Swap meet attracts automotive enthusiasts

MARIETTA – The Junior Fair Building at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Marietta was filled to near capacity as antique car – especially Ford – enthusiasts looked through the old car parts and memorabilia available Saturday.

“I have been part of this swap meet all five years – selling mostly Model T memorabilia – and won’t miss it,” said vendor Brent Mize, owner of The Coil Doctor in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.

While Mize specializes in rebuilding transmission coils for Model T Fords, other vendors had parts for early Dodge, Chevrolet, Ford and other makes of vehicles as well as car bodies, steel truck beds and complete cars, including a 1930 Model A Deluxe Coupe.

“We have a little bit of everything,” said event chairman Nelson Logan, a member of the Country Roads T & A Ford Club.

The one-day swap meet is sponsored each year by the Country Roads T & A Ford Club and the Mid-Ohio Valley Ford and Mustang Club and is always held the first weekend of March in the Junior Fair Building, Logan said.

“We started this because we felt there was a need locally for something like it,” he said.

Many people who walked through the building had a rusted car part under their arm or in hand while they looked through piles and boxes of related items.

“We have vendors from Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois and they have brought pretty much anything and everything car-related,” Logan said.

Norm Bailey, with Country Roads T & A Club, said some of the expected 1,000 people who attended the swap meet walked through the door with specific items on their minds while others wanted to see what was available.

“Some know exactly what they want and others just want to talk to other car lovers,” Bailey said.

Mize said he is one of those people who attends the event to not only sell and buy, but also to talk to old and new friends.

“Over the last five years I have created a lot of relationships with people who come here and look forward it,” Mize said. “Yes, I came here to stock up on items for another swap meet in a few weeks, but, really, I come here to connect with customers and other vendors.”

It is unknown how much money was raised through the event’s $5 admission and vendor fees, but Bailey said all funds will go to local charities.

“At the end of the day, we split the money evenly between the two car clubs and we will both donate to charities in Washington and Wood counties,” Bailey said. “We use this swap meet as a way to help the communities we live in.”