On the annual calendar of events, there are important events, and then there are must-do events. The Hershey Porsche Swapmeet put on by the Central Pennsylvania PCA club is a must-do event. It is billed as the largest Porsche Swapmeet in the country, and few would doubt that. In past years there have been over 1000 Porsches in attendance. It has become an international event with over 6000 visitors from all over the world. People fly in or drive in from faraway parts. They stay the weekend and participate in events from Friday through the Sunday autocross. It has been covered in Classic Velocity before (see Hounds of the Basketweave or Hershey Pilgrimage 2010), but too much is not enough.
For me, however, it only involves a few hours of driving. I have not actually driven to Hershey in more than six years, as I am usually hauling parts or cars or driving something which can carry parts or cars back. The event can best be described as “A stimulant that crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior”. Of course, this is also the definition of a Psychoactive drug. For most of the day on a Saturday in April, if you enter through the portal that is the parking lot outside of Hershey Park, the universe is altered and revolves entirely around sports cars from Stuttgart Germany.
The only worthwhile news is that the funnel cakes are now available. The fortunate are those that find the part they are seeking. The unfortunate are those who strike out in this magical place of plenty. The hopeful got a lead on a rare part. Happiness is an undiscovered Porta Potty. The disappointed failed to find a less distorted door pocket than the one they already have. “Hey buddy, wanna buy some houndstooth?” The Euro is just a type of Porsche. Exotica is a pair of one-year-only elephant hide seats. There are crazy colors, dude, like a metallic teal 356, or an aubergine 911, or a canary yellow 914 with matching Fuchs, or a red on red 928. Like some kind of Teutonic kaleidoscope. Far out, man. You can like, travel through time from the 1950s to the present and back while only aging a few hours. Now it’s 1957, then it’s 2003, then it’s 1969. It’s a trip dude. Cars are judged, not people. And those crazy sounds, four-cylinder air-cooled goodness, to 10-cylinder shrieks. The joy of victory, the agony of defeat. 360 degrees of entertainment. Freaky deaky my brother.
There are not a lot of venues where multi-six figure metallic perfection, and sheet metal that would be honored to be called Swiss cheese, are both welcome. The altered universe of the Hershey Swap Meet is such a place. Indulge. I guarantee you will be back for more.