(Words and Photos by Joe Grippo) The first weekend of November is one I look forward to all year. That is the weekend of the Pumpkin Run held at Flemings Auto Parts in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey which has quietly become a must-attend event for east coast car folks looking for one last blast of fun before the cold weather doldrums hit hard. You have seen coverage from this event in the past, but this time a few factors collided creating the perfect car show storm resulting in one of the largest attendances in the 24 year history of this killer autumnal gearhead gathering. For 2020, the dreaded ‘Vid put the show on hold, but it roared back strong for 2021.
Perfect November weather with sunny skies with temperatures in the 50’s helped fill Harry Fleming’s expansive facility with Hot Rods, Classics, Muscle Cars, Trucks of all sizes, Race Cars, Military Equipment, Vintage Tractors and tons of other stuff that defies description. If you were to somehow get tired of checking out the Car Show you could go watch the craziness of the Garden Tractor Pull or stand there and be hypnotized by the rhythms of the Hit & Miss engines puffing and chugging away. We started the day in the Flea Market looking for treasures. I scored a ‘70’s era Autolite Tune-up in a can and then I found some vintage Drag Racing decals I couldn’t live without. Later, for lunch, we hit up some of the lunch trucks for some tasty treats. Great day for a great show with great variety at a great location. Can’t wait for next year.
The other and possibly best part of the Pumpkin Run at Fleming’s is the unique opportunity to explore the surreal junkyard on the premises that is chock-full of decaying goodness spanning from the 40’s right up into the 80’s. It is amazing to wander the roads and pathways that meander through the acres of twisted, rusting, metal covered in leaves, brush and New Jersey pine needles and think about the stories these stacked up hulks could tell. The vast majority of this stuff is pretty much picked over and beyond saving, while the remains are slowly returning to the earth. I could have spent the entire day in the woods.