As I was in Indiana this summer, I took the opportunity to drive 3.5 hours west to the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. I was mostly interested in what treasures were hiding in the legendary swap meet, and just to check out the festival in general. This year’s theme was Mods & Rockers, so I was hoping there would be lots of British bikes and Vespa/Lambretta kicking around.
The swap meet has 250 odd booths and I was imagining tables overflowing with a cornucopia of exotic parts. I envisioned bikes in boxes, bags and baskets piled in heaps; I expected trailers jamed with fresh barn finds, crusty Cushmans, bobed Harleys, and Puch Allstates five to the dollar. It’s wasn’t just me that was hyping the swap, here are a few tidbits from the website:”The Worlds Largest Swap Meet”, “the continent’s largest motorcycle swap meet” and ” It features 35 sprawling acres of old, classic and even some new bike parts and memorabilia.” Well it must be good I reasoned.
Just before I packed the family into the car and headed south to Indianapolis, I spoke to George. George is local vintage collector and has a ’58 AJS for sale that I was contemplating, his opinion was that the CVMG National Rally is better than Mid-Ohio; more selection, more variety and less junk. Bah humbug said I, how can our humble event come close to something as big as Mid-Ohio, besides, there are like 300 million people in the USA to our 30 million, Mid-Ohio has to be at least 10 times better! Yes the swap was big, but big isn’t better, like those all you can eat restaurants, quantity does not translate into quality. If I was looking for a milk crate with a turnsignal, brake caliper,
I was only there for 3 hours on Saturday afternoon, from 3-6 so I didn’t get an opportunity to explore everything. Unfortunately the Mods & Rockers tent was cleared out by the time I got there, so was most of the exhibits on the lawn and tents. So suggestion # 1 is: come on Friday, stay the night.
My photos reflect my particular interest in the swap, they don’t do justice to the whole event. All day there are races on the track and loudspeakers throughout the park are tuned into the announcer, this combined with the wahhh wahhh of the track give the venue a great atmosphere. There are photos on the AMA website that give a good sense of the event.