Due to weather forecasts, we are postponing this weekend’s Gear Jam Vintage Drags.
The rain-date will be July 20-21, at the Atlanta Dragway.
All pre-registered entries will be honored at the July event, and we have re-opened pre-registration until July 1.
We MAY do the NE GA Swap Meet this coming weekend, though: I will watch the hourly forecast on weather.com over the next 24 hours, and if they’re calling for decent weather in the morning, with the predicted thunderstorms rolling in during the afternoon, we will run the swap meet at the regular swap meet entry and vendor fees in the morning (since it’s always over by noon anyway).
I hate to fill up your email box, but I’ll send a follow-up email tomorrow afternoon letting everyone know if we’re going to do the swap meet on Saturday morning, or just scrap the month.
Weather.com has been far and away the most accurate forecast I’ve found, and that’s who I’ll use to make my final decision tomorrow.
NE GA Swap Meet
Gear Jam Vintage Drags
The Eckler’s NE GA Swap Meet is this Saturday, March 30, this is the April Show, Due to Event Scheduling at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA.
Priority Vendor Gate: 6-7am, $30 for all the space you want.
Vendor General Admission: 7am, $20 for all the space you want.
Spectator Entry: 7am, $6
Everybody driving a Ford or Mercury product into the Cruise-In this month, receives a $10 Eckler’s Gift Certificate!
The weather is supposed to be great!! In 15 years of relying on weather reports, I’ve found weather.com to be the most accurate. They’re calling for only a 20-percent chance both Friday and Saturday (so there shouldn’t be a weather pattern coming that speeds up or slows down to land on Saturday), and a high of nearly 70 degrees. Keep tabs on it yourself: Commerce, GA 30529.
I’m Expecting a GREAT Turn-Out!
Our March swap meet is typically one of the bigger ones of the year, and going into a swap meet I’m always able to gauge the turnout by how much my phone rings the week before the show.
This whole month, I’ve taken calls nearly every day. I don’t remember that EVER happening. And it wasn’t just from people who know about the show and were looking for information—most of them were first-time callers who’d never been to the show. People told me they’d heard about it from friends and family and had never come, they heard about it at other shows (including a vintage tractor show), they’ve heard about it for years and haven’t been and are going to this weekend, or they found my website or saw it on Facebook.
I will not be surprised to see 300 vendors set up this weekend—especially with such good weather predicted!
This is the year we become Giant Killers.
I said a couple months ago I think this year is the one that’ll break us out. And I believe that more than ever after fielding calls all month.
So please, do your part, and make it a priority to get to the Eckler’s NE GA Swap Meet every single month this year—If you do, we’ll start knocking down 400+ vendors per month (and we CAN, easily, if everybody just makes an effort to show up EVERY month!), then it’s going to be a runaway diesel—there’ll be no stopping it. Just imagine: a monthly swap meet in the SE that has 400 vendors every month. When that happens, it won’t be any time until vendors and spectators are coming from Nashville and Birmingham and Orlando every single month, because THEY’LL HAVE TO! And then we’ll hit the 500 vendor mark shortly after. And so it’ll go. But it won’t happen if YOU don’t come every month.
Does it sound optimistic? Of course. But does it sound POSSIBLE?
Absolutely: We’ve got just shy of 8,000 people getting this newsletter. If all of you make a point of coming to the swap meet every month, well… you know. It can’t help but happen. The last two shows were light due to weather, but just a couple years ago we didn’t even have shows in December, January and February because they lost too much money. Now even those shows have more vendors than our best shows 5 years ago.
And as for the hours? With that many vendors on the show field, the hours will go longer. As it is now, the vendors go home when the spectators go home. Pump 10,000 spectators into the facility to look at 400 or more vendors, and it’s simple timing: it’ll take everyone longer to go through it, so the spectators will stay, which means the vendors will stay, and then there you are—that, too, is a self-feeding machine.
