Swap Meet

Despite the fact that there are acres of new parts on display in the nearby air-conditioned buildings, there are those among us who can't resist the opportunity presented by the outdoor swap meet. It's the place to participate in automotive archeology by digging through piles of vintage parts, exploring the intricacies of abandoned projects, or finding that elusive great deal.

While not the biggest swap meet to be found, this year's edition did contain some treasures as well as the usual assortment of "optimistic" asking prices. Sought-after sheetmetal continues to be pricey, however the broadening of the traditional definition of street rods (read 1950s and 1960s cars) seems to have resulted in a "market adjustment" of sorts. Prices on many early cars and parts seemed slightly lower than in the past, while later-model machines and components seemed higher. But then trying to get the best deal possible is part of the process, so asking prices and selling prices are often two different numbers. And swap meets are a game of numbers.

29 Below

One question often asked by those in our hobby is "where will the new crop of street rodders come from?" If this year is any indication, we'd say the seeds have been planted by Vintage Air's 29 Below program.

Over the past 18 years the team at Vintage Air has hosted a special display of street rods owned by the youngsters at the Nats—and while we all like to think of ourselves young at heart, only those under 29 years of age qualify to participate.

Along with Vintage Air, a number of the biggest names in the business support the Below 29 program, including Painless Performance Products, ididit, and Classic Instruments, and each donates gift certificates to participants chosen at random.

This year's winners are:

Kyle Schneider — Plymouth, IN
Vintage Air Complete Universal or SureFit System

Nicholas Dant — Louisville, KY
Vintage Air Maradyne 16-inch HD Electric Fan

Samuel Davis — Williamsburg, KY
ididit Steering Column Certificate

Jerred Gibson — Louisville, KY
Painless Performance Products 65 percent off of a wiring harness

Aaron Peterson — Louisville, KY
Classic Instruments $100 off a complete set of gauges

Harley Samuels — Louisville, KY
Classic Instruments $100 off a complete set of gauges

Congratulations are in order for Jack Chisenhall and Rick Love of Vintage Air and John McLeod of Classic Instruments who put their time and energy into the program, as well as all those who made donations. Thanks to all those involved the new crop of street rodders is growing.

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