I returned early yesterday evening from Hershey. (First) It's really disorganized, everything is everywhere. Why not have like items in the same area. The folks I spoke to about this, said that the vendor would have a fit. I think that's BS. So what that you've had the same spot for 50 years. Chances are the same people that shopped 50 years ago aren't the ones shopping today. And they don't give people credit as being smart enough to find their favorite vendor in a new space. In my mind it don't hold water. And the vendor might Bitch and moan to begin with but, they will come back. (Second) Why not have the program out a few weeks before the show. That way folks could find where they want to visit before getting there. Instead of trying to read the program while balancing it on your knee to mark it where you want to go. Or spending 2-3 hr trying to mark it up the night before you visit. Just my thoughts.
I highly commend the way everyone is listed by type of stuff. I realize it's a very hard job getting everything organized but, some improvements would greatly appreciated.
So, what if someone sells model t parts, model a parts, and rebuilt carburetors for multiple makes, and their wife sells period clothing. What area would you have thwm in?
Richard I have been going to Hershey since 1962 and part of the experience is roaming the field and finding that elusive part you have been looking for. If you want to minimize that you can use the directory and just visit the locations that are listed under the thing you are looking for. The point is well made by Hal that most vendors have multiple interests and skills so pigeon holing them would be impossible. This year I found something that I have been searching for over more years than I can remember and I did so because of a lead from a vendor who had nothing to do with what I was looking for. I do agree that having the program in advance would be a great improvement but I think that once you have been to Hershey a few times you will know where to go for what you are looking to find and will be surprised at what you may find by chance. It is definitely disorganized but in some respects that is part of what makes Hershey the unique experience it is.
I have been a vendor for years at various swap meets, been buying at swap meets at least 40 years, Thru years of trying to figure it all out, I finally decided that there is no way in the world to figure it out or organize it. But I can say for sure that some of the best deals I have ever found are at the booth of the guy selling 55-57 Chevy parts, or Mustang parts, or the guy with just a bunch of junk that he has collected thru the years. I usually just start at day break at one end of the swap meet, move as fast as I can, dig deep into all the interesting boxes, go as long as I can, and crash in bed at night, to do it again the next day. Then go home with my truck load of items I found. Wish I could have made it to Hershey, but how long is it till Chickasha.??? I need an old car swap meet fix ...
The program may not be available before the show, but the layouts of the fields are available on the Hershey AACA website in .pdf form. You can print them out and mark the spots people mention here on the MTFCA site before the show. And like the others have mentioned, after you go for a couple of years you get to know the locations of the T related vendors.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Hershey I've been going since 1973 never had a problem love looking at it all also been there through rain and snow a couple times
Sounds like someone didn't like to have to walk around looking for parts.
There is absolutely no way to organize the event in the way you imagine...
Hershey wouldn't be any fun if everything was separated by vehicle make. I enjoy seeing the large variety of cars that people are passionate about that you just don't see anywhere else. Plus, it just isn't possible. The majority of vendors at Hershey are selling parts for multiple makes of cars so there would be no way to organize it. The Hershey region AACA does an excellent job running the event.
I agree with Donnie, I always find the best deals on T parts at the spaces where a vendor is selling mostly Model A stuff.
If you don't like walking a lot I would highly recommend going to the Pre War Swap Meet in Luray, Va. It is smaller than Hershey has a high concentration of T parts.
Gimme the chaos. I'm with Val.. I love it when I find that elusive part I've been looking for. I spent two days searching out Maxwell 2 cylinder parts. Out of the ba-zillion vendors, I was fortunate to come away with 3 parts. Two were being sold by a guy with nothing but REO parts. THe other came from a hodge-podge vendor. You can't organize that.
First, no vendor has been in same spot for 50 years. Hershey looked nothing like it does now 50 years ago or even 20 years ago. As Hershey paves more land and builds more buildings, the car show has had to adapt. The current configuration is probably the longest running.
That said I don't understand how you could possibly group things together. In my experience, over half of the vendors sell a mix match lot of parts.
Glad you made it for the first time and hope you'll return.
