IT’S EASY to see why the annual Ballarat Swap Meet is known as the largest of its kind in the country. Held over two days in February each year, the massive automotive flea market holds thousands of stalls sprawled across an enormous site alongside the Ballarat Airport, about 1.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne. With a diverse range of car parts and accessories from all eras up for grabs, plus plenty of rare vintage toys and memorabilia to be found, the iconic meet is the go-to place for thousands of bargain hunters, collectors and enthusiasts.
Photographer Chris Thorogood was there to check out what treasures were on offer at this year’s event; here are just some of the items that caught his eye.
The meet is a great opportunity to snap up a classic or project car. This Chevelle Malibu 350 was up for grabs for a cool $39,000.
This ’83 VH Vacationer looked like a bargain at $2200.
It might have seen better days, but this Holden wagon could make the start of a great project. Some spare parts were included and it was marked down at $6500. But how would you get it home? Well, for starters, the VY Crewman tow car was up for sale too!
A very tidy XB V8 wagon – yours for $22,000.
Inspections were welcome at the meet, and this Holden FJ sedan with reco motor and gearbox looked like a good deal at just $3500.
This Cobra-style XG van started life as a divvy van and was selling for just $4200.
This HG Kingswood had a price tag of just $9000.
Offers $20K-plus were welcome on this 1968 Pontiac Firebird.
Thumbs up on this 1971 El Camino SS; the price was around $24K.
Another rad ride amongst the many was this beautiful Pontiac Safari.
How about a vintage Esky? Prices ranged from $10 to $100.
The Ballarat Swap Meet site is huge, so be prepared for a lot of walking. Or you could bring a bicycle – as long as you can still carry some goodies.
Or bring a mate to help!
And if you missed it this time around, be sure to mark the Ballarat Swap Meet on the calendar for next year: 23-24 February 2018.