Antique Cars, Parts At LCC Swap Meet

Rasa Fournier
Wednesday - October 03, 2007
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Hot rodders can mark Oct. 6 on their calendars - it’s the auto parts swap meet at Leeward Community College, happening from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The OHANA (Oahu Hot Rods Automobiles New Antiques) Cruz Nights’ biannual swap meet also features a craft fair and Show N’ Shine where auto enthusiasts display their fine works of art.

“On Oahu there’s about 700-plus hot rodders,” explained Larry Baird who heads up OHANA Cruz Nights.“This swap meet is for the guys that one, have finished their projects and have extra parts laying around, and two, it’s for the guy who’s building his hot rod and is looking for parts to finish his hot rod with.”

The last meet turned up treasured parts from as far back as a 1919 car, all the way up to cars that were built in the ‘60s.

“We get about 50 vendors,” said Baird. “They’re not really vendors, they’re just guys that are done with their projects and have a bunch of stuff laying around and want to clean out their garage (pun not intended!).”

Preregistration for craft booths and for those selling car parts is due today (Oct. 3) by calling Baird at 423-1198. Stalls are $20 each, with additional stalls costing $5 each. Prices are double the day of the event.

“The (swap meet) is a good thing because a lot of us are still building our cars and we’re looking for parts,” said Baird, “and instead of having to go to California, we can find it here, hopefully.”

Car owners can display their vehicles for free at the Show N’ Shine, giving visitorsan eyeful of souped-up beauties, and giving experts some ideas for their own works in progress.

For anyone new to the concept of a hot rod, Baird elaborates:

“Hot rods usually mean a car that’s been souped-up. It’s got a bigger engine put into it, and it’s a light car - like the old model A’s don’t hardly weigh anything at all. So you put a hot engine in that and it’s even better because there’s not too much weight you’re pulling down the street.

“We also have guys that are restoring vehicles to original (form). For example, I’m doing a 1931 Model A 5-window Coupe, and I’m looking for original parts. That’s the type of cars you’d see if someone came over here and made a roaring ‘20s movie. They would need that type of car in the background for an authentic look. You don’t want a 1950 car in a movie that’s supposedly 1920, because that’s screwed up, and people notice it real quick. It’s a benefit to all of us that this swap meet happens so we don’t have to travel to the mainland looking for parts.”

Other upcoming Hawaii Independent Cruise Night (www.hawaiiindependentcruisenights) events scheduled for West Oahu are: 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at Kapolei Home Depot (cruise night); 8 a.m. Nov. 10 at Aiea High School (craft fair and car show); 8 a.m. Nov. 17 and 18 at the Aloha Stadium (car show); 6 p.m. Nov. 24 at Kapolei Home Depot (cruise night); 6 p.m. Dec. 1 at Pearl City Wal-Mart (cruise night); and 6 p.m. Dec. 22 at Kapolei Home Depot (cruise night).

“When we have our shows, it’s called the Hawaii Independent Cruise Nights because anybody can come,” explained Baird. “It’s not a club, it’s an organization of a few of us that get together and put on shows for everybody. Everybody shows up, whether it’s foreign cars, local cars, American-made cars, motorcycles or trucks - they all show.”

Cruise nights are vehicles for hobbyists to show off their recent works of art and give passersby some eye candy.

“The guys come as a group,” pointed out Baird. “It’s always better with our cars to travel with each other in case something breaks down. Usually three or four guys come along with their cars so you have assistance. We cruise over to the parking lot and park our cars for people to see, then we all just kind of mill around and talk to each other and see who’s working on what project or who’s just finished their project and it’s the first time they’ve brought it out.”

The cars in their myriad shiny colors and contours are a sight to behold, which is why the cars are in most parades in the Islands. Baird noted that the lovely ladies, political figures and celebrities waving from gorgeous old-fashioned cars in island parades are generally being transported by Hawaii Independent Cruise Night vehicles.

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