Thousands of car enthusiasts look for parts at Arena Building swap meet

Monday, February 20, 2012
Stan Eudy, left, and his son, Kyle Eudy, of Cape Girardeau brought old gas station signage to sell Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 at the Capaha Antique Car Club swap meet at Arena Park. (Fred Lynch)

Anything on wheels from farm equipment to model cars, parts, tools, accessories, signs, books, magazines, even toy cars were being traded or bought Sunday at the Capaha Antique Car Club's swap meet.

The 46th annual event brought 2,500 to 3,000 antique car enthusiasts from at least six states to the Arena Building in Cape Girardeau.

According to club vice president Bill Dunning, 55 vendors with booths filled the Arena Building. Outside, dealers set up on a first-come, first-served basis. Dunning and club president Pat Patterson took orders for next year during the event.

"This is one way for old car enthusiasts to network with each other. We have to network to get the parts and find what we need," Dunning said.

Event head Dave Jackson said Cape Girardeau's swap meet was "one of the first of the spring season, which is a bit of an advantage. The disadvantage is always the weather."

This year it was sunny, but the swap meet has had years with snow and ice.

The swap meet "gives guys a head start to be ready for springtime" driving, Patterson said.

Greg Stillwell of Evansville, Ind., has been coming to the swap meet since 1972. "The first year I came to buy," he said. "From then on, I've set up a booth." Stillwell deals in Ford parts.

Ilene Evans was in her first year at the event, and she plans on returning next year. Evans sold Scentsy wickless candles at her booth.

"I've sold a lot to men who are taking something home to their wives," she said.

Some dealers come in the day before to set up and camp overnight while others stay in local hotels.

"This is a financial boost for the community," Jackson said.

The Capaha Antique Car Club's next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at Delmonico's. For more information, call Patterson at 355-5197.

Pertinent address:

410 Kiwanis Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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