The 2015 Hershey Classic

All roads lead to Hershey, PA for the annual swap meet and AACA car show. Billed as the sweetest classic car event of the year, the Hershey show is one of the biggest and longest running gathering of all things vintage automotive in the country. We will be following the events scheduled in the next few days, including a swap meet, car corral, a car auction, hosted by RM/Sotheby's, and the regional Fall AACA Meet. One of the unique events scheduled for the Hershey Classic is an on-site Build of a 1946 Ford pickup, using parts located at the swap meet. Four gearheads from Hagerty will be on the grounds wrenching, welding, hammering, and refurbishing a basket-case truck back to a roadworthy driver. Check back for our updates on the Hagerty build, as well as the other action at this year's event.

The Swap Meet to Street Challenge: Hagerty's 1946 Ford Build

The subject of this Build, a 1/2 ton commercial truck, was discovered in a field behind a farmer's barn in northern Michigan, all four wheels sunk in the ground. This truck, which as last licensed in 1962, had been in the same spot, for 20 years, and based on weld attachment points found in the front end, it had been used as a snow plow some time in its former life. Although there was rust all over the body and frame, fortunately someone had the foresight to apply enough grease around the movable parts to protect the basic integrity of the truck, and to allow it to roll freely. Since the Hagerty team has given themselves only 100 hours to get this '46 Ford on the road, there's no doubt they have quite a challenge on their hands. Watch the countdown clock tick down to the early morning hours of Sunday, when the 100 hours are up for making this behind-the barn find into a roadworthy automobile. Go team!

10/07/2015 with 82:43 Time Remaining

Here are photos of the truck early in the project, with major body parts removed and first replacement parts installed (i.e. new brakes and suspension hardware). What do you think? Can the Hagerty team pull off this "epic build"?


10/08/2015 with 64:59 Time Remaining

The Build is progressing, with initial electrical checks indicating that the dash gauges are functional. But, since several areas of the body were rusted through, patch welding was necessary in the cab, including attachment points for the passenger door, and a new transmission floor cover was installed. The team spent a considerable amount of time on the show field, tracking down some parts: correct 1946 Ford pickup bench seat, a bed and rear bumper from a 1952 Ford, rear fenders, leaf springs, battery box, engine mounts, transmission mounts, rearview door mirror, inside door handles, and taillights. The truck didn't have any running gear, so location a flathead Ford V8 and a 3-speed tranny where major finds. Here are some photos of the truck, as the Build progresses.


10/09/2015 with 41:07 Time Remaining

The V8 replacement motor to be used in the build was from a passenger car that wouldn't directly fit in the truck engine bay. The Hagerty team was able to find the necessary parts, including a new oil pan, correct front pulleys, and engine mounts for their pickup. Also,the team attached the new bed, with a fresh, wooden floor. A lot of progress has been made, but there's still lot to do in the remaining time. Stay tuned for the final push to completion. Here are the latest photos.


10/10/2015 with 16:55 Time Remaining

A few setbacks, but for the most part fantastic progress, as the Hagerty team works almost non-stop to meet their goal of midnight Saturday to make this 1946 Ford truck roadworthy. The rain halted the team's ability to find parts, because many of the vendors had packed up and left the grounds mid-afternoon. However, they made the most of their time, managing to get quite a bit done despite the setbacks, which of course, is expected in a project of this magnitude. They replaced the dashboard, and thankfully all electrical checked out to be in good working order, the taillights were replaced, and a big important accomplishment - the engine was installed. And, it fired up! As one of the gearheads said "It runs, and that's definitely a good thing." As you can imagine, everyone is happy to have overcome this major hurdle. Now, on to all the other remaining items they need to finish for completion. Although they are still looking for parts, they're in the home stretch now. Believe it or not -- Hagerty is already thinking about what to build next year. Here are some new photos of the truck.


10/10/2015 with 11:05 Time Remaining

With less than 12 hours to go, the Hagerty team has the ’46 Ford looking like it is ready to come off the jack stands. The new radiator has been installed and hoses are being connected. The drive shaft/tranny/engine are all connected, and the exhaust system is being fabricated. Remaining items include: adding all fluids, connecting electrical wires, installing headlights and testing all systems. It’s coming down to the wire.


10/10/2015 with 07:36 Time Remaining

The lights have been wired, the rear fenders are on, and the exhaust has been hung. The engine is running, and the Hagerty team is performing final checks before taking off for the trip to Michigan. Be sure to honk and give a thumbs up if you see this pickup on the highway headed north.

10/13/2015 - 44 Hours After Completion of Build

The trip back to Hagerty’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan was a 500-mile journey that took three days.  Before they reached their final destination late Tuesday night, they made some scheduled and unscheduled stops along the way: replacing a failed coil and fuel pump (fortunately, there happened to be some mechanics on board); a car show in Valley City, Ohio; and a stop off at the Road and Track office in their hometown.   Surprisingly, the flathead V8 Ford recorded 15.3 mpg, which was certainly a respectable number for this vintage hauler.   However, this isn't the end of the story for this new road star, because in a couple weeks, Matt and Davin, two of the four gearheads that were part of the Hershey Build, will be driving it to Las Vegas (SEMA) on the Posies Driven Dirty Tour. To see more on “The Swap Meet to Street Challenge” as well as future adventures of ‘46 Ford pickup, check out the Hagerty Facebook page.

The Car Corral

There are over 1,000 car corral spaces spread around the perimeter of the swap meet. The variety of cars range from the brass era through modern sports cars. Here you can deal one-on-one with owners to get your best price.


The Swap Meet

With over 9,000 flea market spaces at the Hershey Classic, there isn't any wonder that there's something for everyone


The RM/Sotheby's Auction

RM/Sotheby’s two-day collector car auction was held in the Convention Center at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA. A total of 150 classic cars crossed the auction block, as well as several special pieces of memorabilia. True to tradition, RM/Sotheby’s offered predominantly vintage and highly-original vehicles, dating from the dawn of the automobile through the 1960s. A 1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 66-A was the high sale of the event, hammering down at $775,000. Second place was held by a 1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat “Yellow Peril,” which brought $635,000. Here are some of the cars that kept the bids coming.


The AACA Eastern Division Meet in Hershey

From turn of the century gas, steam, and electric power vehicles, all the way to modern sports cars, the AACA Fall Meet was over 1200 strong this year. Under a picture perfect autumn day, thousands of spectators came to celebrate their enthusiasm for classic cars. Every brightly polished and chrome-clad vehicle had a story, and its owner was only too happy to discuss his prized possession. Like all AACA shows, there isn't one winner. Instead, everyone works for a common goal: presenting their vehicle as closely as possible to the day it rolled off the showroom floor. Their reward, besides the obvious pride of ownership, is receiving certifications/awards that recognize their vehicle as being not only authentic, but meticulously restored. Here are some of the cars on the field this year.