You know them by their locations: Stowe, Rhinebeck, Iola. A bit smaller and less prestigious than Hershey, Carlisle or Chickasha, these venerable car shows and swap meets have been operating for nearly half a century and draw a faithful crowd. One of the stalwarts is Das Awkscht Fescht, Pennsylvania Dutch dialect for “The August Festival.” All the car folks, though, call it “Macungie.”
Macungie is a borough in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, near Allentown, and the show has been an icon in Macungie Memorial Park for ages. This year’s Macungie was the 44th, and the CarPort’s honor scout Dennis David went down to check it out. A three day event on the first weekend of August, Macungie starts with a Friday night cruise, then blossoms with a huge car show on Saturday. Sunday is devoted to car clubs, with more than 30 organizations corraling cars of their make and type. With more than 1,200 cars each day, there’s bound to be both variety and sameness. Early cars included EMF and Packard, and Packards with pelicans and doughnut chasers. Makes were as varied as Oakland and Renault, and later collectibles included the elusive Lincoln Versailles. Model Ts stretched as far as the eye could see. Not to be outdone, Model As were there in force, although the definition of Model A appears to be somewhat flexible. There’s a section for trucks, which drew some rarities like this Corvair rampside pickup, and a military detachment as well. Alternative power was not neglected, as a well-guarded Stanley steamed into town.
The Falcon Club had assembled a flock, and the Met set likewise was out in numbers. The Kaiser crowd had a nice 1950 Traveler with high-performance engine. Featured make was DeSoto, hosted by the local chapter of the national club. Prize specimen was a rare 1950 Custom station wagon, replete with plenty of period accoutrements.
The goodly sized swap meet has plenty of parts, bikes, automobilia and artwork. There are toys, tractors, even tractor toys for bigger boys. You can even buy a garage – with a street rod if you need it. And of course there are cars for sale, a feature-marque DeSoto convertible, a ’37 Terraplane, a ’39 Buick for under ten grand, and perhaps the sweetheart of the meet, the $995 Crosley Hotshot. Dan, did you buy it?
Although showers dampened spirits for a while on Saturday, things soon brightened and heated up, so much so that there was a conflagration in the food court. Fortunately, the Fire Department was not far away.