 and two were 904.
    Or the practically new dual quad Edelbrock SBC intake with Endurashine that was bolted on but never run...$40.
    A fella needs to always keep some cash in his pocket for when he finds a good deal that won't wait is what my dad once taught me.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  11. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,674

    from New York

    I can't take credit for it, that belongs to my wife and son. Back in the '70s we were walking the aisles at HERSHEY and my wife and son stopped to look at something. I continued on and waited at the end of the aisle waiting for them. I saw them load a huge, 2'x2' box onto our wagon and said to myself, "what the heck did they buy". Well, the box was filled with thousands of baseball and football cards. We didn't realize what we had until we got home. Dozens of big name baseball and football stars. They paid $15 for the box!
  12. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,349

    el Scotto
    from Tracy, CA

    Once at the same swapmeet, $50 for an original '32 luggage rack rear spreader bar, farther down that exact same row I found an original Australian 1932 Ford phaeton folding luggage rack for $60. It fit the spreader bar but I didn't know what it was until I got home and researched it. Couldn't believe my luck!

    Once found an original '32 roadster dash with a filled center, $125

    Last swapmeet I picked up a matched pair of 1929 CA plates, a little ratty but restorable, $30 for the pair. Another pinch me moment...

    Honestly, I'm not sure what is the best... and I'm not sure what else I've forgotten! ;)
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  13. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,717

    from Oregon

    My friends all tell me nobody has the luck I have at swap meets, and I've indeed been very lucky! When I was just starting my '63 Falcon gasser I was planning on a BBC engine. Went to a swap meet and saw a pair of Edelborck aluminum heads with Crower roller rockers, Crower pushrods, and a Pete Jackspn gear drive, and got it all for $800. Then at the same swap meet a Weiand tunnel ram for dual quads for $100. Next swap meet a full set of ET wheels done like Torq Thrust for $350 with almost new tires! At the same swap meet I was looking for a 700R4 trans to convert my OT '69 Suburban, and bought one fully rebuilt, and show polished, with converter for $175. It shifts fantastic, and is a perfect trans.
    Then there was the guy who wanted $100 for a rebuilt 1990 SBC 350 roller motor, with Edelbrock intake, distributor, and cam and lifters. I figured even if he was lying I couldn't go too wrong, so paid the price. I got it home and tore it down on my engine stand, and it was as advertised. All new rings, bearings, cam, and roller lifters. Tossed the cam, as I wanted a bigger cam, and put a pair of LT1 heads on it, and dropped it in my '39 Chev.
    I love swap meets, and have had many other great deals at them!
  14. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,707

    from b.c.

    Bought a hot heads adapter for an early hemi for $100 Canadian. And in the next row bought the matching scattershield for $50.
    3W JOHN, HOTRODPRIMER and 41rodderz like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424


    I bought a near new Edelebrock carb for $20 at a swap meet in holdredge,ne, and also a pair of brand new chrome valve covers for a late Chevy 350. Both items are on the engine I built for my daughters car. Just for piece of mind I took the carb apart cleaned it and put a kit in it, so for less than $100 I have a $350 carb
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  16. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,420


    Three years ago I scored an upholstered P-51 seat 'out of an old Gasser' at a local swap for $40. Honestly, I thought the piece of masking tape with the price said $400 (which still would have been a pretty good deal). I almost tore the pocket off my pants leg reaching for the money so fast. Brought it to the Fathers Day swap in Pomona a couple of months later and sold it for $800.
    3W JOHN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  17. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,054

