Erik Herdman has long followed his passion in life — cars.
“I’ve been building cars since I was about 13 years old,” said Herdman. “It’s an interest I got from my dad.”
Nearly seven years ago Herdman and “his better half,” K.C. Murphy decided to follow that passion. Now Chasing SS Cars, a company which hosts car shows and swap meets, is what the couple does. They hosted their second swap meet and cruise-in here in the city on Saturday.
The two have been organizing a swap meet and cruise-in for Floyd, Virginia, for nearly seven years, however.
“We just decided we wanted to have a swap meet,” said Herdman. “That first year we just got about 20 vendors together in a field. About 70 cars showed up, and it rained all day. We debated whether we’d try it again.”
They did try it again, and in Floyd it became a huge success, according to Herdman. They’ve developed a large following of vendors selling items such as car parts and car memorabilia willing to pay $25 for a slot at each event. Many of them never miss one.
“A lot of vendors are tired of the costs associated with the bigger shows,” explained Herdman. “At our shows they can sell half as much and still make a larger profit.”
In April, the couple decided it was time to expand the operation and held their first swap meet and cruise-in at Veterans Memorial Park.
Herdman said that event, despite a little rain, was a success, which resulted in Mount Airy becoming a permanent stop on the tour. The most recent event, which wraps up today, followed suit.
“We had about the same number of vendors, but a lot more people through the gate. It could have been a little cooler,” he said sarcastically. “That might have hurt us some, but all in all it’s been a great event.”
The swap meet was held throughout the duration of the three days, but Saturday played host to the cruise-in portion of the event. Classic cars peppered the parking area at Veterans Park, and Herdman handed out homemade trophies crafted from pistons, tools and other car parts to top machines.
“I think they are a lot cooler than some piece of plastic,” remarked Herdman.
Though today is the final day of the show, with doors opening at 8:30 a.m., Herdman said another Mount Airy event will take place in April and another event may be planned for November 2017.
He said Mount Airy is more than just a great place to show cars and swap parts.
“There’s just the nicest bunch of people down here. We really like having it here,” said Herdman. “The community has made us feel entirely welcomed.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.