2008 AACA National Fall Meet
“Remembering the Past” was the theme to this years AACA Eastern
Division’s National Fall Meet. The meet was again held in Hershey,
Pennsylvania, like it has been since 1955. The Hershey meet is in
it’s 53rd year and it just keeps getting bigger and better.
The theme, “Remembering the Past”, caused me to think back to my
first Hershey Meet. It was 1974, Gas Lines, Rationing and 55 mph speeds limits. I was a junior in High School
and had been Car Crazy for some time. I convinced my parents
that this would be a Great Family Vacation. My Dad was easy since he
liked old cars anyway, my mom was always supportive and my three
younger sister’s opinions did not really matter to me at the time.
Obviously their opinions did matter to my parents because we had to
plan the vacation with something for everyone. Not knowing how big
the Hershey Show actually was, we only allowed one day to take it all in.
Unfortunately we had other “Family Vacation” things planned
throughout the Pennsylvania area. Well my one day in Hershey was met with RAIN. As I would later learn, “Welcome to the Hershey
Fall Meet”. Not deterred, I returned in 1978 and have attended
most meets since, Wet ones and Dry ones.
No Rain this year, the weather was Excellent, Cool Mornings and Warm
Afternoons with Blue
and plenty of SUN Shine! The shows schedule goes something like
this: The Swap Meet and Car Corral is open Wednesday through
Saturday. The Car Show is Saturday. Throughout the Hershey event
there are a two Collector Car Auctions. One being the Kruse Auction, now in its 8th year,
it is held on the
Hershey grounds Thursday through Saturday at the Giants Stadium. The
second is the RM Auction. It is held the evening of October 10th at
the Hershey Lodge. When you start tossing
around numbers to describe the Hershey Event it gets pretty Crazy.
Over 300,000 Enthusiasts from around the world attend the Hershey
Meet each fall. The Swap Meet consist of over 9000 vender spaces. If
you see the entire Swap Meet you will have walked an estimated 13
miles. The Car Show draws 1800-2200 World Class entries. The Car
Corral can offer 1200-1400 cars for sale. The two auctions offer
another 400+ cars.
The Best News for this year’s event is that the entire Swap Meet is
now on PAVEMENT along with the Car Corral. That means no more MUD
when we are blessed, or not so blessed, with the October
While at the show or anytime you are in the Hershey area, you must
visit the AACA Museum (Antique Automobile Club of America Museum).
The Museum’s vehicles are displayed among unique back drops spanning
eight decades of our life with the automobile. There are changing
exhibits throughout the year. This years Special Exhibit was
“Fins! The Rise and Fall of the Tail Fin in American Automotive
Design”. Fins showcases the Auto Industries
fascination with the new Age of Space and Rockets. These
fascinations were quite evident in their designs, starting with the
1948 Cadillac. General Motors has loaned the three Harley Earl
Rocket inspired Turbine Concept Cars (Firebird I, II and III) to
the Fins Exhibit. The Museum keeps extended hours during the Hershey
event. The Fin Exhibit continues through October the 12th,
My Trip started very early Thursday morning combing
the Swap Meet for treasures. Friday was spent in the Swap Meet again
in search of more stuff.
We ended the day in the huge
Car Corral. The 900 point downward slide in the stock market earlier
that day unfortunately did cause any panic price slashing... Later
that night we visited the AACA Museum to see the "Fins" exhibit. Saturday morning
we were up early again… The Show Cars start entering the show field
at 7:00 am. To see all of the Beautiful Cars allow plenty of time,
as in many, many, many hours… you better warn the wife first. I did
not make it to any of the auctions this year, I just ran out of time. I did
allow time for the
lunch buffet at the Hotel Hershey in the Circular Dining Room. It
was Excellent as it is each year. The 75 year old Historical Hotel and
Dining Room is Beautiful and the Chocolate Desert Bar, as you can
imagine, is out of this world.
I plan on hitting next years event a day early. There is just too
much to see and do over this four day Collector Car extravaganza. If
you plan on attending next years show get your rooms now. By Spring of
next year anything close to Hershey will be sold out. After all, Not
only is Hershey the Best of The Best Car Event, it is the also the
Sweetest Place on Earth.