Colorado has an abundance of junkyards but in the great tradition of America, more is always better and less is never enough. For the last couple of years the guys at my favorite self-service junkyard had been teasing me with news that they were planning to open another outlet after acquiring a different scrapyard that was getting out of the business. The key part for me was that it was closer to my home, but as with everything, Covid got in the way and things were delayed for quite some time. However, last week, I got the tip that the new place on the outskirts of Windsor, Colorado was opening to the public first thing on Tuesday morning! So I planned ahead, woke up no earlier than usual and at precisely 9:41 a.m. on Tuesday I rolled into the parking lot…
There’s nothing like the smell of fresh asphalt in the morning. And the sight of a new batch of wheelbarrows without oil and grease all over the handles. And stretching far off into the distance the vista of a million or so lonely welded stands for the cars to all sit on as they are poked, prodded, pried apart, and for some of us, mostly delicately considered with an eye to the best photo angles to capture the naked form of the automotive body in its natural glory. There is however, something obvious missing at this point on day one for me, the first visitor!
Ah yes, our subjects! I looked at the sitemap on the way through the entrance. This front section is reserved for the Ford Motor Company and all of its products, beyond that is the vast repository for GM products, and Chrysler is alotted the space beyond that. All the way at the bottom of the long slope that feels like you’re walking around the curvature of the earth, appropriately sit the products from a world away, aka The Imports. Like Rome however, junkyards aren’t built in a day. But like a baby’s nursery it is lovingly created in advance of its future occupant’s arrival and then over time fills up with all sorts of stuff to the point you can’t recall what it was like in the before times. People will be dragging in all sorts of hulks over the rest of time, this’ll be filled in no time; most of the yards here turn over most of their entire inventory every 30 to 90 days.
Today we start off with two Ford products, both appropriately wearing the actual Blue Oval in row 1, spots 1 and 2. The engine hoist right here I suppose is to get shoppers thinking of big purchases and will find its way all over the yard eventually. Today it seems daunting to move it if you want a Chevy engine though.
It’s a bit odd seeing these two as the only two Fords in a junkyard, it looks more like a suburban driveway sight than anything else from this angle. This generation of Explorer is now the most common in the self-service junkyards and the Taurus X or Freestyle behind it has been junkyard fodder for years as well. There are richer pickings down the hill a bit though so let’s walk down there on the rich soil surface that currently looks more like the sandy shores of Malibu than the tar sands of Alberta that they’ll soon resemble like in most other junkyards.
Things are looking up in the GM section! This is like the old days when GM still commanded most of the market share. A chicken in every pot and a Chevy in every driveway. Nothing too old here, I suppose the two S-10s, one with the “Extreme” body kit package might be of some appeal as was the Malibu Maxx to some owners back in the day. The highlight in this lineup though is undoubtedly the “Bumblebee” 2010 Chevy Camaro SS that still had its four-piston Brembo brake calipers attached. Well, attached until I realized I was randomly carrying a 19mm offset wrench in my backpack!
Fifteen minutes later they were in my bag to defray the costs of taking this day trip instead of doing other productive work. A nice worm for this early bird. The powertrain was long gone on this Camaro but there was no body damage unlike almost every other Camaro of this generation that makes it to the junkyard, perhaps a money shift gone bad? Who knows, but it wasn’t stripped out otherwise either, just…junked.
Looking from the backside of this row there’s a Buick Park Avenue, a couple of early Oldsmobile Bravadas, I think an S-10 Blazer, a Cadillac, Pontiac Montana, a Chevy Equinox and a GMC Acadia. All very representative of what rolled around up here back in the semi-recent day. No fullsize pickups though although they’ll be here soon enough I’m sure.
