Junkyard Outtake: Welcome To The Back Forty


Big self-serve junkyards can be a fun distraction. And if you drive something between 10 and 20 years old, they can also be an excellent source of cheap parts. But when your projects leave you searching for something more unique, something older, something people say might no longer exist – you’ve got to leave the asphalt behind.

At this yard, there’s no tar parking lot, no front desk, no computerized inventory, and no price list on the wall. There’s just several acres of cars, a two-bay garage, and one guy watching over it all.


My father has been coming to this yard since before I was alive, and I’ve been coming here almost as long (literally since before I could turn a wrench). This is by far my favorite junkyard; coming here has played a huge part in shaping my automotive knowledge, experience, and taste over the years – not to mention enabling me to keep my endless parade of jalopies on the road.

The guy I mentioned before is the yard’s owner. He’s second generation – some of the inventory has been on the property longer than he has. If you want to know where something is, just ask… he is the yard inventory system. Same goes if you need a price, want something lifted, or are after something that requires the cutting torch.

I’ve taken lots of pictures in this yard, hopefully enough to keep future installments going throughout the snowy northern winter. But to start with, let’s take a look at some shots taken just over four years ago.


One of the new arrivals – an American icon now reduced to a couple thousand pounds of rusty American iron.


Wonder which mill used to lurk under this hood? (My bet would be the ubiquitous 235.)


This ’59 Parkwood wagon was another farm-fresh arrival.


Not too inviting on the inside, either. I don’t see a third pedal; perhaps it had a Powerglide.

Moving into the northwest corner of the yard, we find most of the cars are knee-deep in grass. (Shortly afterwards, all those cars were moved, the land was graded, and the wrecks were put back in their places – seems to be the 10-year ritual, performed on one quarter of the yard at a time.)


Looks pretty ’65ish to me.


What have we here? It’s big, it’s green, it’s got lots of doors, and it’s a Poncho.


It’s a ’70 (thanks to reader gottacook for the hint). A pair of deluxe wheelcovers were high and dry on the passenger’s seat.


Why you shouldn’t stand on the roof of your Cutlass… or any other car, for that matter.


Skylarks are great. But this one, not so much.


Here’s a pair of ’73 Grand Ams, both thoroughly picked over.


One is white; the other… used to be.


The white one rolled off the line with a 400. Its engine compartment is much – ahem – roomier nowadays.


A bird’s eye view, made by me, especially for you!

So far we’ve been stumbling around in the North Loop. But as you can see, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover – and this is just the first post! Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see more of these gems in the rough.