Portland Swap Meet 2017

Whew! Another successful swap meet is in the books! And what a weekend it was! Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly…

First, the good… We were blessed with the help of a renter on Wednesday night and managed to get our 17′ U-Haul truck filled completely up in short order. Wow. We had never taken so much stuff! Bonus – Karen commanded that 17 footer having never driven anything larger than a large passenger van before! She even backed that bad boy up into the driveway from the two lane road in front of the house! Well done! Karen’s youngest son joined us on the last day of the meet, too, and was a great help loading the truck and unloading back at home!

Photo of a 17' U-Haul truck backed into a driveway with the back open and the ramp extended.

More good came in the form of meeting up with friends at the swap meet. We’re blessed with having some terrific longtime neighbors at the swap meet and we were glad to get to share the weekend with them again. We also saw countless friends that were also there as vendors and attendees. One thing that is fantastic about being in the same spot each year is that people know right where to find us and find us they did! We were happy to do business with them and to create new friendships along the way. Plus, a huge shout out to the organizers and staff of the Portland Swap Meet. This is the 53rd annual show, and it is a HUGE show (the largest on the west coast with approximately 3,500 vendor stalls and over 50,000 shoppers). The men and women that keep it going are so helpful and so nice. We LOVE doing business with you folks!

Photo of Karen and Mark with the guys who are their booth neighbors at the swap meet.

Our swap meet neighbors Randy, Dan, and Virgil. Missing from the pic is Frank, who was picking up the truck to drive them all home.

On to the bad… The weather this year certainly could have been better. Last year we had sunshine all weekend and it was WARM! This year…not so much.

Which leads us to the ugly… If you live in our local area, you know what this last Friday was like. If not, let us break it down for you. We started Friday morning with five popup canopy tents. 20 minutes after raising the tents to start the day, we had four. Despite the tents being lashed to each other, tables, wheels, and more, our casualty tent was lifted up, bent, and thrown on top of another tent all while the two of us were trying to keep the other four tents from flying away, too! We managed to get the destroyed tent down, took another tent down completely, and kept two of the remaining three lowered as far as they could go for the whole day. The last tent wasn’t even extended fully and that’s where we spent the day. Much of the day found Karen hanging onto the frame of that remaining tent to keep it from flying away as so many others did. It was exhausting. And cold. And wet. The dumpsters were full of canopy carnage. We heard that the folks at the swap meet down at the racetrack didn’t fare any better. We’re told that canopies were blowing across the track and that there were even porta-potties that were blown over. Eew.

Photo of the bent up metal frame of a pop up canopy tent.

Not ours but a good representation of what many of us experienced!

All in all, though, we had a great weekend. Lots of great people, great cars and trucks, great sales, and great finds! It wore us out and we were in bed and asleep before 9pm on Sunday, but we’re excited to do it all again next year!

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Do You Salsa?

 

We’re in the home stretch of preparing for the Portland Swap Meet. The U-Haul arrives tonight, and we’ll load up and be ready to start setting up at the Expo Center tomorrow. We’ve been working hard to bring you a great selection of carbs, lights, NOS upholstery, accessories, advertising and signage, vintage gas pumps, vintage Pendleton wool shirts, and sooooo much more. We’ve procured bits and pieces from garages, barns, and ghost towns from all over and we think you’ll be hard pressed to NOT find something amazing!
And, as if that all wasn’t enough, we’re excited to let you know that we’ll also be selling a limited run of Spooky’s Hot Rod Salsa at the show this year! If you’ve never tried Spooky’s Hot Rod Salsa, you’re in for a treat. Warning, though, you must be fond of a salsa that will give you a kick like no other store bought salsa you’ve ever had!

Photo of multiple jars of Spookys Hot Rod Salsa with signage and two vintage toy hot rod cars.

 

Stripped down to the bare essentials like a good Hot Rod should be, Spooky’s Hot Rod Salsa is everything you’ve been looking for in a salsa and more.

It’s the truth! If you think you’ve had good salsa before, think again! This is the salsa that will ruin all others for you!

We’ll have samples to taste and pint jars for sale. Supplies are limited, though! Spooky’s Hot Rod Salsa is only produced in small, limited run batches. And, if you’re unable to make it to the show but still want to purchase a jar or two of this amazing stuff, head over to the Spooky’s Hot Rod Salsa Facebook page and you can order right from there!