Long lonely rows for the dead men walking…Or maybe they are gladiators and this is their Coliseum? Fighting for the attention of the junkyard shopper with the parts that perhaps interchange among many models until the inevitable end. Some get a reprieve if not sufficiently hacked apart to fight on for another day (or 30 to 90 depending on the yard)
A further long walk down this not quite auburn hill gets us to the Chrysler section, today sporting only a 300M, the apparently longest lived of the LH cars judged by the amounts of them I still see as compared to Intrepids and such along with one of the reborn Dodge Chargers that are starting to make way for the second generation LXs in the junkyards here. Soon enough this section will be teeming with Dodge Caravans, Jeep Libertys, and all of the PT Cruisers that didn’t join their Great Migration to Phoeniz, AZ.
Yet further down the hill is a large concrete berm with a fence and walkways down to the lower section which will house the Imports. As with my photo, it’s nebulous as to what exactly will be found down there, but undoubtedly eventually there’ll be almost as many marques and models as there are grains of sand and links in the chain of the accidentally remarkably in focus fence. Hmm, now what?
Spinning on our heels, we look back up and contemplate the slog back, still holding a bag with increasingly heavy brake calipers as we foolishly skipped the shiny new wheelbarrows. Ah, let’s look toward the processing sheds, there may be something “on deck” that act like the Coming Attactions posters in the lobby of a movie theater to me.
Aha, paydirt! On the other side of yet more fencing is the shed where the cars are hoisted up and drained of fluids, spare change, and ideally their former owner’s personal documents. That looks like a Kia Forte Koup awaiting its fate and on the left a few other lucky candidates including, what is that, a Pontiac or Oldsmobile in Light Butter Creme with matching frosting, er, vinyl top?
To the right of the shed are (finally) a number of imports, including an Outback on the shiny new Volvo car-mover, a white VW Passat and joy of joys, the tail of a silver Jaguar XJ8 peeking out from behind the gold Murano! Lots of precious metals here. Also another S-10 Blazer or close relation thereof and of course the predicted PT Cruiser.
As the cashier was on the phone with the IT department to figure out how to get the register to charge me for my finds, I gazed out the window to note what everyone is talking about that all cars are just shades of gray. In fact pretty much the same shade of gray between my car and the three others that I suppose belong to various employees, all of mid 2000s vintage if I’m not mistaken. At least the wide variety of body styles makes up for that a bit, it could have been four gray CR-Vs. But wait, what of that Hornet’s nest I tripped over that I alluded to in the headline? There it is, to the right, just out of frame, something big in the weeds near the entrance gate, I’ll check it out while they figure out the register.
Yes, it is a little nest comprised of two Hudson Hornets, a close friend, and a foreign exchange student in the back.
We’ll start in the back with the rapidly assimilating foreigner, an early ’80s Mitsubishi pickup truck wearing All-American Dodge D-50 nameplate garb and stripes. These four were all I believe remnants of the old yard and were marked to keep. I suppose it must be hard to be an owner of a junkyard and interested in cars, I can’t imagine the self-control required to keep from amassing a “collection” rather than just “inventory”. I suppose self-control would need to be directly proportional to business sense.
The D-50 was always a pretty good looking little truck and a bit less common than its competition. It’ll be good if Dodge or RAM releases another new little truck as they are rumored to be considering, but I’m sure it won’t be called the D-50. Probably not Sheep or Little Bo Peep either although both would go with the RAM name. Maybe the Li’l Wooly?
Rust, schmust, that’s just character. The D-50 doesn’t actually look that much smaller than the big American iron behind it.
I know, you want me to get to the main event. Well, I’m going to use every picture I slavishly took. This trucklet even has tools in it, I had to step back to make sure it had flat tires, for a minute I thought maybe it was still being used. Maybe it will be again, that tank on the back looks like a weed sprayer. But there needs to be more plaid in car interiors again, that accent on the door panel is doing a lot of work all by itself and successfully too.
I believe this is a 1955 Hudson Hornet, and the fender clearly calls it out as a Hollywood version at that, although I wasn’t aware that was offered in a four door, I thought the Hollywood by definition denoted a two-door hardtop.
To paraphrase Shakira here, “(front) hips don’t lie” so I don’t know. There were 10,010 Hornet four door sedans and 3,324 Hollywood Hardtops built for 1955. And this thing. Maybe it was added or there was a front end graft but the paint and trim all seem to match up. Or maybe I’m just missing something, I’m no expert on this (or these).
