We’ve undertaken some questionable projects here at Hagerty over the years, but last year we finally lost it. Conceived in a moment of insanity – and likely over a couple of beers – someone had the novel idea of building an entire car over four days at the AACA Fall Hershey Swap Meet, using parts sourced on the grounds, while streaming our potentially epic failure live to the world. “Genius!” we agreed, fully immersed in our collective delusion, which we dubbed “Hagerty's Swap to Street Challenge." And, if that wasn’t enough, we decided that upon completion, we’d immediately drive the thing nearly 750 miles home to Traverse City, Mich.
So, we dragged a crumbling, beautifully patinaed 1946 Ford half-ton commercial pickup out of the northern Michigan mud, where it had been reposing since 1962, got it titled for insurance purposes, and trailered it to Hershey. For the task we needed Hagerty employees who were talented enough yet foolhardy enough to volunteer, placing our bets on Parts Finder Davin Reckow, Social Media Analyst Matt Lewis, Staff Writer Tara Hurlin and Client Relations Manager Brad Phillips.
Despite a few nail-biting days spent searching for a running engine, fabricating a last-minute oil pan and braving a torrential downpour, they managed to bring our 1946 Ford back to life – live. The pickup made the Hershey-to-Traverse-City drive with few problems, and after a brief shakedown, it toured the country via POSIES Driven Dirty Tour, traveling from Michigan to Las Vegas.
Overall, our gamble was a success.
This year, we’re upping the ante. Where our pickup came with a dilapidated cab and a few other parts, this year’s vehicle is nothing but a rolling chassis. We’re shaking up the team, too: Davin and Brad remain on board, but we’re introducing two new builders – Brett and Randy. Meet them here.
Stay tuned for weekly updates on the team’s preparations and more details on our new vehicle at www.hagerty.com/swaptostreet. Though we may be crazy, it's a good thing we’re not superstitious – the last three digits of our new project’s serial number are “666.”
For anyone planning to attend the meet, stop by and watch the build. For those of you watching from home, we’ll stream the entire process beginning Tuesday, Oct. 4, at noon. Subscribe to the stream here: www.YouTube.com/Hagerty/live