Almost There…

The Portland Swap Meet is just around the corner and we’ve been soooo busy! In just the last few days, we received a cache of traditional hot rod goodies to sell – Model A cross members, Deuce steering box, Old 97s, Ford 94s, a set of dragster front spoked wheels and tires, pie crust slicks, etc, etc, etc. We’ll have plenty to sell, that’s for sure! And there may be more coming in from a friend tonight! Whew!

Rusteration – A Love Story, part 4

Putting a masterpiece back together after it has fallen into disrepair is really kind of a beautiful thing to witness. As all the pieces fall back into place and the luster of what once was returns, it’s almost like there’s a new energy in the room.

Photo of vintage Bowser gasoline pump in the midst of restoration.So it was with putting this old man back together. It’s been mentioned before in parts one and two of this series that Mark is something of a “whisperer.” From the very beginning, he knew this guy had a story to tell. His patience and care in bringing this pump back to life is now written into every turn of every bolt that holds it together.
Photograph of a side view of a restored vintage Bowser gasoline pump.
As faceplates and glass were installed, as panels and doors were attached, it was if the old man was slowly regaining his life. Images of where he may have once stood and the customers who he served over the years began to dance in the air. And, with the lighting of the new globe that sits atop his sturdy metal frame, it was if he finally exhaled and came into his own once more. He may not ever pump gasoline again, but, if you listen carefully, you can almost hear him breathe, “Let me tell you a story about the old days.”

Mark did a remarkable job (and in a very short time frame, too!) in giving this old pump new life. The sharp contrast of deep black, vivid yellow, and bright white are enough to draw you in, but just light this guy up and he’s the center of attention!

Before and after photo of a restored vintage Bowser gasoline pump.

 

We’re very proud of the work that’s been done but we have only been his caretakers for a time. Now it’s time to find him a new home. If you’re interested in being that home, head over to our store for more details. And, if he hasn’t found a new home yet, we’ll have him with us at the Portland Swap Meet, April 7th-9th, at the Portland Expo Center. Come by “Hell’s Corner” (booth #s 6140, 6141, and 6156 just outside the D Building) and see him for yourself! We’d love to say “hi” and introduce you!

Photo of a restored vintage Bowser gasoline pump.

 

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Prepping…

The tables are filled with items to prep for Swap Meet and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet! We’re going to have LOTS of items to choose from! Signage, cans, vintage advertising, parts and pieces, upholstery, clothing, gas pumps, and sooooo much more! Don’t miss us at the meet! We’re in booth numbers 6140, 6141, and 6156 just outside the D Building!

Rusteration – A Love Story, part 3

When it comes to any artistic creation – whether it’s a painting, a costume, a piece of architecture, or even a gas pump – the devil’s in the details.

As you saw in part one of our saga, this old pump was in rather rough shape when we found him. Years of neglect and being left to the elements had robbed him of his once grand stature but surely not his character.

In part two, we stripped him down to his bones and began developing the vision that we hoped would begin to bring him back to his glory. When we left off, his exterior pieces had been sent off to the powdercoater to have him work his magic. In the meantime, there was work to be done at home.

With his exterior parts being worked on away from home, we knew we had some time to begin addressing all the little things that needed to be tinkered with and polished. But, wow, our powdercoater works FAST so we really didn’t have too much time to waste!

There were parts that needed to be ordered such as faceplates, decals, and a new globe. We managed to find some outstanding pieces from dealers in the US and waited for those to arrive in the mail. Photo of a Signal gas pump globe wrapped in plastic in a shipping box.

We were fortunate that the old man still had one piece of original glass in him that was intact. No small feat considering his age! Replacement glass was cut to fill in his missing pieces and we even managed to score an original nozzle from a swap meet we attended at the beach. Chrome was polished and buffed and readied for the old guy. His wiring was reconnected and, with the addition of a couple of new lightbulbs, he lit right up when plugged in (and there were no sparks or fire; hurray!) And then…we picked up the pieces from the powdercoater. W.O.W. They were beautiful!

Photo of a freshly powdercoated yellow door to a vintage Bowser gas pump.

All that was really left was to put him back together. Witness his transformation in part four!

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