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Appleton Old Car Show and Swap Meet rolls into Pierce Park, huge hit after hiatus


APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)- The Old Car Show and Swap Meet returned to Pierce Park in Appleton after a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 43-years, this free event has been one of the largest in the Midwest, and this year was no exception. “It’s great to be back, it was hard to take a year off, but we’ve got great weather,” said Jay Stephany of Appleton Fox Cities Kiwanis Club.

Stephany, a co-chair of the event, told Local 5’s Eric Richards thousands of cars and people were expected. “We’ve already surpassed the amount of cars that we had in the show in 2019. Everyone was ready to return and it showed this year,” said Stephany.

“I’ve been coming here since forever and I’m getting up in age so I figure I might as well come out and see how many more years I’ve got to go,” said Bob Kreus of Grand Chute. Kreus, who is 81, brought his Corvette to the show. “I’ve got a 1969 420 horsepower side exhaust big body,” said Kreus.

He said he has had a few “Vettes” in the family over the years. “I love this car, but as I’m getting older, it’s getting harder to get in and out of it,” said Kreus.

Before there were Tesla and Toyota electric vehicles, there was Detroit. “Detroit was the largest manufacturer in the early 1900s and there were over 100 manufacturers of electric cars back then,” said Greg Rohde. Rohde was proud to show his all-electric 1917 Detroit Electric Brougham Model 61, under the big tent. “Detroit was the most prolific and they lasted the longest,” said Rohde.

Tom Kimball of West Salem brought his 1977 converted VW Bus. “They call it a type two. The company that converted the original VW Bus, put in the cabinets, the pop-top, and the beds,” said Kimball. He says the reactions he gets from spectators is priceless. “I love it when the kids come up and want to check it out,” said Kimball.

For more information on the Appleton Old Car Show and Swap Meet, click here. The Appleton Fox Cities Kiwanis Club’s Facebook page can be found here. Food trucks were also an added bonus this year and if they are a hit, you might find them there for years to come.

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