We didn’t know much about the annual show n’ swap in Wauseon, Ohio, but we’d heard enough good stuff about it to give it a shot. Turns out, it’s stellar. It’s big. And it was chock-full of motorcycle Americana and a sprinkling of other makes, models and memorabilia. Here, let us give you a photo tour…
Sure, you may not have tens of thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket for a well-worn Pope or a rare Indian sidecar, but it’s fun to look. Don’t let our pics of unobtanium deter you, the Wauseon National Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet is like a rolling museum, but there are some deals to be had and cool stuff to find in the swap meet.
Unlike a museum, you might see an early 20’s motorcycle putt right passed you, carrying its owner to the bathroom or to a food booth. You’ll see the various twists and turns and other methods of firing up and operating such antiquities every where you look.
Though it’s been around for a good while (32 years!), we hear this big meet has grown quite large in the last handful of years. It’s another fine example of a Midwestern gathering of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts set in an inviting venue, the Fulton County Fairgrounds.
The event hosts Friday night flat track races, boasts 500 vendors in the swap area all weekend, field games, tech seminars and an antique motorcycle show on Sunday. All of this makes up one of the many Antique Motorcycle Club of America’s National Meets.
“An AMCA National Meet can be a weekend escape from the modern world to a simpler, more relaxing time.” –AMCA Website
Unlike AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio, there is a smaller percentage of Euro and Japanese bikes at Wauseon, though there are some great examples of many origins to be found.
Motorcycles aren’t the only vehicles turning heads at Wauseon. Here’s just a sampling of some of the funky vans, campers, cars and trailers found in the fairgrounds.
As with many shows we attend, people-watching is a fun aspect of events that revolve around nostalgia. It brings out a lotta characters with interesting and wonderfully atypical fashion sense.
The swap meet area is spread out. Really spread out. You could spend hours winding around the gravel and blacktopped lanes and grass fields to find any and everything.
From hard-to-find parts to cheap knickknackery, you gotta keep your eyes peeled. Something will speak to you whether it’s old bicycles, lineman boots or a turn signal from a 40s Knucklehead.
Plucked from the AMCA website, “the heart of most National Meets is the vendor field, in which AMCA members can offer for sale parts and even entire motorcycles over 35 years old. It can take a keen eye to spot the truly significant piece among the acres of parts offered by vendors, but many award-winning restorations have begun as piles of parts found on an AMCA vendor field.”
If anyone ever asks what the Wauseon National Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet is like, send ’em a link to this photo review of our experience. Of course, this is just a fraction of the happenings to be found there.
If you find yourself motorcycling in the Midwest looking for something to do in July, this is definitely a place to drop in on. To get through the gates and mosey around is free (which is very cool). Parking outside the gates cost five bucks at the time of this post (which is more than fair).
If you wanna camp, it’s cheap, but you’ll need to be an AMCA member, which has its membership fee requirement. Learn more at the event’s website: wauseonnationalmeet.org Or learn more about the Antique Motorcycle Club of America at their site: www.antiquemotorcycle.org