Junkyard Visit: Others Died That Mine Might Live


The rear fuel tank on my ’95 F-150 4wd started piddling gas on the driveway a few weeks ago, which meant a return visit to the the junkyard I pass on the monthly run to the landfill (having already had to replace the front tank due to rust-through). We found a workable donor in their “tank pile,” and on a whim, I asked if they had any old Beetles in the yard. He said he only had one, and I was welcome to drive back in the yard down the “import row” to check it out…

Well, the Beetle turned out to be a mid-’70s Super, which was of no interest to me (I’m restoring a ’62 and ’63), but the next row over had some great former “domestic” CCs.

Here we have a 1962 Ford Fairlane 4-door sitting next to a 1979 Dodge Aspen R/T. The Dodge was apparently a real go-getter in its day, with potential 0-60 times near that of the contemporary Corvette L82 or Camaro Z-28.

Next up is a ’75-’78 Mercury Bobcat (help me out with the exact model in the comments) along with a 1979 Ford Pinto down on the end. There was a second Bobcat (’79, I think, based on the later grill) to the left of the red car.

Here’s another Dodge, a 1974 Charger this time. It’s more of a ‘squatter’ at this point, tho.

With my mind still fresh from the AMC AMX history I recently posted, I immediately recognized this as a Javelin, probably a 1973 model, going by the full vinyl roof. Not an AMX trim level, unfortunately.

Continuing to step back in time, here’s a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. I wonder what stories it might tell…

This 1962 Ford Falcon didn’t look too worse for the wear, actually. It’s a very no-nonsense face.

Corvairs are rare enough around here, but it wasn’t until I was reviewing my photos back home that I realized this is a 1960 model with the one-year-only concave front facia.

As soon as Paul stops drooling, he’ll have to help me ID the specific model of this Volvo 544. My best guess is around 1959, but I don’t know these well enough to tell the difference from year to year. This has to be a rare car for the Middle West.

We’re getting close to the end of the row now, where I spotted a pair of mid-century Plymouths. This shy one is a 1950 Deluxe Business Coupe. What a trunk!

 And here’s a 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe Station Wagon. Note it’s a two-door, though! I’d call shotgun if I were you.

The 218 c.i.d. (3.6L) 100hp straight six engine has been resting (rusting) away for a long time. It’s very artful at this point.

We’ll finish up our frosty walk by paying respects to the elder statesman, a 1947-49 International KB Series, which appears to have been a working yard truck at one point.

It’s been a number of years since I haunted junkyards regularly. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy walking around and imagining what these relics from another time once looked like, or what they could potentially look like given enough love and care (and very deep pockets)…