The “Cabin Fever” NE GA Swap Meet is this Saturday, May 2 -Brad Ocock

The “Cabin Fever” NE GA Swap Meet is this Saturday, May 2 at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA!

Yes, that’s right—the Swap Meet is good to go this Saturday! We got The Green Light from the State and County governments late Monday afternoon.

The weather looks to be absolutely perfect, so between that, the Cabin Fever we’ve all been experiencing for the last month and a half, and my phone blowing up for the last ten days from buyers and sellers who are planning on coming from some distance away, we’re expecting a fantastic show.

Even with that, we’re asking you all make a point of calling your friends and encouraging them to come out. They’ve had four weeks to sort through the stuff in their shop, and have four days to get it on the trailer. Post it to any FaceBook groups you belong to, and any enthusiast web sites you frequent as well.

(Note that it’s May 2, not the following week as we had it originally scheduled).

Priority Vendor Set-up is 6-7am, and is $30 for all the space you want.
Vendor General Admission is 7am, and is $20 for all the space you want.
Spectator entry is just $6.
Cruise-in cars are encouraged, and are just $6 per person—no additional cost to park your ride inside.
Vendors get one helper in with them, because lifting engine blocks alone sucks.
Kids 12 and under are free.

Change For A Dollar
Our charity initiative will be picked back up at next month’s show.  

We had originally planned to have a Motorcycle Feature at the April show… since the world fell on its face, and I wasn’t sure what May was going to hold, I didn’t do any more promotion for any of it—but Motorcycle parts, projects, complete bikes and anything else servicing and supporting motorcycles is absolutely welcome at this show! We’ve been noticing more motorcycle stuff over the last couple months, and I’d like to see that trend continue growing, so tell all your friends to head out this Saturday.

We WILL do a dedicated motorcycle feature one month this year.
Turbo’s Rubber Mats
I’ve been working a lot getting my shop set back up, and took on a floor pan install for a friend… and maaaaan those black closed-cell rubber mats Turbo sells at the show are worth their weight in gold.

I’ve got at least two of the smaller kneeling mats with the built-in handle, though I can’t find one of them now, so I’m going to get another this weekend. I’ve also got a dense, longer mat to lay on that I keep behind the back seat of the truck and use at junkyards (soooo nice because you can just throw it down on top of thorn vines and they don’t dig into the rubber, or you), and one of my buddy’s had one of the 2-inch soft mats for his shop… I worked on it under his car one day, and Sweet-Georgia-Brown was that awesome!!! It was not only incredibly comfortable, but it really cut down on fatigue from laying on the concrete floor… I’ll be getting one this week for my shop.
If you’re a racer, you also definitely need these in your race trailer.

