Monday, October 5, 2009

2009 Queanbeyan Swap Meet treasures

On the morning of the AFL Grand Final I went out to the Queanbeyan Swap Meet/All Ford Day. I try to get to this event every year, it runs over two days and usually has the American Car Show on the Sunday. It is a great source of car parts, tools, car junk and car photos. It is great to wander around and look at and occasionally buy, other peoples trash and treasure. I am also on the lookout for P76 or Falcon parts I might need.

This year the weather was abysmal. I arrived just before 9 AM and it alternated hail and rain for the next hour. This meant that most vendors had their stalls covered. I was lucky in the covered hall though – diecast cars on sale! There were six or seven vendors of diecast cars in the hall, and they had their miniature wares on display. Thousands of the things! Prices varied from table to table, but unlike Ebay, you can see a price and haggle. Some older scarce models were quite pricey. 

I specifically seek out Dinkum Classic 1/43 scale Leyland P76’s at these events. I asked each vendor, but no one had any. One did have some Dinkums, and some later Paradise Garage models but no P76’s. I’m also collecting info on Dinkum and had a good conversation with one of the vendors on the Dinkum company and founder.

Cars both full size and scale model built since 1988 don’t really hold much interest for me, but I did see Biante 1/43 BA XR8 Falcons on special for $10 each. I decided to buy two, one for myself and one for the Falcon Doctor in California. I also saw that the same vendor had a Caldecott Miniatures XY Falcon Ute on sale for $25, so after a quick discussion, I departed with three 1/43 cars for $40. I then headed back out into the rain.

After enduring yet more hail and alternating rain, I decided to call it a day and head back to the car. I needed to get back home before 12.30 as I was hosting a Grand Final BBQ. I spotted a stall with some crappy old US numberplates, and specifically a Centennial Colorado numberplate. I had been in Centennial a few months earlier, so it appealed to me. What made me buy it was that it was a 1976 numberplate. A Bicentennial, Centennial numberplate. Cost - $5. 

Lets look at the Biante Falcons. One of them was quite difficult to remove from the base plate, so instead of damaging the model, I’ve left it on the base plate. They are nicely rendered and seem quite accurate.

The Caldecott Miniatures Falcon was very difficult to get out of its box without damaging or tearing the cardboard flaps. The model itself is a little more primitive than the Biante XR 8 Falcon, especially around the grill. The aerial in 1:1 scale could be a half inch pipe!

The tarp on the load area is nicely rendered. The wheels seem a little oversized for the car, but they are ‘Bathurst’ Globes, and look better than regular 14x6 steel wheels. 

The rear wheels need to be raised a few millimeters. Unless it comes with a load of engine blocks under the tarp. 

Biante and Caldecott cars together. Biante cars clearly feature cleaner casting and more accurate wheels.

The white Falcon is heading off to the States next week, so I hope the Falcon Doctor enjoys it.

This year I spent less than $70 dollars at the Swap Meet – 3 model cars, a numberplate, a pile of 1970’s car magazines and a Dagwood dog. I hope that next year the weather is better at the Queanbeyan Swap Meet. As I walked to my car at 10.30 with my treasures I saw a few Falcons assembling on the showground, but I was soaked, cold and cranky. The rain was so bad at this years event, that I didn’t even take any photos as my camera isn’t waterproof! 

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