Monday, April 21, 2014

Bakersfield Swap Meet 2014

by Willy Vinton
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum


Bakersfield 2014 was hot and dry--almost too hot--but the Alaskans survived it. The first day featured the Horseless Carriage Club of America tour, with a lot of interesting early cars. Of course, a lot of dependable Ford Model Ts were there, but there were some more rare cars like a big Marmon touring, and this great looking Cole V8 coupe. We were offered seats in several cars, but took a rain check as my wife Wilma had to return to the hotel and work (darn computer age). I decided to tour the antique shops around the town, and I managed to buy a hard-to-find item at one: a bottle of old metal jacks (remember the little rubber ball with jacks?). Our wood shop needed these, but that's a story for another time.

The first thing that really grabbed my attention at the swap meet was this rare, 1939 Willys pickup. I believe it may have belonged to Richie Clyne (owner of the Auto Collections at the Imperial Palace) or a friend of his. What a great piece of history it is! The body on it is straight and there is no rust to speak of. I would have liked to bring it home, but have no room at the inn. Sigh.


This model T block is a made-up, open valve built by grinding off all of the enclosure that covered the valve area. The job was very well done, and the price was also very "well done" (it was the same price I paid for a complete engine with transmission a short time ago).

Meet regulars Stan and Terry brought this cute little American Bantam Roadster to the meet to sell. It only took a couple test drives before someone purchased it. And no, Terry didn’t run over Stan, and Stan was not trying to block his passage. It's just that little car = little problems. In this case, the horn wire was shorted out and when you turned the wheel, it would sound the horn.




Now this would make a great tow rig for us! The old twin-six Packard was wearing its original paint, somewhat worse for wear, but a great car with a known history from day one.

As with all the swap meets I travel to, I came home with a few parts. With the cars we have, it's rare to find the things on our wish list, but the hunt is half the fun!



Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort. All guests receive half-price admission to the museum!


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