I'd like to briefly comment about something a bit different with Hershey; the reason we all enjoy going and returning year after year. If you're a vintage car person and have enjoyed local cruise nights, car shows and swap meets you haven't come close to experiencing the ultimate event that the hobby has to offer. The size and scope of Hershey is well, frankly astounding. There are hundreds of vending spaces covering five football field sized parking lots. From our vantage point in Red field we can see hundreds of cars, vendor tents and displays encompassing thousands of car parts, tools, automobilia and auto-related items. It's so massive that you're essentially required to purchase the show program ($5) to sort it all out. The program describes the event, provides field maps and vendor locations and contains an index of specific vehicle makes or parts you may be looking for. If you find an item but aren't quite ready to buy you'll need the program to re-locate the vendor again. Every spot Is coded with a number that can be found in the program maps. The better advice though is to not hesitate buying the item because it may be gone when you return. If you're looking for specific parts you're more likely to find them at Hershey then at any other event. This is especially true for the earlier pre-1950 parts. If you're just browsing with no specific goal you'll certainly be amazed by the volume and variety of " old stuff" and will likely find something to buy. Seeing all the old stuff brings you down memory lane to revisit your early nostalgic years and helps you revisit those fond early experiences.
I like Hershey because it always provides an opportunity to learn more about vintage products and technology. Conversations with other vendors and people who come by our both are enlightening and entertaining. For example, this year, I had the opportunity to talk with an analytical chemist from Ohio who spent his entire career at Lubrizol Corp. developing additives for various lubricants. He spent 45 minutes schooling me about oil chemistry, pretty cool! In turn we often teach our customers about items we're selling. A lot of learning takes place amid all the wise cracks and fun. We also see a significant number of foreign visitors, especially Scandinavian folks who love American cars. Negotiating prices in two (or more) languages is very entertaining.
Hershey is not just a swap meet. The car corral displays hundreds of quality and sometimes rare vehicles for sale. There is always a demonstration of vintage race cars roaring in the stadium on Friday. Many of the well know vintage car dealers are also on hand to showcase their best vehicles. The AACA museum is a simple shuttle bus ride away and offers free admission with your AACA membership card. On Saturday the AACA car show is held next to the vendor lots and features several hundred great cars including makes and models you seldom see.
Every year on the first day we set up I have to admit my pulse quickens and somewhat youthful excitement heightens when the Hershey complex comes into view. We scurry like mice to set up the booth and settle in to soak up the event; to buy, to sell, to laugh and be amazed. The bottom line on Hershey is that it is a must-attend bucket list item for any vintage car person. It's the Olympics, World Series and Super Bowl of the car hobby all wrapped up into one event.
You gotta go!
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