Whether you were looking for car parts from the 1920’s, a 1969 Triumph motorcycle, toys, or memorabilia, it was all present in Oliver this past Saturday when the South Okanagan Vintage Car Club (SOVCC) held their annual Car Swap Meet.
Hundreds of people flocked to the Oliver Community Park to buy, trade, and sell everything automobile related and more on April 29.
Eugene Dettling, Vice President of the South Okanagan Chapter explained at the event that “we are pretty much full. We think we are a little extra busy today cause people are getting out and about”.
The beautiful warm and sunny weather allowed the organisation to sell close to 100 vendor spots outside, and 40 inside. An estimated 1,200 tickets were sold through the gates, which was twice the amount they sold last year.
There were two main areas offering different collectibles, “inside [the arena] is a lot more collectibles and smalls, outside is bigger stuff and they want that space,” Dettling described.
“There are people that do this for a living. They go from swap meet to swap meet to swap meet. Those guys are pros, that's what they do. They move around through the season.”
Dave Hanley, Swap Meet Chairperson of the SOVCC continued this train of thought by saying that this annual swap meet in Oliver is one of the big ones in North America for the organization.
“Portland Oregon is one of your big ones, this swap meet, Red Deer Alberta, Vancouver, so we are one of the first and one of the big ones,” he explained.
Hanley was appreciative of all the support they get from the community. “We have a lot of good donors, all these people here, put money up front to help this thing out and help it roll.”
“Without these things the event wouldn't really work too well.”
Hanley explained that for example: “Greyback Construction supplied all this fencing, how generous is that, I mean it's beautiful. Then I got this guy at Rapid Industries, Richard Simmons, drives from here to Penticton picks the fencing up, brings it back, offloads it with his forklift for us, loads it back up tonight and drives it back to Penticton on Monday. As a businessman that is beyond and he does it for free.”
“It's the volunteers that make it, and we are a club, and we work together. There are a lot of good people involved with our group.” Dettling added.
This Car Swap Meet is the club’s biggest event of the year and is their money maker. A lot of the money from this event gets donated to charity as well. “From last year's event, we were able to give $2,000 to the Penticton Hospital, we gave $2,000 to the Oliver Hospital, and we gave $1,000 to the Starfish Pack Program in Penticton and in Oliver,” Dettling explained.
The outside vendors had all the larger items for sale that needed more space, such as motorcycles, car bumpers, seats, tires, signs and everything imaginable.
Inside there were a lot of smaller memorabilia, and also vendors that just got the chance to have a large amount of people to sell their stuff too.
One of these was Rick Zipp, who is a local Kelowna Musician, who often sells guitars and other instruments at the Kelowna Market who explained that he decided to come down for this event. He was selling many different types of guitars, vinyl records, and cassette tapes.
The club is planning on making charitable donations again this year with some of the proceeds.
Upfront cash donations to help with the event came from Gerard's Equipment in Oliver, Timber Mart, Shadetree Repairs, Napa Auto Parts, Ace Hardware, Pacific Silca Haven, Mike’s Auto, Tube Steak Boogie food truck, and Penticton Mini Donuts.