Ballarat Swap Meet draws a crowd of car fans

PHOTOS: The Ballarat Swap Meet

SEARCHING 2500 stalls for Buick parts is much easier when you’re a walking billboard, according to swap meet enthusiasts Eddie and Jane Nachlik.

The Seymour couple arrived at the weekend’s Ballarat Swap Meet in customised “wanted 1940s Buick parts” shirts, and soon found new friends among strangers.

With 19 kilometres of road to cover at the southern hemisphere’s biggest swap meet, people on the hunt for parts and collectibles employed a range of different strategies to navigate their way.

Some came equipped with shopping trolleys, wheelbarrows and electric scooters, some wore sandwich boards listing parts, and one man was seen riding his own motorized Esky.

“I’m doing up a Buick and I’m looking for parts for it, so instead of us trying to physically look for parts, we were hoping someone will ask us,” Mr Nachlik said

“Before we even walked in the gate a gentleman’s given us his number and told us he has some parts at home.

“We’ve been stopped by a lot of people, not only for parts but just for a talk.”

Event organiser Robert Glass said it was a happy crowd and the biggest one yet, with up to 15,000 people through the gates for the weekend.

“We’re thinking we’ve raised at least $120,000,” he said.

He said the swap meet had everything from hot rods through to motorbikes.

“We’ve got people from all over Australia. Many of them are car enthusiasts and this is a good place for picking up parts,” he said.

“There’s a lot of walking you can do here. If you want to look at everything it’ll take all weekend.”

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