Junkyard Outtake: For The Love Of Green J-Bodies


It’s Friday once again, and time for another Junkyard Outtake. This week, we’re back at the U-Pull – a place where Valentine’s Day is just another day to lay in the snow, get greasy, and hopefully find that part you need to keep your wreck on the road.

The rest of the world may not understand your love for beat-up old cars… but don’t worry, we’re here for you. Even if your guilty pleasure is a mean, green, head-gasket-eating machine like this one. (Hey, Cavaliers need love too!)


Before we dig into this week’s lovely finds, I’d like to take a moment to highlight one that got away.

This 1986 Regal was one I bought last summer. Its elderly owner had passed on, and the children wanted it off the property. It was in great shape, with next to no rust and a mere 86,000 miles on the clock. Getting it running took minimal effort. Plus, it had power everything – this car had options I’d only read about, such as electronic climate control and a six-speaker Concert Sound stereo system.

The catch? No one seemed to know where the title was – and the family had given up on trying to obtain a replacement after being sent on multiple wild goose chases by the DMV. So I bought it as a parts car. Within a few days, I’d stripped it down to the bare bones; only the drivetrain (3.8/TH200) remained. The above picture was taken towards the end of the process – I also removed the front spoiler, windshield, and various other things. All the parts got filed into the attic for future use.


Being unwilling to crush such a clean car, I threw the remains on craigslist for the same $350 I’d initially paid. Even in its stripped-down state, it still ran and drove excellent – I waited until the last moment to remove the battery and steering column in order for it to remain movable under its own power.

Eventually some young guys came and bought it. They had a history of making dirt track cars out of G-bodies, and thought this would be a good base for their next build-up.

That was last August.

A few days ago, I found an envelope in my mailbox that I wasn’t expecting. The return address was in the same town where I’d found this Regal. Curious, I opened it up – and immediately was filled with dismay.

Inside was the Regal’s original title, all signed and ready to go. Attached was a note: “I found this among my mother’s things. It looked important. Wondered if you needed it for anything. Thanks.”

#@$&*%!!! I’d destroyed a perfectly good car for nothing. The parts were being put to good use – and I had no reason to suspect the title would ever show – but still. Aaaaarrrrhhh! If only I’d known…

Now, with that little tale of heartbreak that out of the way, let’s get back to the junkyard.


What would you call this color? More importantly, what color interior would you choose to match it? (This car’s black cloth selection just wasn’t doing it for me.)


Ooh – I see 8-spoke alloys! That can only mean one thing…


There’s a Z26 Beretta around! Looks pretty spent, though.


Not every car with an RPO written on the side is a powerhouse.


It would have been more fun with a third pedal. Still, those wraparound buckets are kinda interesting.


Everybody knows that simply adding a spoiler makes cars go faster.


Finally, someone has found a use for this stray “pimp” rim that’s been floating around the yard.


I wouldn’t normally pay much attention to a 2000-05 Monte Carlo like this one. But looking closer, it became apparent that this was a mighty well-kept car.


This car was super clean, both inside and out. My guess? Either it suffered catastrophic failure while in a dealer’s inventory, or its owner had recently detailed it. I grabbed several pieces for my Impala, whose spartan 9C1 interior can use all the help it can get.

The black leather in this car was very nice, too. I really would have liked to buy it… if it hadn’t already been wrecked. Seems I’d been beaten again by the imbecile who routinely destroys seats in this yard to remove their switches. Looks like they had a go at the airbag on this one, too. Morons.


This Cutlass also caught my eye.


What’s with the odd insignia on the door? I seem to recall that being used for some anniversary edition or the like, but this car is otherwise unremarkable (cloth interior, 3.1, etc).


Ah, a dealer “special edition”. Whatever gets ’em out the door, I suppose…


Can’t say I’m familiar with that style of spoiler. Wonder when (or where) the car acquired it? Did the dealer install it, or did someone have it painted to match later?


Our tour comes to a close with this Northstar-powered Caddy. These are a fairly common sight in the yards, almost always victims of engine and/or transmission failure.


Hard to imagine today’s $40K Cadillacs sitting abandoned and open to the elements – but one day, they too will join the rows of once-proud cars that fill the junkyards.


Well, we started with a green car, and we ended with a green car. How’s that for a loop?


Next week’s Junkyard Outtake will take us into the vast, uncharted wilderness known as the Import Section… where BMWs, Audis, Volvos, Benzes and Saabs lurk around every corner. You never know what we might find!