Call them flea markets or autojumbles, large old car swap meets like the Charlotte Auto Fair and Hershey are great for finding all kinds of car parts, particularly for American machines. But if you go to many of the biggies looking for MG or Porsche or Alfa Romeo parts you may only find a few vendors catering to your fancy. If you’re looking for a grille for your Triumph, a VW engine or even a correct Jaguar XK-120 tool kit, it’s hard to beat the Carlisle Import & Kit Car Nationals in Carlisle, Pa.
In 2010, Imports at Carlisle celebrated 25 years and there were plenty of people there to join in the celebration. Like so many recurring shows and flea markets, seeing old friends is an important part of its appeal. Scores of vendors sell everything from books on imported cars to used and new parts, as well as T-shirts, jewelry and tools. Sections of the vast Carlisle Fairgrounds are also devoted to car displays and are divided by country.
People come from all over the country and beyond to look for that elusive part or to display a two-stroke Auto Union or Citroën Méhari. But for the kit car world, the third weekend in May is a truly big deal.
According to writer and kit car authority Harold Pace, Imports at Carlisle “is the premier show for the kit car industry. It’s where all the manufacturers come to introduce their new models. There’s also a huge club turn-out for kit car owners.” Pace logged “45 Porsche replicas, countless Cobras, and 20 classic and original dune buggies,” which were attracted thanks to a special appearance by Bruce Meyers of Meyers Manx fame.
For more information about the event or other shows promoted by Carlisle Productions, go to www.carlisleproductions.com.