A brief history of vintage bicycle swap meets

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mr.cycleplane

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 9, 2017
888
Auburn, California
Have you ever wondered about when the first vintage bicycle swap meet was? How long have there been vintage bike collectors? We know about Memory Lane Classics or the Ann Arbor meet. The Whizz-ins in southern California or the Iron Ranch meet. And there are many more-some now gone. But what was the first official vintage Bicycle swap meet? You'd be surprised to know that it took place at a very appropriate place for such an event.....the parking lot of the Schwinn Bicycle factory in september of 1981. It was put on by none other than Leon Dixon. I am going to start this thread off with that event and would like to know about other meets throughout the country that were bicycle specific swap meets. I know that in some areas there are great car meets and bikes show up there but what i would like to see here is maybe bike only
thumbnail_CBCA1981LD001%20copy.jpg


meets that happened and maybe a flyer copy(if you still have one laying around). A picture that captures the flavor of the meet(don't want a ton-we can always go back through cabe archives for more!)would be nice. Current and meets that no longer happen-a small narrative appreciated.
 

barnyguey

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Apr 7, 2012
5,826
Rathdrum, Idaho
Back in the late 80's a fellow named Jerry Germeau put on a swap meet a little south of Seattle on Military Road in Kent Washington. I think Jerry might have been a sheriff or something like that? He was really into J.C. Higgins bicycles and sold me several parts including a Batwing Headlight. It was a great swap meet, but eventually it went a away. Barry
1570569795375.jpeg

oldbikeswap Seattle 20110.jpg
 
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mr.cycleplane

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 9, 2017
888
Auburn, California
Yes-I remember those and was at several of the 'armoury' meets! Those were great meets.
Back in the late 80's a fellow named Jerry Germeau put on a swap meet a little south of Seattle on Military Road in Kent Washington. I think Jerry might have been a sheriff or something like that? He was really into J.C. Higgins bicycles and sold me several parts including a Batwing Headlight. It was a great swap meet, but eventually it went a away. Barry

View attachment 1075474
 

barnyguey

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Apr 7, 2012
5,826
Rathdrum, Idaho
Yes-I remember those and was at several of the 'armoury' meets! Those were great meets.
I dug around in my paperwork, but could only find the two flyers. I do have a couple older ones from Memory Lane & Vancouver.

It turns out Jerry was a detective rather than a sheriff.
 
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mr.cycleplane

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 9, 2017
888
Auburn, California
Please chime in-even if you don't have a flyer copy or a picture-just a mention of a meet is 'cool'!
 
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Boris

Fat tired old rider
Feb 16, 2008
12,228
Portland, OR 97206
I vaguely remember one that I went to a couple of times. It was held at the Armory on 33rd off Marine Drive in Portland, OR. like maybe 30-35 years ago??? Does anyone else remember those swap meets?
 
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vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
12,892
crown point<indiana
I did a few shows with Eddie Boros in the 80's.Getting there early ,setting up and sleeping in the van. Early setups always paid off because most good deals were made before doors opened.One show the police were called in because somebody stole a Phantom rear light off a table during the night.
 

schwinnderella

Finally riding a big boys bike
Sep 21, 2009
391
Palatine, United States
Regarding the 1981 Bicycle Swap in Chicago mentioned in the first post in this thread, I was lucky enough to be there. I believe two early Chicago area collectors did a great deal of the work to arrange this swap, visit to the factory, and visit to the Schwinn collection. These two collectors seldom get any mention or credit so they are Bill Farrell and Tom Bartholomew.
 

Hobo Bill

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 8, 2008
485
under the church floor
I vaguely remember one that I went to a couple of times. It was held at the Armory on 33rd off Marine Drive in Portland, OR. like maybe 30-35 years ago??? Does anyone else remember these swap meets?
Boriseye remember going thar...went with bob keindel about 1992???
 
