It’s the 40th year for the Pate Swap Meet and for vehicle do-it-yourselfers this is the one-stop shopping destination for parts, and everything that goes with them, including already- restored vehicles and those that can be your project for the next year or decade. Held from Thursday, April 26th through the 29th at the Texas Motor Speedway complex, I am told that this is the place to be if you want to trade, buy or simply inhale the world of the fix-er-upper or customizer. This will be my first year for the Pate event and I will be posting from there that weekend.
Founded in 1972 as a get-together for vehicle enthusiasts and gearheads, the first event was held in 1973 in Cresson, Texas, where Aggie Pate had an adjacent auto museum and made his land available. That makes this a homegrown event that we Texans can lay claim to. When Page died in 1988, the event, which was then known as the South Central Swap Meet, was renamed in his honor. The property was put up for sale and the Meet had to be moved. There was no question as to its survival since it had blossomed into the third largest event of its kind in the U.S. In 1998, it moved to the Texas Motor Speedway which had the space to house this fast-growing event, and the thousands of people who attend.
There are 17 Texas car clubs involved in the meet, along with a huge number of hoarders and car/truck junkies who enjoy both the chance to sell and trade with others like them, as well as to spend several days with folks who equate exhaust fumes with fine perfume. My mission when I am there is to talk with die-hard truck people who can help you with your sports truck, and I’ll give names and info for your use in contacting them.
if you have the itch to meet them yourself, the Pate Swap Meet is free for all visitors with just a $5.00 parking fee. For the real diehards, there is RV and trailer capping available with $20 sites and restrooms and showers provided.
The meet opens at 7am each day and runs into the evening. For more specifics, call (713)649-0922. The Pate organization has a website with lots of info at http:www.pateswapmeet.com.
I will be there covering the event on Saturday afternoon and hope you will ask for me. (Show management will probably know where to find me. You know what I look like, but I’ll probably be in a golf cart rather than my vehicle of choice. For the two days after that, the Texas Autowriters Association will be driving and evualating cars, CUVs and SUVs, culminating in the Car of Texas award, among lots of other covetable prizes. I’ll keep you posted, literally.