My 13-year-old son hated trudging through flea markets and antique malls. Unfortunately for him, his mother and I enjoy going to places like that. A couple years back, someone gave the kid a Custom Barracuda Hot Wheels car at a garage sale. The Barracuda was one of the original 16 redline castings introduced in 1968. He did a little research, and found out how collectible a Hot Wheels redline can be. Now, our junking excursions are a little more tolerable for him. If we run across an interesting car that doesn’t cost a fortune (usually 12-bucks or less), we’ll grab it for him. You can be sure that he pays a lot more attention to what he’s looking at. The residual effect is that he’s amassed a nice little collection of Hot Wheels redline beaters. Last weekend, he helped me stage some photos of the cars in his collection so I could put a story together. These things are always more fun with an assistant.
Swap meets. I do enjoy them. They’re like the flea market, which I also like, but without all the antique furniture and vintage Christmas decorations. Nothing but the car stuff. Heaven. I’ve been to hundreds of automotive swap meets over the years, and although I don’t tend to buy all that much, there is that occasional treasure I can’t live without. But more than that, it’s just fun to walk around and look at everything. The Stones River Region AACA held their annual swap meet at the Tennessee Fairgrounds last Sunday, and of course, I was there. And thanks to the power of the Internet, you get to go there too.