The badge is cool, and the grille is large if perhaps striking me as a bit derivative. The later models (’56, ’57) have a more strikingly designed grille, although in that case striking may be a little too much of a good thing, it’s pretty brash.
Underhood the Hudson 308 inline-six. Also a 5.0, so if it was a ragtop and Vanilla Ice was twenty years older, then maybe he could have been…ah, never mind.
And here’s la derriere of the same car, coyly hiding behind the fauna.
Of course this is the most famous Hudson, the Hornet of 1951 through 1954, here as a four door sedan.
It appears to be a 1954 with the one piece windshield, sadly most of the grille is gone although I believe the hood scoop is actually functional. I didn’t peer into there for some reason, maybe I was afraid of a real nest.
I do wonder how long this (or these) have been here. I’m sure they’ll get moved somewhere a little more secure soon enough though.
And lastly, where all my boyz from South Bend at? I gots a little sumthin for you too…per my Living Car-Google Search Engine Friend Paul Niedermeyer who responded to my text query in 0.14 seconds with the result that would have taken me hours to find the old way, here’s a 1956 Studebaker President in a genuinely bright and lovely yellow color.
The inside of it provided me with no good hints either…I just knew it wasn’t a regular Ford or GM or Chrysler product. I’ll never be one to spec a white interior though, not back then, not now, not ever.
And with the rear view, I bid you all a fond farewell for today. My first trip to this new junkyard was surprisingly successful, it will not be my last. I’m looking forward to hopefully stumbling across all kinds of treasures out there.
You definitely have a new honey hole, which is always a good thing.
A white interior in a yellow car is a definite no.
Especially after Labor Day.
I had never really thought about how a junkyard gets started. Actually, I had kind of assumed that the environmental police would never allow another new one, but evidently modern methods of managing the inventories do not create the problems that the old timers did.
I had to look closely at the Bravadas. You describe these as “early” but I still remember one owned by another family at my kids’ school that was the old square S-10 Blazer style. But I guess all Bravadas are kind of early now.
Ah yes, that 56 President. I would sooner take that over pretty much anything else in the yard (except maybe the big yellow 75-76 Pontiac that looks theoretically complete). Stude trivia – this is the shorter wheelbase President and not the long wheelbase President Classic. That black and white interior on this one looks amazingly good, considering the general state of the car.
You are correct, these weren’t the “earilest” Bravadas, but 2nd generation. All Bravadas are getting thin on the ground nowadays…
Modern yards do a pretty good job of being clean, I was perhaps a little facetious, the ground on the other junkyard I mostly visit is pretty good, you don’t have to constantly watch your step. The Denver ones are a bit worse in that regard but that’s likely due to their in general higher turnover and somewhat greater rate of items being salvaged from them. Still, while fluids are all drained, there’s always something left in the crankcase and especially transmission that just leaks out when the systems are broken open. It’s most noticeable after it rains and puddles form that you do not want to step in…There’s also a financial incentive, coolant can be (and is) resold, oil gets recycled/sold in bulk, and fuel often goes to the workers. No need to pour the liquid money on the ground.
I liked the first and early second gen Bravada. Then in 1998, the ugly stick was used relentlessly.
I think the ugly stick was used on all the newer vehicles these days, starting back about 2000
Here , over the “Pond” breakers yards have had to be on a hard standing now for decades.No more leaking oil and coolant into the water table..
The Health and Safety folks would shut you down if they found cars just resting on a wheel rim based on a tyre. ..
Most breakers work over the internet these days . Find tbe part you want ,like the photos n send money.
When it rains I’m guessing it washes the oil and whatever towards the edge of the solid surface and then where does it go? Yes it’s all better than the old days but not a cure-all solution.
