Spring Jefferson

Must See Show to Start the Season

John Gunnell - April 30, 2014 10:12 AM


Spring Jefferson put the spotlight on trucks like this GMC pickup.

John Gunnell

One of the GM bargains over the weekend was this ’49 Olds for $700.

John Gunnell

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      The Madison Classic’s 37th Annual Spring Jefferson swap meet ( was a multi-make show loaded with some great GM gems. They ranged from a red and white GMC pickup in the Featured Theme display to a ’49 Olds fastback in the car corral with a $700 asking price. The Olds sold quickly.
       Jefferson shows are held twice a year at the county fairgrounds in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Years ago, they were promoted as “Little Carlisle” events and they still attract national vendors. Combine that with being one of the first Midwest shows of the season and you see why Jefferson is one of the biggest swap meets in the area.
      Vendors and show cars stream into Jefferson from a thousand points, but having five states—Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota—nearby its south central Wisconsin location doesn’t hurt Jefferson’s attendance at all. The swap meet is big and the car corral is giant sized. One dealer reported selling six vehicles very quickly. Whirly-Jig ( of Tennessee sold six car rotisseries, which was every one that fit in the special rack in the company’s van.
      The truck theme was a new one for Jefferson and featured everything from military vehicles to Kent’s Big Bar’s fleet of vintage ice cream trucks. The streamlined ’49 Olds coupe had a sign with a $700 asking price listing the parts needed to fix it up. The sign said that a new floor, new rockers and new fenders could be purchased for $850, but it didn’t say who stocked them. The car was definitely savable. Wonder if there was a vintage Rocket V-8 under the hood?
      If you missed Spring Jefferson, you can catch Madison Classic’s Fall Jefferson venue Sept. 26-28 at the same fairgrounds or you can try their two-day Summer Elkhorn event in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Aug. 2-3. Jefferson meets feature around 3,100 swap spaces and Elkhorn has about 1,100 swap spaces. Both events emphasize car corrals with hundreds of vehicles for sale.