In the 1960's Abilene Texas was a hotbed of antique car activity. Some of the local car clubs got together to hold a swapmeet at the Fairgrounds in Abilene. In an attempt to be the first meet of the year, it was held in early February. For many, many years it marked the start of "Car Season"... but the cold weather was almost always a problem. As the club members aged and interest in restored antiques began to wain some, the organization and implementation of the meet got to be too much, and the swapmeet was shelved.
Some of the kids of those original Abilene Swap Meet organizers remembered the meet vividly and noted the void of a serious swap meet in the West Central Texas area. They decided to make the effort to resurrect an Abilene Swapmeet.
The small cadre of friends and car folks known as the "Side of the Road Gang Car Club" met to discuss what made a great swap meet. In the end, they knew that they would need a popular location that was easy to find, enter and exit. It needed a hard surfaced and to be resistant to Texas' fickle weather.
Big Country Swap Meet
They understood that the meet needed to be well laid-out and organized. Swappers liked to be able to enjoy good food and have clean, permanent restrooms without leaving the event. The ability to communicate with the crowd was important. It must be easy to transport parts back to the vehicle. There needed to be a space to park trailers, so they didn't take up all of your space. Lighting and electricity in spaces would be nice. Overnight campers liked to stay in their RV's with hookups.
The planners teamed up with Big Country Raceway to provide a location that met ALL of their demands and set out the hard work of managing all of the moving parts: legal issues, administration, organizing, marketing, building forms and systems. The list seemed endless...
The first year, the swapmeet was a great success, exceeding expectations. With the groundwork laid and word getting out more and more each year, the Big Country Swapmeet is destined to be a must-make event for West Central car nuts for many, many years to come!