There are a few junkyards I’ve been to in the Los Angeles area where the entire yard is paved (along with the rest of the city!) and sort of sloped towards a center drain that presumably filters or collects the runoff. When it rains, I’ve seen the drains clog and you end up with a deep and large center pond filled with cars and ooze and then it eventually gets unclogged or evaporates. It’s horrific in that the whole place is covered in oil and sludge even on the driest of days, your shoes stick to it and hopefully you brought a spare set before getting back into your own car…
It’s certainly possible (no idea if this is done though or required here) to “line” a place such as this just like is done in landfills with a thick membrane and then dirt is poured over it to prevent the runoff. In any case, nobody is pouring gallons of oil, fuel and coolant just into the dirt as was usual practice (and still is likely in some “backwoods” operations).
The internet I think has made modern salvage yards a very viable business again, albeit it with some quite large up front investment. It’s recycling at its finest, saves people money, provides others with profit (as opposed to most and especially household level recycling), and keeps cars on the road that would otherwise be uneconomical to keep running along with keeping cars and their fluids out of rivers, lakes, and just rotting into the ground on private properties. Why let the car just sink into the ground when a wrecker will give you a few hundred for it (and there are more businesses that will remove or pay you to let them take your car and then take it to scrapyard to sell it to them).
“Most breakers work over the internet these days . Find tbe part you want ,like the photos n send money.”
We still have full service yards in the US.
Go to car-part.com search for the part you need and a list will pop up with the location and phone number for the yard that has it and in most cases the price.
There is also Partsmarket.com which handles the transaction and warranty for those full service wrecking yards. Place your order online and they have the yard with that part in stock ship it to you. I purchased an Audio Control Module (radio) from them and the first one that arrived was bad. Called them up and a couple of days later another showed up at my door which was good and is still working.
They charge market based pricing for the parts they sell. That Chevy or Ford alternator might be $25 while they might charge $100 or more for one from a Mercedes or BMW.
But Jim gets his pictures from the Self-Serve class of yards. They typically charge a flat price based on the type of part and it is up to you to pull any part you want. They typically charge a per person entrance fee to cover the cost of those small parts that fall to the bottom of someone’s pocket or tool bucket.
If you want a part and can’t pull it yourself many of the yards you’ll find listed on Row52.com have 3rd party Parts Pullers that work that specific yard or group of yards. You negotiate directly with them for how much they will charge to pull it and even ship it if you want. Most of those guys will pick the cherries from those same self serve yards to sell on E-Bay or the local Craig’s list. They get friendly with the staff, watch the processing pen and are there right after the cherry trees get planted in the yard.
Like the home centers of today vs. old time lumberyards, where you had to know someone to get the best lumber, the self-serve junkyards are a major step forward. However, I’ll still miss the haphazard management of the old time yards. The cigar-chomping yard hands roaming the aisles in barely running vehicles without brakes. The indiscriminate use of oxy-acetylene torches to remove car parts, causing rubber bushing and grass fires. You always felt privileged when you could enter the inner sanctum with the yard guy to check out a particular car.
Just never take a shortcut that takes you behind one of the buildings. I did that only once and had a close encounter with a literal junkyard dog.
How do modern junkyards charge for parts? By the pound?
Do people pick off most of the small parts and put them on eBay? What would Dickens say about that?
All items are charged for by what they are. There is (usually) a posted pricelist, also available online. In this case a brake caliper is $10 plus a $5 core charge if I had an old one to take in. So $15 plus tax per piece. A door with glass might be $100, a door (metal only) might be $50. A sun visor $6 and so on…it’s generally broken down to the smallest part with the cashier having some discretion on very random stuff but it doesn’t matter what they came from, a sun visor for a Mercedes S-Class costs the same as one from a Geo Metro.
Some (most?) people go and buy the parts they need for their own cars, some harvest parts and resell them on ebay and/or other places (Craigslist or Facebook) for profit.
You pull your own parts using your own tools. The yard will generally help you to carry (via their forklift) something huge or heavy like an engine but mostly you’re on your own. Generally sales of airbags and catalytic converters are not allowed.
“How do modern junkyards charge for parts? By the pound?”
