Barter master: How’s Your Project Car Pare’s Swap Meet
Today, the easiest way to buy parts for your car is through online channels. From Shopee to Lazada or even Facebook Marketplace, you can buy almost any part you want from the comforts of your beds and sofas. Heck, you don’t even need to go out of the house to get them. Various courier services can pick the parts up for you and deliver it straight to your doorsteps albeit for an extra charge. Convenient and efficient thanks to the wonders of modern-day technology.
Now, if you’re not too tech-savvy, you can always drop by the numerous parts shops around Metro Manila. Go to Banawe, Evangelista or whatever street full of car parts that is near you, and you’re bound to find parts that you need from numerous shops. The great thing about going there yourself is you can haggle for the price. More importantly, you can bring it back if it’s actually defective.
Back in the day though, car people actually gathered together to meet up and hold what’s called a swap meet. Rather than having to scour auto shops for hard to find parts, you can just offer something (another car part likely) in exchange for what you need. Think of it as a form of bayanihan as people helped each other fix their cars by exchanging much-needed parts of one car to another.
Unfortunately, the occurrences of swap meets have somewhat died with the emergence of technology. Just buy online, and you’ll get what you want. The flip side is, these hard to find parts now cost an arm and a leg, possibly even a kidney. To bring back what the glory days of once were and to help out project car owners around town, the admins of How’s Your Project Car Pare decided to hold a swap meet earlier this March.
A big chunk of the car community came together to the How’s Your Project Car Pare Swap Meet offering their old parts in exchange for other parts they might need. Sure, you could pay for the parts in cash. However, most of the people were willing to accept something unique or helpful to their vehicles in exchange. From the usual Honda parts to aftermarket exhausts, and even rare JDM brochures, there were just car pieces everywhere.
Aside from car parts, there were also some stalls selling tires at ridiculously low prices. Need brand new tools too or air fresheners? Well, it’s there too. Now, before you ask, do note everything was on sale price making it very affordable for almost everyone that went to the show. Imagine picking up a set of wheels for around Php 3,000 only?
While swap meets are still commonly associated with oldschoolers, the parts that were displayed were for all kinds of cars (both new and old). From a rare R33 Skyline rear end to parts for the all-new Suzuki Jimny, anything and everything was available. I even recall seeing some parts for the later model Mini Cooper.
Aside from being able to barter your way with parts, one floor above the swap meet was the project car parking space. There were a bunch of cool cars parked on the floor: from a full-Varis kitted Lancer Evo to race-car project Civics. Quirky cars like this GDB WRX even made the effort to mimic its Grand Theft Auto V counterpart. Meanwhile, some owners even fitted the parts they got from the swap meet onto their car at the parking lot.
As the day ended, a raffle was held and some seriously cool prizes were given away that night. Better yet, there were a lot of things being raffled off – from calendars, gift cards all the way to an AFE Power Takeda intake.
While the swap meet isn’t as big or grand as the other meets we’ve been to, it was a nice change of pace. It’s also great to see the car community helping each other out in getting the hard to find parts. Hopefully, this swap meet won’t be the last one in the months to come.
Words and Photos by Jose Altoveros