I’m passing that on strictly as a public service announcement… Sort of the Shop Rat equivalent of “I liked it so much, I’m also a member!” or whatever that old commercial was.
COVID Guidelines: (This is NOT “The New Normal”… but we’re gonna do what we need to until this is all over. And it’s gonna be over sooner than later)
  1. Our staff that’s directly interacting with spectators and vendors will have rubber gloves. They will also wear face masks, or be behind windows.
  2. We are switching from our regular paper tear-off tickets, to wrist bands. Please make sure to put them on, not just in your pocket or on your dashboard—we’ll be using these specifically so we don’t have to use hand-stamps to let people re-enter the show. We’ll hand you the wrist band, but we won’t put it on you—we’ll need you to do that, and you’ll need to do it before entering through the spectator gate.
    We’ll also need you to catch as much wrist-hair in the adhesive as you can, as though we were putting it on you. Your co-operation on the wrist-hair is greatly appreciated.
  1. In order to minimize back-and-forth contact points, we’re asking that everybody please make a special effort to have exact change for your entries; this will eliminate someone handing us money, and then us handing it back out to other people. $30 for Priority Vendor, $20 for Vendor General Admission, $6 for each spectator. Vendors get one helper in for free. Anybody else in the car is $6 each.
  2. We will have signs at the entry gates listing the symptoms of COVID-19… because after four months of hearing about nothing but, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, apparently Small Business Owners are the last line of defense in saving the human race by once again telling everyone what the symptoms are, on signs at our entry points… so I’m buying signs to put up. Make me feel like it’s worth it and at least glance in their general direction on your way through the gates.
  3. Your temperature: I’m still investigating whether or not we have to get the temperature of people coming in the gate. I DO have to take the temperatures of our workers before they start interacting with you, and obviously none of my workers with symptoms will be working at the show.
    If we DO end up taking participant’s temperatures, it’s gonna be with one of those lazer pointer temperature guns guys use to check the temp on slicks and radiators.
    Option 2 is rectal thermometers, self-administered of course, but that’s probably not real practical, and will just lead to a whole bunch more hassles than its worth, including Hostile Environment lawsuits and more…  I’m leaning heavily toward the laser gun thing. Plus I’ve always wanted one for the shop, so… (Oh shut up! Two-thirds of you have made the same joke when talking about getting your temperatures taken at businesses!)
  4. Face Masks: The Georgia State Government’s guidelines SUGGEST everyone wear face masks while out in public. They do not require it. We are complying with all of the State’s requirements, and not creating our own. All my reading and research indicates masks do not protect YOU from GETTING the virus, it helps protect you from spreading it to others, so use your own discretion.
    I’m still deciding what kind of mask to wear in public, and have it narrowed down to Clown, or Hockey.
  5. If you opt to wear a mask, and we can all still see your nostrils, you’re doing it wrong. Just pointing that out, because in the last week I’ve seen it more than I would have ever imagined. (There’s a lot of people who have taken themselves out of the running for Mensa nominations is all I’m saying. A LOT of people…)
  6. Sneezing.
    Anybody who’s ever worked in restaurants knows how to sneeze. For those who’ve never worked in the food service industry, here’s the procedure:
    Rear your head back, eyes squinted shut, nose wrinkled, mouth wide open but lower jaw tight.
    There’s a split-second pause between The Windup and The Pitch.
    During that split-second, cock one of your shoulders up a bit and turn your head towards it, then let fly. Your shoulder will catch the brunt of it, and you won’t cover your hand in Yuck, spray your neighbors, or cover vendor’s parts for the next guy to pick up. (All the Covid Procedure sites are mentioning sneezing, but I defy you to find a better, more thorough description or process… Proving we here at the NE GA Swap Meet will always go the extra mile… no matter how ridiculous)
  7. Sneezing While Wearing a Mask
    I have NO idea how that’s gonna work, but if you’re wearing a mask and feel one coming on, make sure to have your friend shoot video on their cell phone, because it’s gonna be hilarious.
  8. Hand Sanitizer. If you have your own pocket-sized bottles, bring it and use it throughout the day.
    I’ve ordered two cases of 12-oz pump bottles, and will have a bottle set up at the top end of each row, on an up-ended 55-gallon barrel.
    The track manager is also installing hand sanitizer dispensers in the restrooms.
  9. Bathroom Attendant: We’ll have a bathroom attendant policing the bathrooms throughout the entire event. She will be spraying down the counters and fixtures with the CDC-recommended bleach solution. For privacy concerns, she’ll shut the gate/doors of the bathroom she’s cleaning, so just use the other buildings while she’s giving that one the Ten Second Tidy. Yeah, it’s a pain, but waddya gonna do?
  10. The phrases “An abundance of Caution” and “We’re All In This Together” are expressly forbidden anywhere on the property throughout the duration of the event.  Anybody heard uttering these phrases is liable to be hit in the mouth with a cylinder head.
  11. Everyone knows the 6 Food Rule… our walking aisles are two cars wide, and our vendors get as much space as they want, so we don’t have to worry about them being stacked on top of one another like they are at other shows. If we can all walk through the grocery store aisles and maintain 6 feet of distance, we should all have no problem maintaining 6 feet at the swap meet. At the spectator ticket window, we’ll probably have two windows open to keep people from bunching up.
  12. Sunlight is being touted as knocking out the virus very quickly—Seriously. Saturday’s weather is supposed to be sunny and perfect, so keep it in mind! (I’d say “come to the swap meet for your health!” but people believe Trump told them to drink fish tank cleaner and swallow Lysol to beat the virus, and I’d rather not open myself up to litigation from the people who need warning labels to tell them not to use electric hair driers while taking a shower, so I won’t say it.)

Something To Keep In Mind:
So after reading our COVID guidelines here, you’ll see that I’ve changed from the cheap tear-off tickets to wrist bands, have added a couple staffers to cover new positions, am having signs made, will have hand sanitizer on the rows, need to get masks and gloves for my staff, have to get a thermometer, will need my crew to get there earlier than normal to go over procedures and whatnot, and some other things. Overall, these changes are going to add several hundred dollars to the cost of putting on the show.

I’m not pointing that out to cry poor-mouth or anything like that: I’m pointing it out to show ALL businesses who deal with the general public are incurring additional costs right now, and it’s coming straight out of their owners’ pockets. I’m getting off pretty light, really; other business owners are having to outfit a lot more employees, make a lot more signs, add a lot more processes, and in the case of restaurants, they have to keep their dining rooms practically empty compared to how many they usually seat.

Small businesses are getting absolutely HAMMERED right now, and they’re gonna be getting hammered for the foreseeable future. So even if money is tight, do what you can to support them—Every little bit helps, and they appreciate it. Shop at your local hardware store… swing through a restaurant on the way home and grab a sandwich, even if you eat it on your tail gate in their parking lot. Stop by the florist and get a little bundle of flowers for your kitchen table. Make an appointment with your chiropractor. Get your dog groomed.