For some of the self serve lots yeah it is kind of by the pound. The Pick-N-Pull chain is essentially a “front” for the company that owns it, Schnitzer Steel. So the order to crush comes from the dock based on how full the ship sitting at it is and when the contract says the dock time is in China.
Yes there are people out there that make their living or at least a chunk of it picking cherries at their local self serve yards for resale on E-bay. There are also parts pullers that will work their local self serve yard while picking cherries, who will pull and ship those parts that you found at some far away yard on Row 52 to you.
In my region Pick-n-Pull has six yards within 40 miles of me. I was just there two weeks ago looking for a tail light assembly. Complete tail lights are priced at 24.95 if I recall correctly before tax. I once bought a 61-66 F-100 hood ($50) that I really didn’t need 15 years ago. No dents and no rust so I was thinking ahead. Yeah, right as it sits on the side of the house still perfect. Try carrying that thing all the way to the front by yourself. I have to say these yards are pretty “dirty” on the ground around the cars even if they are drained. Out here the cars are far too modern to be of any use to me for the most part.
Fascinating to see how it ll starts.
You like Brembo calipers? I’ll be sure to save the ones on my Promaster van for you when/f they ever need changing out. I owe you. 🙂
I like the fact that others will sometimes pay hundreds of dollars for them!
I bought a set of Camaro SS calipers that were rebuilt and powder coated red for an upgrade project on my GTO in 2020. I paid $248 all in for them. Plenty of people out there looking for them.
I’ve never seen the birth of a junkyard before, thanks for the great tour! Reassuring to know they are now responsibly zoned, and implemented. I recall as a kid, a local yard had a small river (and a source of local drinking water), running adjacent to the site.
I would suggest Mitsu pickup interior designers were either inspired by, or told, to use the Volare/Aspen dashboard for inspiration. Flip the radio and heater controls, and you have a very similar look and feel in their design and layout.
Remarkable, the long marketing life Chrysler got out of the ‘Dodge’ italic font they first introduced in 1964. It’s strongly associated with the 60s, the stock car era of the 70s, and also with Dodge trucks in the 80s. It aged very well.
Nice, graphic and somewhat timeless font design. When I see it, I equally think of Richard Petty, Joe Garagiola, and Chuck Connors (Dodge Trucks). lol
It was a sad day when the last Petty-sponsored Chrysler product (the ’78 Dodge Magnum pictured) left the NASCAR circuit. Unfortunately, Chrysler products just weren’t competitive, anymore, and the company, being in dire straits, didn’t have a lot of money to go around for it, anyway.
Iacocca did get Petty Enterprises to track-test a race-prepped Dodge Mirada, but the squared-off bodystyle just didn’t work at high speeds, and that was it. Seems like the great font used for the Mopar lettering for all those years effectively died with that final effort.
Not to take web traffic away from CC, and the resident Junkyard Dog Jim Klein, but Steve Magnante has a truly wonderful ‘Junkyard Crawl’ channel at YT. Magnante has a encyclopedic knowledge of all cars, and his crawls are very informative, and lots of fun.
I’m wondering how exactly that Camaro SS ended up there, there doesn’t appear to be any obvious reason damage wise, certainly not enough to total it since the blue book value is still pretty high. Whatever the circumstances are it’s most surprising to see it at a self service yard, rather than a more dedicated breaker yard where the cars are dismantled by employees and parts sold over the counter or online at a substantially greater markup that reflects the value of the parts, a self service yard with flat rate prices stand to make as much money on that as a Toyota Tercel once picked clean. Even older generation V8 Camaros and Mustangs are generally extreme rarities, and on the odd occasion I have stumbled across them they’re either very clapped out or so severely damaged by an accident it’s hard to find anything salvageable, they’re most often V6s.
Someone’s going to get a real score on that LS3!
I was wondering the same thing, I’ve seen various Camaros and Challengers (and Mustangs) over the years at self-service places but always in very bad shape, usually after some poor high speed decisions… This one had very little if any damage on most body parts and the wheels were in good if not perfect shape as well and it had the full (leather) interior.
