Car enthusiasts flock to Rickreall Auto Swap Meet – Statesman Journal
Car enthusiasts sauntered through the Polk County Fairgrounds Sunday, their eyes fixated on classic auto parts as they satisfied their thirst for nostalgia.
It was the 17th annual Rickreall Auto Swap Meet and oldies music filled the fairgrounds amid the sound of car engines and chatter.
The classic cars, from a 1931 Ford to a 1953 Oldsmobile, gleamed even beneath the gray clouds.
John Gilbert, who helped start and organize the annual event, pointed to a light blue Chevrolet Nova.
“It’s like art. You just appreciate the craftsmanship and they’re just beautiful compared to some of the newer cars. This has beautiful lines and it’s so unique,” Gilbert said.
More than 170 vendors were at the one-day event, selling everything from steering wheels, metal signs, memorabilia, old auto repair manuals to even Hot Rod toy cars.
It wasn’t only classic cars that people stopped to admire. One vendor, Terry Cutler from Dallas, displayed a 1916 Indian Power Plus motorcycle.
Stayton resident David Mack’s hands were filled with a red bumper cover and chrome bezels for a 1983 Mercury Capri. He was at the event hoping to snag a deal on classic auto parts.
He’s been restoring classic cars since he was a teenager taking them to car shows or just cruising them around town.
“They don’t make very many of them anymore,” Mack said.
Brady Briggs, a Keizer mechanic, came to the auto swap meet with his fiance Jenny Meek. The couple both grew up in families who shared a love for automobiles.
Briggs said he’s especially attracted to the body lines of classic cars.
“It’s hard to find a car that has a sculpt body line. Older Ford Chevys have a round fender, close clean shaven. It just doesn’t have the class anymore,” he said.
While some car enthusiasts found the auto parts they were looking for, others walked away empty handed.
“We should have gotten here earlier, said Travis Goodman, a Carlton resident. “A lot of guys said that they’ve pretty much sold out of everything in the early hours.”
The event started at 7 a.m. and they arrived around noon.
His friend Kevin Briggs said he was looking for emblems, carburetors and other parts for his 1973 Dodge Dart.
They try to come to the auto swap meet every year and similar events throughout the state.
“You never know what you’re going to find,” Briggs said.
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