BALLARAT'S world-renowned Swap Meet this year celebrates 25 years of automotive
trash and treasure.
The event is the biggest swap meet in the Southern
Hemisphere and attracts stall holders from countries as far away as Canada,
England and South Africa.
Speaking to The Courier in 1991, event
co-founder Trevor Wolstenholme said the idea for the swap meet came from a
life-long interest in old cars.
"Initially, we only had one paddock booked
and we would have been happy if we had 750 sites - we ended up with more than
1500," Mr Wolstenholme said of the inaugural 1990 event.
Every February, the
Ballarat Airport site is turned into a mini city, with thousands of stallholders
camping at the site and up to 30,000 regularly attending.
The biggest year
for the swap meet was 1999, when 45,000 poured into the site to grab a bargain
and admire 64 hectares of wares.
The event has a quirky and rich history.
Stories of buyers coming from America to buy cars and ship them back are
common, as well as people fashioning petrol scooters and bikes to navigate the
19 kilometres of stalls.
In 2002 and 2003, the Ballarat Morris Minor club
provided a pick-up and delivery service, transporting heavy parts to people's
Three quarters of attendees are from outside of the Ballarat
region.In 1991, The Courier wrote the Ballarat Swap Meet was a
boost to the area's sagging economy, with the event bringing an estimated $5
million into the region.
Year 2013 - Dale Bartholomew
Year 1990 - First year. Bill McLatchie admires a $70,000 1930 Invicta owned by Shannons Insurance. Car was one of only two in Australia and 56 in the world at the time.
Year 2002. The 13th Super Southern Swap Meet at the Ballarat Airport. Colin Bruhn from Ballarat, left, and Brett McLeod from Ballarat, right, look at the 1934 Chev Tray on display.
Year 1991 - Heather and Lloyd Roberts with their 1934 Ford Roadster and a 1929 model Ford
2004. Ian Hardman with a '36 Ford grill. Ian has been going to the swap meet every year for the past 15 and sets up on the same site.
Year 1994 - Organiser Trevor Wolstenholme and the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing Tom Reynolds inspect a 1928 Pontiac owned be Neville Podger of Timboon.
Year 2006. Peter Richardson
Year 1995 - Site holder Matthew Gray
Year 2006 - Jimmy Penhall with a Fleetwood Cadillac
Year 1995 - Caroline and Bob Stammers of Ballina, NSW check out a 1951 Renault 750.
Year 2009. Ballarat dealer Tim Griffin and a 1936 Ford wire wheel
Year 1996 - City of Ballarat chief commissioner Vern Robson (right), with organisers Jenny and Trevor Wolstenholme.
Year 1997 - Kate Harrison on a 1942 ex-Army Triumph
Year 2009. Wayne and Ethan Jones and the second-biggest flame job in the world
Year 2013 - Krusty from Waubra
Year 2012 - Athol Brand - Latrobe Valley.
Year 2000 - Stallholder Ray Alldrick from TCR Carponents in Bayswater
Year 2000 - Kerry Hill - Croydon
Year 2004. Peter Whittle and Peter Niblett find bicycles the best way to get around
Year 2004. Steve Caode from Brisbane carries his purchases in his "Radio Flyer" wagon. Steve has been coming to Ballarat for the past 12 years to buy parts and catch up with old friends.
Year 2005. Daryl McLeod and John Toose
Year 2001 - Richard Badham shows off his 1958 BSA 175cc Bantam
Year 2007. Colin Menz and Niel Wright
Year 2007 - Paul Cameron, Simon Clark - Horsham check out parts of an XA falcon
Year 2006 - Aaron Olson & David Smith
Year 2008 - Bill McIntosh
Year 2009. Rod Black was selling his '39 Standard Coupe
Year 2009. Damian Knights (Ballarat) wrapped his valuable Bel Air in plastic to keep the dust off it.
Year 2009. Leigh Bunnworth and Linda Jebb of Ballarat.
Year 2011 - John Smith - Haddon
Year 2011 - Jason Pring - Sebastopol Motor Wreckers
Year 2013 - Jason and Serena Urquhart from Birregurra