Find one of the mom-and-pops that the Government considered “non-essential,” and spend whatever you’re able with them, even if it’s small. Because I guarantee that even though the politicians decided they’re non-essential, small businesses are essential to the health of our entire nation.
All of this chaos and rescheduling put the track in a bind for their June schedule; they’ve been absolutely fantastic with me and the swap meet through all this as it was unfolding and the Quarantine Goal Posts were being moved on a weekly basis. Moving the June swap meet ahead a week, to May 30, helped them, and I was glad to do it.
There’s 5 weekends in May, so moving the show ahead to May 30 still puts it at 4 weeks away, so mark it down on your calendar.

Lamar Walden Automotive…
Machine shops and other automotive-related businesses are considered “essential” so Lamar Walden Automotive in Doraville has been cranking out engine builds non-stop since the beginning of the quarantine. But to be honest, with all that’s been going on, plus a few other things in their own right, I haven’t been able to talk with Rob about what they’ve been working on.

I’ve got a pair of vintage intake manifolds (C4B and F4B Edelbrock intakes) that were on their way to getting blasted and re-skinned before everything went sideways, so hopefully I’ll get those sorted out and restored down there in the next two weeks.

If you need anything done, or have been planning a build or upgrades, now is the time to do it!

2020 begins the next 50 years as one of the top engine builders in the South Lamar Walden Automotive is in Doraville, Georgia; (770) 449-0315,
JPs Muscle CarParts—Project Build Emporium!

They got the ’70 Trans Am back from Pro Custom in Covington, with a show-car paint job. They’re building it back to showroom-stock, with Ram Air, and a nice list of options.
A 1960 Biscayne is in for A/C, a tilt column, power steering and windows, new glass and weather seals.

The ’65 Malibu Wagon they sold last summer is back, getting a frame-off restoration, with LS3 power and a long list of performance and handling upgrades.

Their own ’71 Camaro project is making good progress—they got it running, and the McCarty Fab and Speed custom exhaust system sounds killer! McCarty also put in the roll cage and did the fab work around the buts, and got the late-model 8-way Camaro power seats installed.

They’ve got a nice ’60 Chevy 283 for sale—it’s on a run stand and you can hear it. “As always, I invite anyone wanting to get some work done to come by and visit,” Johnny says.
He’s also got a nice selection of Cowl hoods in stock, and can deliver them to the swap meet this Saturday. Give him a call!

JP’s Muscle Cars is at 113 Hammond Drive in Monroe, GA: Call (770) 207-9570 or visit their website at, or stop by and see them at the swap meet.

Bud’s Garage—the only Car Guy Radio on the radio!
The radio in my shop is horrible. And that’s a problem because I can’t tune in to WDUN  while I’m out there on Saturday from Noon-to-1pm.

BUT, I figured out a fix: I bring the laptop out, and live-stream it on their website. It’s great!
(and after their show is over, I pop over to different YouTube channels that have complete vintage baseball games or NASCAR race broadcasts that are fun listening in the shop)

What’s Bud going to talk about this month? I dunno… he sent me a list, but to be honest, it’s 4:36am as I’m typing this, and I’m too lazy to sort through my emails and find it.

I DO know this: the topics will be entertaining, and at only an hour, the show goes by waaaay too fast. (We need to start calling the station and telling them to bump the length of the show—two hours would be a whole lot better, and having sat in on many shows, I know they have more than enough material to go that distance every week.)

For their personal stuff, Tim just got a ‘60s Dodge pick-up fired up and took it’s maiden “Yard Drive” around his place; it’s a good looking truck, and bullet-proof with a fresh rebuild on the Slant 6. He could use an 833 4spd OD manual trans and shifter for it, though, so if anybody has one, swing by Bud’s trailer this Saturday and talk to them.  

And while you’re there, talk to Bud about his ’46 Dodge pick-up project that’s for sale, or his ’84 Corvette roller. The Dodge is REALLY a solid truck, and would make a fantastic project for someone (the doors are nice enough that someone tried hard to buy just them). The Corvette is solid, never hit, all the glass is good, suspension is there, as is the wiring harness. The engine and trans are gone, but it’s a great starting point for a track-day or Autocross car, and Bud is “a motivated seller” as the saying goes. Again, he’s planning to be at the swap meet Saturday, so stop by his trailer. If you need directions to him, call me or track me down—I’ll be easy to find in the white cowboy hat and clown mask.  

Informative Automotive Buffoonery Every Saturday at Noon!!
 The Fastest Car-Guy Talk on the Radio! Saturdays, noon-1pm, AM 550/FM 102.9
2020 Schedule
Below is the 2020 Schedule. There are a couple dates that are the Second Saturday—make a note of it!
May 2
May 30
July 4 (yes, July 4… But we’re an early show, so you’ll have plenty of time to BBQ and watch fireworks!)
August 1
September 5
October 10—Vintage Bike Feature!
November 7
December 5

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