AACA Fall Hershey 2017, Part 1: The Car Corral

Fall Hershey (formally entitled the Antique Automobile Club of America Eastern Division National Fall Meet, which is why we call it Fall Hershey) is an automotive smörgåsbord: collector-car flea market, car corral, judged car show, and auction, encompassing such a voluminous spread of acreage that one needs at least three days to take it all in.

Corral in foreground, flea market behind it, and Giant Center in background

We’ve covered Fall Hershey on this blog in the past; this year, as a tie-in with the report on the previous week’s Carlisle visit, the focus shall be on the car corral. Unlike Carlisle, where one can offer for sale a fat-tired 2003 Toyota pickup truck if one desires, AACA’s rules apply. Vehicles placed in the car corral must be a minimum of 25 years old, and must essentially be in “stock” condition. Beyond that, asking prices are determined by the sellers, and negotiations are strictly between seller and buyer. A car corral office and public notary are on hand to facilitate exchanges.

Let’s not forget where we are

Overall, the quality and variety of cars were on par with previous years. Unlike the recent past, and eerily similar to Carlisle, were the long stretches of empty spots. It was not a ghost town, however, I’d estimate that 25% of available spots remained so.

Some empty spots in this section of the corral

The corral has changed in other ways. Way back in the 1980s and 1990s, most cars for sale were privately owned. Deals were often made among hobbyists who knew each other, or at least had a mutual friend. If buyer and seller were meeting for the first time, the sale would many times be the start of a new friendship.

Today, classic car dealers buy up an entire row in the corral, and place their half-dozen or dozen cars together. (You can always tell: the signage and lettering styles are identical.) Dealers are as likely to be buyers as they are sellers. Asking prices are set by picking numbers out of a hat (I kid, but you do sometimes wonder about the relationship between that number on the windshield and reality).

Cars of all sizes are for sale

Dealers spew the same lines: “it’s a good car, runs good, real solid, real nice condition, all restored, very rare with these options”. The lack of specificity is jarring. Not to disparage dealers, but if you do find an individual owner who is selling, you are more likely to learn more about a vehicle’s true recent history.

A private owner will talk specifics: “I bought it 10 years ago, put 5,000 miles on it, drove it in an AACA tour five years ago, re-did the brakes two winters ago, and drove it here from Maryland”. Comments like these were actually overheard this year.

Ford Skyliners flip their lids for you

This lengthy preamble is to set the stage for my eclectic selection from the car corral. The thirty cars below are arranged in order of asking price. No attempt was made to ascertain if the seller was a private owner or dealer. While all these cars “looked good”, condition was not analyzed, and mileage was not recorded. You can presume that none was modified to be non-original. In the case of American cars, the level of optional equipment was not noted. The vast majority of signage indicated “or best offer”, so think of these prices as a negotiable starting point.

Not hard to imagine that the presidential window sticker is original to the car

Organizing them in price ranges allows the reader to make comparative estimates regarding what your collector-car piggy bank can get you. Have fun on your imaginary shopping trip.

Part 2 will be my report on the 2017 RM Sotheby’s Hershey Auction.


Car Corral, $4,900 to $9,500:

1990 Mazda Miata, asking $4,900

 

1989 VW Fox wagon, asking $5,500

 

1978 Cadillac Seville, asking $6,000

 

1991 Alfa Romeo 164, asking $6,500

 

1971 MGB roadster, asking $7,995

 

1981 Chevy El Camino (6 cyl. 3-speed), asking $8,500

 

1964 Corvair convertible, asking $8,900

 

1980 Fiat 124 spider, asking $9,500

 


Car Corral, $12,000 to $18,000:

 

1982 Pontiac Grand Prix, asking $12,000

 

1964 Lincoln Continental sedan, asking $12,500

 

1963 Pontiac Grand Prix, asking $12,500

 

1975 VW Super Beetle convertible, asking $12,500

 

1976 VW Super Beetle convertible, asking $12,500

 

1952 MG-TD, asking $12,900

 

1963 Sunbeam Rapier convertible, asking $14,900

 

1963 Studebaker GT Hawk, asking $14,900

 

1976 BMW 2002, asking $17,900

 

1955 Packard 400, asking $17,900

 


Car Corral, $22,000 to $30,000:

 

1967 Mini Minor, asking $22,500

 

1968 Fiat 600D, asking $24,500

 

1968 Buick Riviera, asking $24,900

 

1951 Hudson Hornet convertible, asking $28,500

 

1955 Ford T-Bird, asking $29,500

 


Car Corral, $38,000 to $50,000:

 

1991 Acura NSX (automatic), asking $38,500

 

1967 Mercedes Benx 230 SL, asking $39,000

 

1975 Porsche 911S, asking $49,500

 

1955 Chrysler C-300, asking $50,000

 


Car Corral, $75,000 to $100,000:

 

1991 Nissan Skyline (RHD), asking $75,000

 

1974 Jaguar E-Type Roadster (V12), asking $79,500

 

1960 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider, asking $100,000

 

All photographs copyright © 2017 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.