BigPapiC just posted this at the Cohort. So let’s get out the kleenex and see if you can get some real work done this morning. Click on the picture for full-size view.
What a shame. Many of these cars look in better shape than some I see running around with valid inspection stickers on them. I especially favor that gold ’61 Impala at the bottom left.
We are looking to find parts for are 1982 Chevy citation . Here in palm springs ca . Does anyone know we’re we ca n find some ?
If this was 1972 then a lot of these cars weren’t that old. I’d love to have at least half of these, the Comet, the full size 60 Merc, the 60 and 62 Pontiac.
Our family visited the Netherlands in 1979 when I was 12. I forget how but I found myself standing in front of a wrecking yard confronted with a sight like this, but it was almost all VW Beetles.
There’s the rear end of a 1960s Lincoln in there; the back end (minus taillights) of a ’64 Ford; an Imperial at the very bottom. For crying out loud, most of these cars are only about 10-12 years old. Was the quality so poor that they really fell apart so quickly? Or was the American car culture of the time such that automobiles were considered disposable once the ‘new car smell’ had worn off? This is before my time, so I’m curious.
The quality was very much NOT poor.
Very dependable never-die kind of cars. I pretty much drive ONLY 60s cars when it’s not snowing.
Of course these cars back then rusted badly, but some of it had to do with the oil back then was crapolla. No detergents in it and they would gum up and die at around 100,000 to 150,000 or there-abouts.
Also, like you said they would just fall out of favor style wize.
Just like now, everyone has to have the latest and greatest to keep up with the guy in the next cubical.
I think the more interesting thing to wonder is why certain ones were scrapped, like were the 1961 Oldsmobile, the two 1962 Pontiacs and 1963 Dynamic 88 scrapped because of their Roto Hydramatics? Were the assorted early Corvairs (can’t pick out any post ’65 ones) due to some tricky accidents?
I’ll count the 3 1961 Chevys as just casualties of popularity, but the one that surprises me the most in the stack is the first generation Valiant dead center, and the rather lack of other Mopars other than some really older ones. Guess the reasons are tri-fold (all the forward looks probably hit this pile by 1965, Chrysler’s share of the market was the smallest, and mechanically they’re pretty durable).
Laurence, you are probably on target with the early sixties Olds/Pontiac Roto Hydra-Matic. Joe and Mary probably DID scrap them because reverse froze or first did after hemmoraging tranny fluid all over the driveway (Joe I’m tired of this wreck! I want a NEW MUSTANG!).
I’ll take a stab at as many as I can, going from the top row (as I see the rows) from left to right and moving down.
1956 DeSoto; 1955 Chevy (white, with hood gone); 1962 Corvair Brookwood wagon; 1959 Ford Fairlane; 1963 Pontiac Bonneville; 1954 Olds.
Next row: 1959 Chevy; unidentifiable; 1961 Valiant; 1954 Pontiac; 1960 Mercury; unidentifiable, 1962 Olds;
Next row: (mostly unidentifable vehicles) 1961 Pontiac; 1962 Lincoln Continental; 1962 Buick;
Next row: 1961 Chevy; 1961 Chevy; 1960 Pontiac; 1957 Pontiac; 1961 Comet; 1960 Pontiac;
Next row: 1963 Falcon; next two unidentifiable; 1963 Buick Skylark; 1957 Chevy (on its side);
Next row: Unidentifiable, stumped;
Bottom row: 1961 Chevy, 1960 Imperial; 1965 Ford Fairline.
Let me know what I win.
The one that’s stumping you is a ’62 Buick-it’s upside down. Also, that’s a ’61 Buick on the bottom row, not a ’65 Fairlane.
My shot at it attached. Blue car marked Olds should be Buick.
There are a few marked Olds that should be Buicks.
The vehicle identified as a Plymouth – two tone green with a beige or white top is actually a 1956 Dodge.
Underneath the 1954 Oldsmobile looks like a 1954 Dodge.
I think I could have done a pretty good job when I was 10 years old, not so well now. But I still think I can ID these better than a stack of recent Kias and Hyundais, or 1990’s GM cars.
from Top to Bottom, L to R
63 Chevy/corvair/63 Ford
56 Dodge/63 Buick,/62 Chevy wagon/61-62 Coprvair Lakewood/59 Mercury/62 Pontiac/54 Olds/57 Ford
59 Chevy/61 Valiant/Oldsmobile
65 Chevy II/62 Pontiac/55 Ford/61 Olds
61 Chevy/64 Ford/55-56 Caddy/60s Lincoln Continental/63 Buick
61-62 Flacon/61 Chevy Impala/60 Pontiac/57 Pontiac/Mercury Comet/61 Pontiac
61 Chevy Impala/Imperial/61 Buick/57 Chevy [on its side]
I can identify them all . . (as did other before me – late again!). Most distinctive? 3 of the Mopars . . .a ’54 Chrysler Windsor DeLuxe, the ’57-’58 Imperial and the ’56 Dodge Custon Royal. ’61 Chevies and a few Olds’s . . . . ’63 Buick . . . . These were long ago turned into Sanyo Refrigerators . . . Toyota Corollas . . . . and since recycled again, I’m sure.
