Monday, February 15, 2016

2016 Stone's River Car Club Swap Meet at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds

Automotive passion takes on many different forms. Some people build hot rods in their garage, while other people just buy ‘em and drive ‘em. Some people collect signage or model cars, while other people build up their tool collection. No matter where your automotive interests lie, they all came together at the Stone’s River Car Club Swap Meet, which was held last weekend at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. There were vendors inside; vendors outside; and vendors in the livestock barns. And every dude over 250-pounds wearing a camouflage jacket was trying to find the parts to complete their winter projects. This was the place to be for car folks in Music City.

If someone was looking for a project car, here it is. This ’55 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad station wagon had some potential. The sleek, two-door Nomad wagon went into production in 1955 as a full-sized Chevy, but it was based on a 1954 Corvette Motorama show car. Most people remember the ’55-’57 versions of the Nomad, but the nameplate stayed around in four-door wagon or truck form all the way into the 1970s. This ’55 would be a worthwhile project to tackle, because it would be worth something when you got done, and there is robust aftermarket parts support for one of these.

Here’s a ’35 Ford pickup that looked pretty cool. Ford was making some pretty nice looking vehicles right along in here, which is why they make such neat hot rods. This one has the early ‘50s look, retaining the wire wheels but sporting a lower stance. Under the hood was a Chevy small block. Some guys hate that, but it was not uncommon back in the day for a Ford to have Chevy power. Plus, there are unlimited ways to make one of these engines run strong without spending too much money. I think it would be fun to have this little rig around to tinker with for a while.

I’m a big dealer promo model fan, and there were quite a few of them at the swap meet. I actually tried to buy this PMC Wienermobile promo last year and didn’t get it done. I guess I was more willing to, um, bite this year, because it ended up following me home. This model originally came out in 1954, and stayed around on and off for many years after. This one was from about 1959, which is evidenced by the style of wheels and the “Bobbing Oscar” that pops in and out of the top when you roll it along. I just always thought it you were going to collect old promo models, you ought to have one of these.

Here’s a rare and desirable Chevrolet dealer accessory. This Cool Pack was offered from 1958 to 1964 as a way to add an under-dash air conditioner to vehicles without factory air. I’d love to have one of these in my truck! They were asking $200 for this one, and you’d have to assume it didn’t work, plus you’d have to get a condenser and build it into your vehicle. It is sort of a Holy Grail of Chevrolet accessories though, so I’m sure someone would see the value in it. They didn’t make tons of these anyway, and most of the ones that did probably don’t exist anymore. Good luck finding another one.

You don’t see many Chevy LUV pickups anymore. In most places around the world, these were known as Isuzu Faster pickups, but in North America they were branded as Chevrolets. I never could get too excited about these, but they did win the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award twice along the way. LUVs were available from 1972 all the way to 1981, as Chevrolet began production of the S-10 pickup in 1982. This is the best one I’ve seen in a long time, as it’s the only one I’ve seen in a long time. It just goes to show that you might find anything at this event.

I took 174 pictures of things that I thought were interesting at the 2016 Stone River Car Club Swap Meet, and you can see them in the slideshow below. Or, click this link for a nicer version.


  1. Nice photos great Swap meet

  2. Craig,the memorabilia at this meet was really interesting. Was your son with you at this meet? If so, I'll bet he really enjoyed the models. When I was about his age, in Larchwood we began to get models from GM and I used to customize them. Chop the tops, use copper tubing to make dual exhaust pipes, cut rubber tips off, paint them silver and glue them face down like spot lights, etc...Roger Grotewold, Grotewold Motor Co. Larchwood, Iowa