Monday, April 29, 2013

Bakersfield Swap Meet 2013

 by Willy Vinton
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

I made the annual trek to the Bakersfield Swap Meet a few weeks ago. This year I had the chance to make a day tour with the Bakersfield Horseless Carriage Club  in the company of Greg and Cathy Rising in their 1927 Ford touring car. It was a scenic drive that included a visit to a ranch that raised ostriches. While there, we learned a lot about all the uses of the various ostrich products (feathers, hide, eggs and meat).

On the trip we went over the Tahachapi Pass, which features the Tahachapi Loop, shown at right. This is the only place in the world where a 4,000-foot-long train will pass over itself, gaining 72 feet in elevation along a 2% grade. I had read about the Tahachapi Loop, but this was the first time I had a chance to see it. After a great lunch and tour, we headed back to get ready for the swap meet. The little Ford T ran cool and pulled the hills with ease, without a hint of overheating. Thanks again to the Risings for their hospitality!

This was one of the vendors on the site at Bakerfield Swap Meet. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of time to look through each of the trays, boxes and piles to make sure you don't miss that one treasure you are seeking.

You can also find a few cars for sale at the Bakersfield Swap Meet, like this 1911 Hispano-Suiza "King Alphonso XIII" Double Berline. It's a very unique and unusual-looking beast, to say the least. It looked like someone took a couple of early electric cars and combined them to make a unique form of transportation. It appeared to be a very original car, but since it was not American built, I left it sitting there. Kind of a shame, as we could have hauled lots of gals dressed in their finery around Fairbanks in this one!

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