So please make the effort to come to EVERY swap meet this year. Bring your friends, bring your kids, bring your dog. Just come! Don’t do it for me, and don’t even do it for you: Do it for the strength of our hobby. Do it for the Car Guy Economy. The bigger this show is, the stronger our hobby is in the South East, and that’s good for all of us.
Pedal To The Metal!
March and October we feature the Pedal to the Metal vintage bike area at the swap meet, and it’s always a big hit. I’m always surprised at how far away bike vendors come from: I’ve heard from vendors in the Carolinas, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama, many of them staying in local hotels on Friday night for the show on Saturday. If you’ve got some vintage bike stuff kicking around your shop and want to get rid of it, or you’ve been looking for one (like I did a couple years ago), make sure to hit this swap meet!
Talked to Lanny Porter at New Tech the other day… and as I type this, I realize that I probably spell his name every way possible in these news letters… Lanny, Lannie, Lanney… I think the only way I haven’t typed it is Laknee. Anyway, his health is on the mend, and there’s a chance he’ll be at the swap meet this Saturday talking blasting. Apparently a bunch of bypass surgery takes the wind out of your sails.
BUT, if not, you can certainly give him a call, because he said the last few weeks he’s been chained to his desk doing paperwork and answering calls. Bring your parts up to him, and the guys will unload and strip them for you.
This month they stripped a Studebaker Avanti body, which I did not know was fiberglass! They also stripped a truck frame, another customer brought in a ’54 Chevy truck cab, while the one that I found most interesting was a 30,000-mile LeMans body that’s undergoing a full resto.
They also did some huge Estate Gates for the front of someone’s driveway, and “More lawn furniture! We do a lot of lawn furniture these days…” I have to be careful, or I’m gonna be on the lookout for grandma’s glider!
Give them a call to see about dropping parts off with them at the show, and if they’re not going to be there but you don’t want to make the trip back to Jefferson, leave them with me and I’ll drop them off. I’ve done it a few times, and don’t mind.
NuTech Soda Blasting is in Jefferson, Georgia; (706) 367-8107, or check out their website at www.nutechsodablasting.com
Girl Scout Cookies
My buddy’s daughter will be selling Girl Scout cookies this month next to the Eckler’s Tent. Keep it in mind if you need your annual fix.
Mmmmmmmmmm…. Thin Mints….. grglgrglgrglgrglgrglgrgl…..
April’s Swap Meet is MARCH 30!
Conflict with the track for the April show… same thing happened last year, worked out fine, not a big deal.
But be sure to mark your calendar, because I hate getting calls from guys at 7am on the wrong day asking why I’m not at the track!
JP’s Muscle Cars and Hot Rod Emporium
Well, Johnny busted out of town before I could find out what he’s been working on at this place, but was told by his fill-in crew that they’ve been non-stop busy installing AC systems, doing chassis and suspension upgrades, wiring installations, and even full restorations on customers cars for the last month.
They’ve also got a list of take-out motors and transmisisons from different GMs, from LS to 283 Chevy.
The Cruising Season is nearly upon us, so if you’ve been putting off anything, give them a call to get yourself a schedule time to do that upgrade before the sunny weather gets here.
Oh yeah, he’s also selling reproduction parts, and is delivering some sheet metal to customers at the swap meet this Saturday, saving them a bundle in shipping.
JP’s Muscle Cars is at 113 Hammond Drive in Monroe, GA: Call (770) 207-9570 or visit their website at www.jpmusclecars.com.
The Fastest Shop In Town—Lamar Walden Automotive
This month, the guys at Lamar Walden Automotive built a few 409s, a couple big block Chevy engines, refreshed a Duramax pull-truck engine, heads-and-cam on a new Corvette, built an aluminum 509-cubic inch 409, and got some unique work in, in the form of a power steering conversion on a ’61 Ford Skyliner, while besides the usual intake manifolds and such for their aluminum restoration process, they got a valve cover for a ’71 Datsun 240 Z to restore!
