(Words and Photos by Joe Grippo) The full name of the event is the 67th Annual Antique Automobile Club of America Hershey Region Fall Meet, most just call it Hershey. Many others, including your humble writer, call it the greatest automotive event in the world. For 1 week each year in early October, tens of thousands of car fanatics descend on the grounds of the Hershey Amusement Park and the adjacent Giant Center stadium, with good walking shoes and hopefully deep pockets searching for that elusive ancient car part or next project. We were among them, though our pockets weren’t that deep.
Hershey lore says walking each aisle of the swap meet and the car coral, would tally-up 29 miles of traveling. Hunting through nearly 9,000 swap meet spaces and close to 1,000 car coral spots can take some effort, but you have 5 full days to shop, so pace yourself. Keep in mind the host club is the AACA whose focus is stock and original cars and trucks, so hot rod stuff is there but it’s in the minority. Think horseless carriages, brass-era, Model -T/A’s up to 50’s chromed land yachts, muscle cars up to anything 25 years and older. Extreme variety is the name of the game. I’m not looking for Packard stuff, but I love checking it all out. One of my favorite activities at Hershey is looking for extinct ancient automobile manufactures that I previously never new existed. This year I added Erskine and Ames to my pretty useless list of old cars. You never know what lies in the next booth or aisle. And I love it all.
The RM Sotheby’s auction house also holds an event during the week at the nearby Hershey Lodge offering up some serious collector vehicles to more well-heeled attendees. With depression era, beautiful massive Cadillac’s and Duesenberg’s and 60’s Porsches and Jags, among other drool worthy lots, we were regulated to looky-loo status. No problem, I love my old Mustang.
Hershey is my most anticipated, non-drag racing event on the calendar, take my advice and go.
Dig through the galleries and marvel at the insane offerings from Hershey I spied with my trusty camera.
Plan accordingly for 2023.
Here is some video:
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