LIMA —Carol Nash and his wife drove down from the Detroit area to check out the J & M Collectibles Motorcycle Swap Meet, held Sunday at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
The event included 174 merchants selling anything from motorcycle parts to apparel.
For Nash, fixing up old motorcycles has been a lifelong obsession.
“I was born in North Carolina, way back in the country. Every time when I was a little kid I would hear an old Harley coming across the top of the mountain, I’d run a country mile just to look at it and I swore one day I’ll have me one of them and I’ve been collecting them ever since,” he said.
The Nash’s have a collection of 10 motorcycles that have been rebuilt back home, and two that are being rebuilt.
He admits coming to these swap meets is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“When I come here, I don’t come looking for one part or two parts. I’m looking for a part that I might use in some of my collection. For example, this is an original,” pointing to an intake air cleaner he held in his hand. “You can tell that it’s special. Because it’s got made in USA on it. Yeah. And this one in particular, has the patent numbers and stuff on it,” Nash said.
Sometimes he doesn’t find much, but doesn’t mind it.
“Well, with us, we’ve been doing it for so long that most of these vendors here are our friends. A lot of folks have come and gone, but it’s a nice way to socialize. For example, we drove all the way from Detroit (to Lima) to pick up a magazine and an air cleaner. I have driven 200 miles one way to get a $5 gas cap,” Nash added.
Jim and Mary Godwin have been holding the swap meet for more than 30 years.
The event is more than just a chance to buy motorcycle parts.
“The biggest thing about it is they meet people that they only meet here once a year and it’s like a homecoming,” said Jim Godwin.
Having the swap meet in February is a good time for motorcyclists.
“I seen the sunshine early this morning and they (motorcyclists) don’t see it very often in the wintertime and when they do they want to come out and do something. It’s getting closer to when that sun is gonna shine a lot more and they want to get their motorcycle ready to go,” said Godwin.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.