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mr.cycleplane

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 9, 2017
888
Auburn, California
As I have some background on this meet and who did what I must make some corrections to the above statement by 'schwinnderella'. Leon Dixon put the meet on by himself. He paid for the advertising in the 'Chicago Sun Times' by himself. Bill Farrell made a few phones calls to help pave the way with Schwinn. Most was co-ordinated with Keith Kingbay-who ran the Excelsior line at the factory. Leon spent three weeks in the Chicago area co-ordinating this meet and stayed as a guest in the home of Bill Farrell(believe Bill is still around-could confirm?). A list of collectors in the Chicago area was given to Tom Bartholomew to start a club in the area by Leon. Tom had nothing to do with the meet other than to show up. All credit for the meet's success was given in follow up newsletters put out by Leon. I am sure both are fine individuals and I mean no disrespect. After all it has been 38 since the meet and things may be a little blurred. To schwinnderella I have confirmed my information with the ultimate source....the guy who put the meet on! But that is fantastic that you were able to attend such a 'monumental' piece of bicycle history!
 
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pkleppert

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 26, 2010
240
Beverly Hills, Michigan
The 40th Anniversary of the Ann Arbor Classic Bicycle Show and Swap Meet will be a two day show April 25 and 26th 2020. My wife Annie and I have been the sponsors of what is now the largest vintage bike show in the world for 37 years.. We have done this with our close group of volunteers since 1984 for everyone to enjoy. Guess what, We could care less about who wants to take credit for being the first. We have been the leaders of the biggest, oldest and best, "with the help of Lisa Trombley of Memory Lane", Classic Bicycle Show and Swap Meet in the World and that's all that matters.

Attached is the flyer presented to Annie and I by Leo Chouinard and posthumously from my old buddy Jim Hurd years ago.

Do the math.

Paul and Anne Kleppert and all our volunteers

IMG_4139.JPG


IMG_4141.JPG


IMG_4140.JPG
 

schwinnderella

Finally riding a big boys bike
Sep 21, 2009
391
Palatine, United States
As I have some background on this meet and who did what I must make some corrections to the above statement by 'schwinnderella'. Leon Dixon put the meet on by himself. He paid for the advertising in the 'Chicago Sun Times' by himself. Bill Farrell made a few phones calls to help pave the way with Schwinn. Most was co-ordinated with Keith Kingbay-who ran the Excelsior line at the factory. Leon spent three weeks in the Chicago area co-ordinating this meet and stayed as a guest in the home of Bill Farrell(believe Bill is still around-could confirm?). A list of collectors in the Chicago area was given to Tom Bartholomew to start a club in the area by Leon. Tom had nothing to do with the meet other than to show up. All credit for the success was given in follow up newsletters put out by Leon. I am sure both are fine individuals and I mean no disrespect. After all it has been 38 since the meet and things may be a little blurred. To schwinnderella I have confirmed my information with the ultimate source....the guy who put the meet on! But that is fantastic that you were able to attend such a 'monumental' piece of bicycle history!
For sure my memory is not what it used to be, and you are likely right about Tom's contribution. I do recall that Leon thanked Bill Farrell and Keith Kingbay in his newsletter so I thought Bill deserved mention. I believe both Tom and Bill are still around last I heard.
 

mr.cycleplane

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 9, 2017
888
Auburn, California
The 40th Anniversary of the Ann Arbor Classic Bicycle Show and Swap Meet will be a two day show April 25 and 26th 2020. My wife Annie and I have been the sponsors of what is now the largest vintage bike show in the world for 37 years.. We have done this with our close group of volunteers since 1984 for everyone to enjoy. Guess what, We could care less about who wants to take credit for being the first. We have been the leaders of the biggest, oldest and best, "with the help of Lisa Trombley of Memory Lane", Classic Bicycle Show and Swap Meet in the World and that's all that matters.

Attached is the flyer presented to Annie and I by Leo Chouinard and posthumously from my old buddy Jim Hurd years ago.

Do the math.

Paul and Anne Kleppert and all our volunteers

View attachment 1075731

View attachment 1075732

View attachment 1075736
Awesome! Think about it...40 years and still going strong! Incredible. The flyer now qualifies as an antique! Congrats and best wishes for another 40 years of meets!
 

mr.cycleplane

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 9, 2017
888
Auburn, California
If you live in southern California do you remember the 'doc Gibson meets'? Or how about Paul Popp's meet in El Segundo-where is Paul these days?
 
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mr.cycleplane

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Sep 9, 2017
888
Auburn, California
This is very true-the Wheelman (League of American Wheelman comes to mind!)have been around long before balloon tire bikes* were even thought of! (*perhaps the most widely collected-not excluding racer-bmx-mountain types here!) Although I think it was more a gathering of riders and skill competitions and probably not a swap meet! But definitely part of our hobby! Thanks
 
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