I cant identify all of them but I see a 55 chev 56 Customline, two of my favourites so Im sad enough for one day No Hillmans though, told ya they were durable
There’s a reason for that Bryce – very few of them were sold on the West Coast and if they were there, they’d have crapped out from trying to keep up with the California 70-75 mph freeway speeds (wind it out). That and good old Joe Lucas (if so equipped).
1972 perhaps – counting all the cars that were junked in CY 1971 (I saw the California stickers . . . green left side for 1971 . . . orange right side for 1970). They looked to “clean” to be rust belt/east coast cars. Amazing that these cars (many of them) are relatively young (like the ’64 Pontiac Tempest or ’64 Ford). In California, even back then, people tended to hang onto their cars or trade/resell them to people who did – keep them on the road for awhile. My guess would be some are totalled or most were hardly maintained, crapped out early and the owners dediced to junk than fix.
Saw the photo on Facebook yesterday, from the comments it’s from a San Diego junkyard in 1972.
Would make sense, Laurence as these cars look relatively “fresh” to the junkyard. Mondo stacks and then picked off top to bottom for a trip to the crusher to re-emerge as Datsun 510’s, Toyota Coronas, Celicas, or perhaps the Subaru GL and DLs. So figure these were backyard junkers, abandoned on the street expired registration cars, towed/driven to the junkyyards as I knew people in the day you would scrap a perfectly good car rather the pay the (back then) $300-400.00 transmission rebuild (because that 10 year old Olds or Mercury was only worth $300-$400.00 in 1971 money). Less when the first gas crunch hit in ’73-’74. My Dad and I looked at a guy who was selling a CHERRY ’63 Olds 98 for only $400.00. He ended up buying a cherry ’64 Buick Skylark (with ice cold a/c) for $400.00 and, in May of ’74, a pristine ’67 Skylark Custom for $1000.00.
Proof once again that Studebakers run forever, as there is not a single one in the pile. 🙂 61 Chevys, on the other hand, well . . . .
To answer the earlier question, yes, cars that were 10 years old and had anywhere around 100K miles were ready for the junk heap. In the midwest, body rust helped to do them in. Even then, the conventional wisdom was that anything up to 60K was OK, 60-80K was a car that “has had the wheels run off it”, and over 80K, well it had one foot in the grave. Get it to 100K, and some might brag about how durable it was, but most folks would never for a moment consider keeping it. At 10K/year, you were there after 10 years.
Of course, by that time, the chrome was pitting, the seats were tearing, half the dash lights were burned out, the radio didn’t work, and the thing was trailing a cloud of blue smoke. There were exceptions, like a high school friend whose dad was an engineer and a guy who really took care of his stuff. They bought a new 63 Chrysler, that was still being driven by the kids in 1978-79 at about 180K. Dad had replaced the transmission (then replaced the replacement), reupholstered the front seat, and did a major body bondo and paint job. Most people would never have bothered.
Likewise, not a single AMC product.
Spot on, JP. Common thinking in my youthful days in the 60s and 70s. You looked at used cars extensively (like I did in the fall of ’76), maybe saw one that was pretty clean, but saw the odometer had “90K” and you went, “uh oh” . . .
This photo is part of the Documerica series sponsored by the EPA in the 70s,
higher resolution link below:
A large part of the collection is also uploaded at flickr:
Well, that’s life, things wear out. Every single car made in past 100 years + simply could not be saved. There’d be no room!
They are just machines, and enjoy the ones collectors have kept.
The early 50’s Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Chrysler are the “old men” in this group at about 20 years old.
Yes! The’54 Chrysler Windsor DeLuxe in the pile (upper right hand corner). I see a ’54 Pontiac and a ’54 Olds. What suprises me is the ’64 LeMans (on the bottom) and the ’64 Ford. As I stated earlier, either totalled or indifferent maintenance sent them to the junkyard relatively early in their lives (even for back then).
There’s a 55 Cadillac in the middle with nose damage, which is probably what sent it to the scrap heap, it would be like a 96 Cadillac getting totalled today.
I am liking the 1st gen Valiant and the multiple 1st gen Corvairs.
A Corvair wagon too, that might be one of the rarest cars in the pile.
Here is a smaller junkyard shot that I took circa 1990. It explains what happened to all of those Olds 98’s and Monza’s mentioned in other posts!
Hey… one of these things is not like the others. what’s the make of that old car on top of the second column from the right? Looks like a 1940s coupe, perhaps.
Looks maybe GM to me. Hard to tell though. Definately ’40s is a good guess.
Probably GM, most yards are now spliting yards up by make, lots of Oldsmobiles in this Oldsmopile, 2 Sunbirds too.
This is from 2011. Scrap piles are becoming more boring & evoke less emotion than they used to. The hood standing up belonged to a blue Citation that I had actually robbed a few parts off of after it was crushed.
Yup, scrap piles are more boring because newer cars are boring.
They just don’t age well.
A vintage car has character no matter if it’s just a bare shell, a twisted wreck, or anything in-between.
“Just like now, everyone has to have the latest and greatest to keep up with the guy in the next cubical.”
My ’01 Trooper disagrees with you. On the other hand, at 55 I stopped impressing anyone but myself about 20 years ago….
Late chiming in on this one, but the interesting thing to me about this picture is that each and every one of these cars is instantly recognizable. Not so today, if this was taken in recent times, you’d never be able to tell one amorphous jelly bean or generic econobox from another.
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