Convenience is not a factor at a flea market searching is the part of any hobby
At a smaller meet like Chickasha I circulate three times or more, because there's invariably something I didn't see the first or second time around. Hershey affords no such luxury. It takes me Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to cover it all just once, and this time I didn't even finish the Green Field. As others have observed, many of the folks sell a variety and can't be categorized. You just have to keep moving, pass by what looks to be all modern or off topic, and and look through what appears to be old enough. It's like prospecting. You have to look at a lot of rocks before you strike gold.
The idea of coming up with a formula to divide the vendors up by some categorizing has come up many times over the years and it always meets with the same opposition and I have decided for myself that it really can't happen. It would be like herding cats and mostly would just drive vendors away. Often they don't know until they start packing up as to exactly what they are going to bring. Usually they bring what they have room to bring or think might sell this year finally. If you demand that they park in some particular space if they are going to sell something they will likely look at the negatives of that and if you notice many if not most of the dealers sell all sorts of junk that would be hard to categorize and they want to park in the same place as last year typically. I know where all the big T parts dealers are and would find it difficult and a nuisance if they suddenly all went somewhere new. I guess I am just old and don't want anything to change ha ha. I don't demand that it stay the same but would look at any new change and decide if it affected me or not when deciding to rent my usual room at my usual bed and breakfast.
I have never been to a organized swap meet in the last 40 years anywhere.
My wife and I went to a swap meet at Cruising the Coast in Biloxi, MS on Thursday. It was a mix a vendors, old stuff, new stuff, same as last year. So, the problem or organization is not limited to Hershey but we were able to find things we needed that we forgot about including a ground strap from frame to the starter, which was not in the "Model T section". Bottom line, my wife had the most fun on the hunt.
If you had all engines in one place,and the same with coils, carburettors, springs etc. then people would only go to the areas that had the stuff they were interested in at that time and might miss out on something they have been looking for for a long time because they didn't feel the need to explore.JMHO
Sure, some later items always wind up with the old stuff, but why not make one field just for pre-war stuff? Doesn't seem like it would be that hard to do, after all 30 years ago, that's all it was anyway.
This years program will probably be 90% accurate for next year. The vendors and their locations rarely change.
Larry we sell pre war stuff as well as after the war!! we do they put us in this picture? Its fine as it is. So if this happens are they going to kick out vendors for selling the wrong stuff?
Until 2018 Mansfield, MA had the biggest swap meet in New England. My cousin was a vendor there for years. I once bought a brass headlight from him, and at the same time he was selling old die-cast (probably lead) toy cars, automotive literature, modern car performance parts, and a child's pedal car. Where would you put him?
I was only there for Wednesday ... as usual ... can only afford to take off three days from work. One to drive down .. one to go to the flea market ... and one to drive home. I finished the whole thing in one day, walking briskly almost the entire day from 7:00 - 5:30. My iphone recorded that I walked 13.5 miles.
I've always liked the mix of items in tables and agree that it's those tables that yield the best finds. The $1 timers and cheap speedo swivels. I got a set of excellent matching T hub caps for $10 from people who had no other T parts. Bought a Stan Howe restored OF Strombrg for near top dollar ... then another one in excellent condition for 1/3 the price from people who were selling a little of everything. But .. you have to work for those finds.
I did notice this year that there were a lot more scooters and golf carts, but no boy scouts with wagons like the old days. Looks like the hobby has evolved to be old white guys who can't walk. I'll be one of them soon enough, but at 62, I guess I'm still a youngster who speeds through the flea market at a good clip.
Put all the sparkplug vendors together, the $3 plugs would all be priced $150, and conveniently available to all! ;) jb
The formula for the meet works.
Spend the few dollars and get a program at the gate and see where the stuff you are interested is located. Join the AACA and may be get a program free.
Before the meet get on line or smart phone and view the maps - https://www.hersheyaaca.org/fm_information.html
or visit the site before you make the trip...https://www.hersheyaaca.org/index.html
My joy this year was to see four early C1 Corvettes in various states of survival.
Changing Hershey is akin to changing the Model T because it of its looks.