Up here in the Boston MA area, we don’t have a lot of automotive flea markets and swap meets regularly like many other parts of the country do. For this reason, every gearhead in the area circles the date on the calendar in early May for the South Shore Antique Auto Club’s Trading Bee. I always hit this one up every year. Although the Town of Mansfield put up a fight this year due to safety concerns stemming from some supposed after hours shenanigans last year, the event went on as planned. A friend of mine and I piled into his truck, tossed my Radio Flyer All-Terrain Wagon in the back, and we hit up the event looking for deals and general weirdness. And, as usual, we found both! Check it out!
Other than my parts haul, I took away three things from this year’s swap meet:
1. The Mullet sub culture is alive and well, and might even be making a comeback! I saw no less than FIVE spectacular specimens, including the classic “No Choice” Skullet, the Prog Rock Permullet/mustache combo, and a guy that could very well have been a botched clone of 1980’s NFL star Brian Bosworth. I didn’t dare take pictures because…
2. People were not in a good mood, and didn’t like someone walking around with a camera. I usually expect some flak from people when I go to this event and take out the camera ( I get it, not everyone wants their picture taken), but someone really must have peed in collective cereal of many of the people there. Whether it was the higher vendor price or the added police presence, the inner ass came out of a lot of people there, especially when the magic picture device came out. One younger fellow was talking with his friends about whether he could take me on in a fight. Most of his friends sided with me, but he was looking like he wanted to find out. For taking a picture of a cool looking object, NOT him or his friends. Fantastic.
3. This may have been the last South Shore Antique Auto Club Trading Bee, and that makes me sad. These guys have been doing this for a long time, with barely a problem had. I spoke with a really nice lady coincidentally named Mrs. Nice, and she said she had worked at this event for 25 years and looks forward to it every year. It started out as an antique car swap meet for prewar stuff, and has grown to include post war, muscle car era, and modern stuff, with everything in between. Since there were supposedly complaints about people camping at the event and causing trouble, they had to raise the vendor costs to $80 this year to presumably help pay for added security and insurance. That added cost made a number of vendors skip the event altogether. There were signs posted everywhere banning the use of motorized pit bikes, pedal bikes, and they even banned dogs. I noticed a heightened police presence as well, and still saw plenty of bikes and dogs all day, but the tension was there. If this really was the final event, then I truly feel bad for the club, because they seem to be good people that just want to preserve old cars. My inside sources tell me that despite all the tension, nothing serious went down this year after hours, so we’ll see what happens for next year.
Were you there at the event this year? Did you score anything good? Did I do well with what I scored at the event? Let us know your thoughts below!