UPDATED! Sad Day in New England Car Guy History: The Amherst NH Antique Auto Show Swap Meet is No More

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UPDATE: Thanks to our alert readers, we found out that the Amherst NH Antique Auto Show and Flea Market is in the process of being resurrected. According to the Save The Amherst Car Show & Flea Market Facebook page, new backers are holding an event May 29 at 157 Hollis Rd, Amherst, New Hampshire.

Check the page for updates, and keep your hopes up.

This post is for nobody but me and the crowd of regulars that made the trip to Amherst, New Hampshire the last Sunday of every month from April to October for 54 years. I’m sad to say that the swap meet is no more.

For the last 30 years, Werner Carlson ran the event in Southern New Hampshire, and it grew exponentially over the years. Before dawn those Sunday mornings, more than 500 vendors and thousands of people scanning for parts would descend on the tiny town like a swarm of locusts. By noon, you’d hardly know anyone was there.


Mr. Carlson sadly passed away late last year. “Werner proudly owned and operated the Amherst N.H. Outdoor Antique Market and Auto Show for 30 years – his own ‘Field of Dreams,'” reads his obituary.

I started going in about 1993, scoring parts for an endless string of crappy old cars I was trying to keep running. I bought parts, I rented vendor space, I sold motorcycles and generally had a fantastic time roaming the aisles.


I got there pretty late in the game. My friend Jay Holdash started with his dad in 1977. “I first went with my Dad in 1977, and I have gone at least once a year for just about every year since. We quite literally bought half of the parts on our Ford Model T there over the years,” he said. 

“It was always a great way to spend a Sunday morning. I have TONS of great memories from that place, both with my Dad when he & I would go together, and with my pals, when we’d meet up to walk the fields and share vendor spots.”

Even the kids scored big at Amherst
Even the kids scored big at Amherst

Over the last week, vendors received letters and refunds for spaces they reserved. A post on the H.A.M.B. message board at the Jalopy Journal noted “At this time, we do not know what the future holds for Werner’s ‘field of dreams’ and whether the business will re-open in 2016.”

I will sincerely miss the event. It was a wellspring of laughs and friendship for me. To the Carlson family, I hope you know how much Mr. Carlson’s effort over the years was worth to all of us. Thank you for allowing us to share time with him for all those years.


Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald

Writer, editor, lousy guitar player, dad. Content Marketing and Publication Manager at BestRide.com.


  1. Hello there im just thinking the amherst field is no longer available….the place was a really nice location i will miss it forsure! davisville nh has the outdoor flea market its a big field area also it has dusty grass ground tho so showcars would take it rough but cmon now the swap meet is gonna die out stuff will just get scrapped and there go all the cool old cars. I like talkin to the old buck about his street rod & normally i wouldnt have anything to say to em. Move it to a different location! Im not sure mt sunapee is all paved & has pleanty of space!

  2. Really gonna miss it, looked forward to it every month and was never dissapointed. Great country setting and an awesome show all around. Food was great and so were the people. Too bad no one has stepped up to take it over yet, alot of great memories!

  3. So sad to hear of Werner’s passing and the end of the Crusin to Amherst show. I’ve been going to sell and buy there since high school. Hope someone will continue his legacy!

  4. Now I feel old. My 27 year old daughter basically grew up on those grounds every last Sunday of the month. I’ve shared so many great times with so many good friends over the years. Sad to not be able to go there anymore.

  5. Definitely a sad day. I’ve been going for the past 20 or so years, even setting up and selling for a couple years. Great way to spend a day with friends. Also had some interesting conversations with vendors and buyers. In fact, I just purchased a nice ’85 Mustang convertible there last summer! It will be missed. My condolences to Mr. Werner’s family.

  6. Maybe all of the car enthusiasts will set up at the Hollis Flea market instead? I’m going to plan on going there on the “Amherst Sunday” and hope like heck that all of you fellow car-guys are there.

  7. Sad day indeed , will miss cruising to Amherst . Started going first to see and then to sell . Met a lot of great people and had a lot of good conversations. Will be going to candia to hope that will prosper as Amherst did. Hope to see everyone there and make it happen. Best route is exit one from 101 , 28 north to 27 east Donovan rd is dead end dirt on right after vineyard sign, lets support these guys.

  8. Mr. Carlson touched the lives of a great number of people, all of whom will surely miss him as do I.
    His passing will leave an emptiness in all of us searching that one place to meet friends, make
    friends and chat with on that one Sunday each month.
    Others will try to fill the void but It surely will never be the same without him and his “Field of Dreams”.
    I finally bought my dream car on the day of the last meet Oct 26, 2014.
    A 1934 Ford 3 window coupe HOT ROD.
    If not for Mr. Carlson’s “Field of Dreams” I may never have bought it.
    God Bless You Mr. Carlson and thank you for being in a part of my life.
    Jim Lankford

  9. Really miss The Amherst Antique Auto Flea Market. I went there regularly for over 30 years.

  10. Just heard that there may be a activity again for 2016. Anyone else heard or know anything?

  11. Missing the last of the Month Sundays that is Amherst, Family Friends new acquaintances, and the Cool Parts and general all around Show that is Amherst
    Hope to Hear?? we may be able to make the Scene once again.

  12. Please Be True..I’m lost without it being there..

  13. The show is back. Starting May 29. A gentleman from Nashua is starting it up again. Can’t wait

  14. I was borderline suicidal! I have missed my last Sunday of the month getaway. My severe depression has suddenly been cured. Can’t wait till May 29th. Spread the word

  15. The owner of the property is only allowing the event because his plans to build 68 senior houses on the property were shot down by the town and he is looking to make $ to cover the cost of the land taxes while he re submits plans to destroy the property. dont be fooled.

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