Besides all that, Rob is working on his 4-speed/409-powered ’33 Willys gasser, planning to have it done by the SEGA season-opener and then ready to display next to my Altered at the Atlanta Autorama, a couple weeks before the Gear Jam Vintage Drags.
If you’ve got engines that need building, transmissions that need swapping, suspensions that need upgrading, or aluminum parts that need concours restoring, you need to call Rob at Lamar Walden Automotive.
MINT Condition ’71-‘72 Cutlass hood for sale
I’ve got the nicest ’71-’72 Cutlass hood you’ve ever seen, in my trailer. It’s the plain hood, not the one with the grills or the scoop. If you’re looking for one, or have a friend who needs one, be sure to come to my trailer next to the Eckler’s tent, or call me at (706) 424-5035.
Bud’s Garage—The Best Radio On The Radio
My ONLY complaint about Bud’s Garage is that it just doesn’t last long enough. If you agree with me, shoot The Powers That Be an email and let them know they should make Bud’s Garage 2-3 hours, instead of just the one. We need more good car talk in the shop on Saturdays! email@example.com
Items of interest in upcoming shows include Motor Trend’s Randy Pobst talking about the best cars, vest SUVs coming down the road from the manufacturers, External Air Bags on cars.
Guest talk with a crew member from Dayton 500 winner Danny Hamlin—who is an alum of Lanier Tech! Not only is Lanier Tech a fantastic program for MotorSports Development that has placed many, many students with professional race teams, but Bud Hughs was instrumental in getting the program off the ground. His former student will be visiting and talking about it and his career with the Daytona 500 winner.
The old Miami Vise TV series boat is up for auction… and it comes with a $1 dollar Ferrari! They were C3 Corvettes with fiberglass Ferrari bodies, obviously not the real thing… but it’d be kinda cool to have one of them, wouldn’t it? Keep the boat, though… I have enough money pits.
New Rolls Royce SUV… only $330 Grand. A bargain at twice the price!
The Fastest Car-Guy Talk on the Radio! Saturdays, noon-1pm, AM 550/FM 102.9
Georgia Hot Rods Closing Shop Auction Saturday April 13
My friend Chuck Keene has closed his Georgia Hot Rods shop, and will be having an auction Saturday, April 13 at the shop, and everything goes! He’s got a ton of parts (including Superformance Cobra parts), tools, shop equipment (including a 4-foot sheer, welders, air compressors, etc. etc.), signs, books and literature, an LS-powered ’32 roadster, and more.
The auction starts at 10am, and is located in Jefferson, GA.
For more information, contact Blake Haley Auctions, (706) 658-7755, firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Days—Free Entry, and a Eckler’s Gift Certificate for every member!
If you’re a member of a car club, and would like to use the NE GA Swap Meet as a club event, call me up and we’ll schedule a day to let your club in free as vendors and spectators.
Tip o’ the day
Tired of hearing someone else in the car tell you how to drive? Here’s what I do:
After they’re done giving their expert advice and opinion, just nonchalantly ask them “What’s that on the dash there, in front of you?”
They’ll study the dash for a second, then will look at you like you’re crazy and say “Nothing.”
Then tell them “Yeah, I know—that’s because all the stuff to drive the car is over here, in front of me.”
Not only will that stop the side-seat driving, but it usually ensures no interruptions of the ball game on the radio for the next several miles!
MARCH 30 (This is the April show): All Trucks get a gift certificate
May 11-12 Gear Jam Vintage Drags: All cars registered in the car show get a $10 Gift Certificate
June 1: All Chevys get a gift certificate
July 8: All Fords get a gift certificate
August 3: Trucks and Truck Club Day
August 31-Sept. 1 Gear Jam Vintage Drags: All cars registered in the car show get a $10 Gift Certificate
October 12: Chevy
November 2: Ford
December 7: Truck
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Hot Dog the weather looks like it’s gonna cooperate this Saturday, January 5 for the NE GA Swap Meet!
Eckler’s presents the Northeast Georgia Swap Meet Saturday, January 5th at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA.