Automotive swap revs up in Biloxi

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's a cruisin' event where cash talks and people walk away with classic car parts to restore their antique beauties.

"Anything to make them go fast, make a lot of noise and rile up a lot of people," Mike Glaviana of Lumberton said.

"Love it... look forward to it every year," Lillian Kostmayer of Biloxi said.

Nearly 160 vendors set up shop outside and inside the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for the Automotive Swap Meet.

It's the first time Neon Warehouse, from Detroit, Michigan, has come down for the event. They had a display of nearly 50 neon signs inside the coliseum.

"If there were awards given for the coolest booth, I think we'd win it just about all the time," Matt Abbott said.

From signs to shirts, well actually, onesies in this case, Judy Booth of Conroe, Texas came ready to stock up for her grandson.

"He's three months old, and we own five GTOs that are restored. [We have] a bunch more to be restored and he's going to inherit them all," Booth said.

Friends Virginia Hall and Lillian Kostmayer have uncovered a strategy when it comes to these swap meets, and they usually end up walking away with what they want.

"The husbands, see they can sneak off and look at the swap meet while the ladies look at the jewelry and all the other goodies," Kostmayer said.

Her friend Virginia chimed in saying, "Yeah and [the women] can spend the money while the husbands are looking at the cars."

As for vendors, some say part of their success boils down to three words: location, location, location.

"Good thing I have car parts on both sides of me. It stops the husbands and the wives can come to my booth and look around and just have a good time," said Shelly Barnett of Gautier.

The swap meet continues Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

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