First Swap Meet at Deer Park Airport

Traffic was at times backed up as people came in the thousands to the first Swap Meet at The Old Drag Strip at the Deer Park Airport, this last Memorial weekend.  

“It went absolutely great,” said Hargis Adams, one of the founders of the Deer Park Car Club. This Deer Park Car Club sponsored event proved that you do not need to leave Deer Park to have an exciting time. Organizers thought that about 3,000 people showed up with 60 to 80 vendors and about 150 classic cars for public viewing. Live music from local artists: Deer Park High School Band, Upriver Drive Band, and Hazel, played throughout the day reminding us of the talented people we have in our own community. 

Adams believed that one of the key reasons this event was so successful was the volunteers who worked to put this on. Whether marketing for the event, setting up for location, parking cars, directing traffic, cleaning up, and any of the other jobs in between they all came together for the purpose of making a difference in our community members lives. Since this event, the organizers have many posts on Facebook with a list of people they wanted to thank for helping out. Adams wanted to remind people that, “The future is up to us to make in a lot of different ways.” He also talked about remembering our history and learning from our experiences along with creating our own history as we go.

Remembering Our Past

The Deer Park Car Club picked this event’s location with the purpose of remembering the past in mind. Between 1953 to 1974 this place was the Deer Park Raceway Home of National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Drag Racing. The airport which had been built by the United States Army in 1943 was deeded over to the City of Deer Park after World War II. It had flat, long paved runways that were rarely used which made it perfect for a race track. This was a major location in the Pacific Northwest area for drag racing, hosting one of a six meet events for the NHRA’s “World Championship Series” in the mid-1960’s. 

Learning from Experience

The organizers have learned alot from this event and have the hope of holding more events  in the future. Things they talked about needing to work out for next time is the traffic flow, parking situation and the need for more volunteers.

Sources:

  • Adams, Hargis. Personal interview. March 29th 2021
  • The Clayton/Deer Park Historical Society, Greg Fury and Peter Coffin. “Drag Racing At Deer Park.” Mortarboard, no. 66, 2013, pp. 801-808.
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