Pebble Beach for Cheap Yankees

Swap meets rock. The car corral at Amherst is the best

Friends, the last Sunday of the month is upon us, and for New England old car cheapskates that means only one thing: the monthly swap meet up in Amherst, New Hampshire.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anybody goes to a car show that doesn’t have a swap meet. If I can’t wander around with my hands in my pockets looking at some swamp Yankee’s old shit he dragged out from under his barn, I’m just not interested.

The Amherst swap meet’s been going on for 50 years this summer. It’s the Pebble Beach of rusty old leaf springs that should have been tossed in the dumpster. I have bought and sold more old car crap at Amherst than anywhere else, including the mother of all swap meets, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

I’m on the lookout for a nice set of 15×7 Pontiac Rally IIs for my Parisienne, so I’m actually going for a reason this time. I’m usually there just to people-watch. Along with all the old crap and the greasy egg and cheese sammiches, Amherst is the world’s greatest site for people-watching. It’s got great recurring characters, like an episode of The Simpsons. There’s a Sea Captain, a Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel, and even a Soup Nazi.

In fact, my buddy Jay, who I’m going with this coming Sunday, issued a challenge: First one to see “the Troll” buys the donuts.

The place opens at dawn and it’s usually packed. The last time Jay and I went to sell some stuff there, we were there by 5:45 and had to wait in line to get in.

I’ll post up some pics from the event, and I’ll be sure to include any Troll sightings.

Here’s a link if you’re interested. If you want to come see me, I’ll be standing in the line for the portajohn once my coffee kicks in:


About Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald is an automotive writer, photographer and editor with credits in Hemmings Motor New, the Boston Globe, Forbes, the Washington Post, Esquire and
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