Fall is here, and with it comes the autumn auction and show season.
I am on the road and will be at the Battlefield Show in St. Paul and
the MAX Show in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Two weekends ago, I was in
Spooner, Wisconsin, for the Spooner Military Vehicle Preservation
Group’s annual party. Always a blast, this year hosts Kevin and Thea
Kronlund treated everyone to amphibious rides in their WWII DUKW, LVT,
GPA and M29C “Weasel.”
This year, though, is the first time I have been excited about
attending shows from the collecting angle. During the past six or seven
years, I was satisfied with buying online, either from dealers or
auctions. However, the luster has worn off a bit, for me. I think
dealers are realizing that all of the buyers are found online. As eBay
changes and imparts far more listing fees and strips sellers of any
ability to leave accurate feedback, I have been seeing far more good
stuff turning up at the shows.
So, it became clear to me – if I was going to add to my WWI photo
collection, AEF Tank Corps display or mountains of WWII Mountain
Division stuff, I had to go to where the relics were appearing. Low and
behold, it has been at the shows.
At the Spring Battlefield Show, I was able to buy about $500 worth
of quality WWI doughboy photos, in addition to having had the chance
(but missed it!) at a killer Tank Corps painted helmet. At last year’s
SOS, I added a very fine 302nd Heavy Tank Bn. panoramic photo to my
collection and a Second Pattern Ski Cap. That is better than I have
been doing on eBay lately! The quality is just not showing up like it
The same is true on the vehicle front. I had been in the market for
a Weasel for several years, but now that I am living “down south,” I
have lost my weasel-lust. However, I have been seeing several for sale
at shows and have not been seeing them online like I did three years
So the moral of this tale? If you want the good stuff, I strongly
recommend hitting the shows. You might just be surprised what you find!
Drop me a note with a picture of your latetest “score.” Maybe we can
put together a little spread in Military Trader and/or Military Vehicles.
Editor, Military Trader and Military Vehicles Magazine