    Jalopy Joker

    Blonde - 23 - she had a '56 T-Bird
  18. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,007

    from Oregon

    I guess I will walk around behind you and as your spending the big bucks I will pick up the left overs.:D
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  19. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,630

    from oregon

    There have been many as I was beating the swap meet trail pretty seriously in the 80's/90's looking mostly for NOS pieces for the 66/67 ChevyII/Nova.
    The General stopped mfg. replacement parts for these cars long before the other models, even the garden variety items became hard to find.
    There were a handful of guys going around to the dealerships buying out their "obsolete" stocks and displaying at most of the swap meets here in the PNW, marking them up two or three times over the list price and at the time I thought I was crazy to pay their prices but compared to the costs now they were a bargain.
    I think the best deal for me was finding a used but much sought after OEM Holley carburetor, one of the rarest GM issue Holley carbs is the "3245", this was a one year, one model only carb used only on the 327/350 hp Novas in 66.
    I had been looking for one for a couple years and always carried a part number list of the special pieces.
    I stumbled onto one at the small Corvallis Oregon swap meet, it was in a big bucket full of misc carbs, mostly incomplete and nearly at the bottom, pulled this one out and seeing the number on it just about made my knees weak, the guy said it was for a Chevelle (not) and wanted $85 for it, was missing only a choke rod.
    Sent it to the Holley Custom Shop for rebuild/recoloring ($200) so with shipping and the original cost I had a little over $300 in it.
    They are now going for nearly the cost of the complete car in 1966.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  20. My Michigan Fatman steering wheel.
    Was looking around for one for years, and I came across it at the 2009 Street Rod Nationals swap meet in Louisville Kentucky. It was just hanging on a car trailer jockey wheel.
    Cost me $120.

  21. I think I got a pretty good deal on these Lincoln Zephyr hubcaps, but I can't divulge what I paid for them.;) 20170203_074055.jpg
  22. Paid $10 for this Stewart-Warner South Wind heater. I did have to clean it up and paint it with some silver hammertone.:) 20180316_072510.jpg 20180316_072428.jpg
  23. Picked up these Halibrand Speedways and knock-offs recently. thumbnail.jpg thumbnail (3).jpg 20190924_054034.jpg 20190925_073601.jpg
  24. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,458


    At the swap meet a couple of weeks ago in Sedalia, Missouri, I picked up a Starrett thread pitch gauge with about 30 different leaves/blades. Googled it when I got home and they apparently sell new for $58 and up. This one looks brand new and was still on the original box. I gave 50 cents for it.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  25. Gabby
    Joined: Apr 14, 2007
    Posts: 243


    Picked up a chrome axle, rotors, calipers, king pins, disc pads,spindles., every thing for a street rod front end except radius rods for $100. Sold the axle for $95 later the day. Last week at a auction I got a nice pair of 35 wire wheels for $10.
    HOTRODPRIMER and 3W JOHN like this.
  26. jim snow
    Joined: Feb 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,036

    jim snow

    I don’t remember what year but Burlington Vt. N. S. R. A swap meet. Used 9 drawer Mac tools top box for 40 bucks. Mac guy at work offered 400 for later that week. I still have Snowman
  27. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,101

    41 GMC K-18

    About 4 years ago down at the Portland swap meet, on the race track portion of the swap meet, this one vendor had a pile of junk that was literally thrown on the ground, the majority of things in the pile were dirty and greasy and nothing sorted. I saw this really cool 57 Ford custom 300 side trim at the bottom of a pile. The kid that was watching the vendor space had no idea of what it was. I gently got it out of the pile and looked it over, you could see that under the dirt, this piece of stainless steel was in mint condition, no bends, no scratches, how it survived with out damage is amazing. On the back side was an ancient piece of masking tape that had $10.00 on it, which I promptly paid the kid. The X spinner off of a MOPAR hubcap was in the same pile, I got that for an extra $2.00 When I got them home and used a bit of Flitz on both pieces, they really cleaned up nicely.

    57 ford side trim.JPG
  28. Vintage Shanafelt intake for 216 early 235 and Sharp 235/261 $50.00 for the pair.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  29. 10 years ago.. Dirt Track Swap Meet... Bought a mint Cirello Chevy Magneto for $25.. Seller didn’t want it.. thought it was ugly.

    6 years ago.. AACA Swap Meet in Maryland... Bought a B&M
    Series 60 Shifter for $30... Didn’t fit in the sellers ratrod.
  30. Bought a 32 grill shell with a pines winterfront for $150. Kept it a couple of years and sold it for $1,500. Thought I was something!
    I was a jackass. Note: this was a while back.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.

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