Trading their stuff

MOORLAND – For somebody looking for some of the chrome body parts for a old Ford, an entire 1957 Chevy Nomad station wagon or a Mayberry Sheriff’s Department-style flashing red police car light-sellers at the third annual Moorland Motor Mania Swap Meet had them.

Bob Decker, of Sioux City, came home with a new steering wheel, he purchased it from Dean Fischer, of Rockwell City who had a trailer full of assorted parts for sale.

“How much for this?” Decker asked him.

“Make me an offer,” Fischer replied.

“How about five?” Decker said.

“We’ll take it,” came Fischer’s reply.

This is the way most transaction are conducted: price tags, if found at all, are a suggested starting point for negotiations which is one of the things that makes a swap meet fun for car enthusiasts.

Decker has a 1931 Ford five-window coupe at home.

“I’m looking for stuff for that,” he said.

While the new steering wheel might, or might not, end up in his car, he still has the joy of finding a bargain

Decker said his wife doesn’t mind.

“I have my own garage,” he said, “That’s my little man den.”

It’s all about division of labor.

“She spends money on the grandkids, I spend money on the cars,” he said.

One of the more unusual items that could be purchased at the swap meet was Dean Fischer’s “tool box.” Bolted to the back of his truck behind the cab, the long box with dual lids is actually intended for something else.

Permanent rest, six feet under.

He said a friend found the blue coffin at a garage sale. His friend got tired of it and sold it to Fischer, who put it to use for a simple reason.

“It would fit on my truck,” he said.

He said that while he gets a lot of looks, so far, no one has complained.

He’s also not going to be using it for it’s intended purpose. He said he’s opted for a cremation so for the right price, it can be anybody’s.

“You never know when you’re going to go,” Fischer said.

Marty Pingle, of Otho, came to the meet to look for old Ford parts. Instead, he ended up with a set of International Motor Contest Association yearbooks including the first one – from 1957.

Inflation and rarity have taken a toll: the cover price was $1.

“They were $20,” he said.

The swap meet is also a car show.

Kasen Meyer drove his 1964 Chrysler New Yorker Salon to the event from Spencer.

He was looking for those parts that he simply can’t obtain from a parts store. For things like body parts and trim parts, the only source is the used market that includes swap meets, junk yards and online auctions.

Meyer explained that in spite of it’s 50 years of age, the car has some surprisingly modern features such as electric windows. It’s also quite roomy, he said, and the ride on the highway is quite comfortable.

The behemoth looks like it consumes gas like it still cost 25 cents a gallon.

“It’s not as bad as you might think,” he said, “Even though this weighs 5,200 pounds, we get about 23 miles per gallon.”

He said he prefers the older vehicles for several reasons, one of which is that they are easy to service.

“I can work on them,” he said.

He enjoys the swap meets for another reason: the people he meets.

“That’s the big thing,” he said.