Junkyard Outtake: Keep On Truckin’


Here we are once again – it’s Friday, it’s lunchtime (at least here in Minnesota), and we’re serving up yet another Junkyard Outtake.

This week, we’re gettin’ down with a bunch of the grooviest trucks in the Back Forty. You dig? Then make the jump, and prepare for your weekly helping of rusty gold!


Ah, the full-size Blazer. With two doors, a tried and true driveline, and a removable top for those sunny days, what’s not to love?


This one’s clearly seen better days. Still, it’s not hard to picture it in its former glory.


Too bad the top’s been gone for so long. These seats were well above average before the weather got to them. (Actually, they might still be usable if a person was to give them a thorough cleaning.)


This two-tone example is/was also a pretty sharp little rig. The late ’80s/early ’90s grille may be a departure from these trucks’ original look, but I still like it.


I also don’t mind these factory aluminum rims. They’re not a good choice for every combination, but they work well on this truck.

These wheels came in 5- and 6-lug versions, to accommodate both 2WD and 4WD trucks. The 6-lug version isn’t all that hard to come by, but the 5-on-5 ones are downright rare… I’ve seen less than four sets over the years.

Strangely enough, I was just reminiscing with a customer the other day about one such application: an early ’90s GMC G20 van, which was bought new by a small local radio station (remarkable by itself) and had a very odd list of options. It was a panel van with a windowless side slider, but yet had the Rally STX trim package, this style of aluminum wheels with raised white letters, carpet but no back seats… and a 6.2 diesel! With factory black paint and the station’s logo in green on the sides, it was about as cool a work van as you could buy circa 1991 – but I digress.


This yard has several ’67-’72 GM pickups. This one is nothing special, aside from one noteworthy feature: the lettering on the door.


“Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.” No, that’s not a joke, or the name of someone’s business – it’s an honest-to-goodness unit of government in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, whose job it is to keep the bugs at bay. And they take their work seriously. If you live in the cities or their suburbs, chances are you’ll be swatting far, far fewer skeeters that us poor schlubs out here in greater Minnesota. Tax dollars at work!


Today’s rotting Cornbinder is brought to you by whoever junked this Scout a couple decades ago, and by the yard owner who has so far decided not to crush it.


As we wind down the tour, there’s one truck left that deserves special recognition.

This sad-looking Suburban was once someone’s restoration project. It was originally from Wyoming, and as such was fairly solid to begin with. Its former owner was about halfway into the bodywork when something prevented them from continuing.


I was 16 when this truck was first deposited in the yard. At that time it was intact, with all the parts present (save for motor/tranny) and a decent sized stash of goodies in the back as well. I knew it was an opportunity, but had neither the money nor the space to take it on.


Sadly, the yard’s customers were more interested in the parts than the whole truck. As a result, it’s nowhere near as complete as it was a decade ago.


The incomplete bodywork has deteriorated quite a bit since then as well. Worse, after spending all these years just inches from the dirt, the once-solid floorpans have been destroyed.

Where once there was potential, now there is only more rust. So much for this one.


But hey – it could be worse. It could have ended up like this old Chevy, being some kid’s high school vehicle… getting painted umpteen times, being subjected to amateur experimentation with welders and Bondo…


…then being given a name like Kirk, written in adhesive mailbox letters no less…


…and having its floor drilled full of holes to install a pair of buckets that were twenty-some years younger than the truck itself.

Then, having suffered through all those indignities, it could have been abandoned under a tree somewhere, and allowed to accumulate rodent droppings and general garbage for years before finally being sent off for scrap. Yup, it could have been much worse!


My picture reserves are beginning to dwindle, the snow refuses to go away, and there’s been nothing new at the U-Pull in weeks. What will next week’s Junkyard Outtake bring? Guess that’ll be a surprise… even to me!