In 1975, antique-automobile enthusiast George W. Cross III was looking for an easier way to find parts for his unique restoration projects and came up with the idea of creating an automobile-specific swap meet where he and other car enthusiast could come together to buy and sell whatever it is they needed from one another. Today, George’s vision has grown to become what many are calling the “West Coast’s Largest Antique Auto, Corvette, Porsche, Street Rod, and Volkswagen Swap Meet and Classic Car Show.” Held seven times a year, each event attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world to check out the more than 15 miles of vendors selling hard to find car parts, accessories, and vehicles.
Whether you’re trying to sell your vehicle or just want to show it off, the car corral section of the Pomona Swap Meet is one of the best places to have it on display. It’s divided up into six specialized sections: pre-1985 classics, any year Corvette, any year Porsche, pre-1959 street rods, pre-1985 Volkswagen, and pre-1985 imports.
Walking through the Euro sections of the car corral we were blown away by some of the historic we were blown away by some of the things we saw. Unless we had a time machine we probably never would have been able to get as close as we did to some of these historic machines. Read on to check out some of the more noteworthy vehicles we saw at the swap meet.
One of only about 4,500 models built, this 280 SE 3.5 represents the final iteration of Mercedes’s W111 chassis. When they were first introduced in 1969, the 280 SE 3.5 was fitted with Mercedes’s new M116 3499cc V-8 engines, which reportedly made about 200hp and gave the 280 SE 3.5 a top speed of 210km/h (130mph) and a 0-100km/h time of 9.5 seconds (11.5 for those with an automatic transmission).
A very rare 1939 Peugeot P53CL WW2 French military bike – unfortunately we couldn’t find out much about this bike, even from the owner himself; however, given the fact that it is a military bike, the owner speculates it could have been used by the French Foreign Legion.
A 1936 Motobecane Model B1V2. Founded in France in 1923, Motobecane started off as a bicycle, moped, and motorcycle company before moving onto cars in the 1940s. At one point Motobecane became France’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles. Unfortunately Motobecane would eventually file for bankruptcy and become purchased by the Yamaha Motor Corporation. Today, Motobecane continues to operate as a subsidiary of Yamaha, manufacturing scooters under the name MBK.
A 1936 Express bike, Express Werke AG was founded in 1884 as a bicycle and motorcycle manufacture. In the 1930s Express started making mopeds and lightweight such as this one using 75cc and 98cc Sachs engines. These motorcycles proved to be very popular in pre-war Germany with massive quantities of them sold to both civilian and commercial users. In 1958 Express Werke AG would merge with fellow Germany motorcycle manufacturers, DKW and Victoria to form Zweirad Union. Zweirad Union would later go on to terminate Express production a year later.
A 1949 MG TC, when these were first introduced they were powered by a 1250cc engine that supposedly got 28mpg and had a 0-60 time of 22.7 seconds which at the time was quite impressive.
It’s not everyday that you see a ’65 Volvo 122 SS wagon let alone one that’s been converted into a 2-door. Owned by Mel Marquez, Mel did all the restorations to the wagon himself including the body conversion, lowering it on Eibach springs, and swapping out the old engine for a ’91 Chevy S10 motor. When asked why he went with an S10 motor rather than an LS , Mel told us that it was because, “the S10 motor was a perfect. It slid in without me having to do any cutting or any other modifications to the engine bay.”
A ’69 Triumph TR6 owned by Patrick Perez. Patrick told us that this was his very first car, which he purchased in 1980. Over the years Patrick added a few modifications to his TR6 including a triple weber motor, dual XKE exhaust, and a leather interior. Currently, Patrick is trying to sell his TR6 and he is sad to let go but unfortunately he needs to sell it in order to free up some space in his garage for other projects.
This 1969 Jaguar E-Type proved to be one of the most popular cars at the swap meeting causing almost everybody who tried to walk passed it to stop and take a good look at it and it’s no surprise this was happening since the E-Type was a car that many have called including Enzo Ferrari himself “the most beautiful car ever made” and that Jeremy Clarkson called the “essence of British brilliance.” If anybody is interested this one is for sale. The owner is only asking for $80,000 for it.
This may look like a real ’57 Porsche 1600 Super Speedster but unfortunately it’s a replica. Underneath the hood is a 2176 motor mated to an HKS turbo.
Anybody interested in getting a Ferrari Testarossa? This one is up for sale for the low, low price of $129,000. Don Johnson sport coat and sunglasses not included.
This ‘77 VW Beetle is owned by Louie Radiles of Downey California. A regular at the Pomona Swap Meet, Louie actually purchased his Beetle at the Swap Meet 10 years ago and he has been bringing it with him to the swap meet ever since looking for parts for it when he can. Louie did most of the restoration to his Beetle himself, putting in a 1600 motor as well as adding a full disc brake conversion. Louie is also a huge collector of Coca-Cola merchandise, which is why he decided to give his Beetle a Coca-Cola theme.
For more information on the Pomona Swap Meet including the date of their next event check out their website at www.pomonaswapmeet.com. If you plan on going just make sure to bring a wagon, your wallet, and comfortable walking shows because you are going to need them.