North Weald Airfield is better known as an active general aviation airfield. Established only 13 years after the Wright Brothers made the world’s first powered flight, the sites finest hour came when it served as a frontline airfield in the Battle of Britain. With so much heritage, it’s only natural that it now plays host to one of the biggest hotrodding and nostalgia autojumbles on the calendar.
Each March, the National Street Rod Association take over the site, erects barriers and queuing systems, and welcome hundreds of traders and participants in the thousands for the NSRA Southern Swap Meet. The threats of the next ‘beast from the east’ thankfully did not manifest, and for an open, active airfield, the breeze was surprisingly calm which made for a very pleasant and enjoyable day.
Its an early start for the event crew, and an even earlier start for those journeying to Epping to buy and sell. Walking around the arena, there were whole projects for sale, engines, components and drive trains, body panels, mechanical parts and a vast selection of wheels, tyres and trim panels. If you are collecting parts for a new project, this really is the place to start. You couldn’t help but be drawn to the vintage 1917 Ford Model T Roadster that was for sale, or what about the V8 powered 1960 Vauxhall PA Cresta? This would make a great first project for a young and aspiring rodder.
Once you had spent all your pocket money on rusty treasures and shiny parts, its time to wander around the impromptu pre-1972 car show in the car park. The NSRA puts aside an area for those cruising to the Southern Swap Meet in their rod, custom, or classic, and it is always a great show. The standout cars this year included the claret red 1932 roadster, the modified Morris which was originally an 80s custom and is now back out again, the 1949 AC straight-six Saloon, and of course the ‘Mr Torquer’ Fordson Van. Check out our Instagram Reels for a look around the car show area!
But why do we love the NSRA’s Southern Swap Meet so much? Because it is so much more than just an autojumble. This is where the hotrodding year begins. This is the event that brings the community back together after the long winter. This is where friends catch up over a warming coffee and breakfast rolls shares plans for the exciting year ahead. The season is just getting started, and we cannot wait to get back out and see you all again.
We’ll see the NSRA team next at the Surrey Street Rodders’ ‘Wheels Day’ on the 7th April 2023. If you are heading along, we are looking forward to seeing you there.