The engine and six speed manual though were already gone, either by a yard employee or more likely before it even got there. But I agree there is no obvious reason why a new engine could not have been swapped in if that was in fact the actual problem, it looked extremely viable otherwise and better than some that we see rolling around.
I was also wondering how that Camaro ended up in the junkyard. Perhaps it was a flood victim?
@ Mr. Hall :
You’d be amazed at the nice vehicles sent to the junkyards these days, I always am .
For any $3,500 body repair (and I see that Camaro has an A Pillar dent) if it’s over ten years old it’s junk .
I see undamaged Corvettes all the time, the engines are often but not always taken, few seem to want / need any crash or interior parts, go figure .
Only one experience with a You-Pull your part junkyard. Had a 98 Avalon, hated the thing but it was reliable. Drivers door power door lock failed, $231.00 for a new one. The local yard has a Camry of the same vintage. I’ll take a look at it for the ell of it. When I found it the scavengers had already picked it clean. Engine gone. all removeable sheet metal gone. All glass gone, no seats, no interior panels, dash gutted. I swung the door open and took a quick look inside the door and much to my surprise there is the holy grail of my quest. This car had power locks, the actuator is still there and all the crap you have to remove to get at it is gone. $14 dollars plus the $7 dollar cover charge AND a warranty, if it doesn’t work you can bring it back for a refund. Got home, installed it and Success, it works. Button up the Avalon and on to the next project.
I did notice a couple of guys appearing to remove every unboltable item from a couple of cars, filling their wheel barrows full. Never thought of the EBAY, craigslist and FaceBook angle for making some cash.
Interesting as the yards I mentioned above seem to have most of the cars go to the crusher complete. Small items removed, most engines stay, along with most panels and interior. Many of the cars get cut up by people using the quick method to get a part by hacking it out with a sawzall as the ground around the cars are layered with parts and fasteners.
I love these self service yards .
Interesting to see one empty .
Wow. Getting to see the first-ever empopulation* of a wrecking yard is a once-in-an-almost-never experience. Long and fruitfully may you enjoy the place before LKQ do their thing (buy up and destroy it).
*I think I just made up that word
The Shakespeare of CC is at it again! 🙂
This new “Iron Ridge’ has replaced the decades old, “Martins Supply and Salvage” The bad part is that of the thousands of genuine collector cars of the 40’s through 70’s were sacrificed to the crusher. The Martin family wanted to cash out and retire, but in the end this destroyed many collectable parts cars and assorted parts. Too bad Andersons couldn’t have saved more of the antiques maybe in an area in the back. It’s all about the money and I’m sure Anersons will be much more profitable than the family orientated Martins.
I doubt they would have bought the place if they didn’t think they could make money at it. This yard has a crusher but no shredder or larger scale processing, maybe they’ll add that later or just truck crushed bodies in bulk the 20 miles to the other facility that has all that.
The problem is that apparently nobody was buying all of the old cars and parts which isn’t surprising really. I’m guessing the four cars at the end of this piece were leftovers from Martins. I didn’t inquire how much they wanted for them and nobody here so far has shown a burning desire to hook up their trailer and head out here either. There are very few cars ever made that can sit outside in a non-op state for a very long period of time, be restored, and be worth more than the cost to do so.
Conversely a RAV4 is picked to the frame within a week or two. Andersen gets plenty of old cars at the other yard (as does the Cheyenne location) – In Greeley some of the bits and pieces are picked off them before they are crushed. In Cheyenne they mostly sit and rot further and have done so for years. When the Denver yards get old cars some of the trim is usually taken, very rarely body parts, and then they too get crushed, and that’s at businesses that have a pretty good marketing machine going, very, very few of these cars are salvageable as a whole. Some of the old time yards are cool to walk through but that’s about it.
In the end the land is far more valuable to actually run a business that generates a good income rather than just being a holding area for cars that people aren’t regularly buying and selling anymore. But I presume land that has had cars oozing fluids into the dirt for decades is far less valuable than just regular farmland with limited commercial uses going forward unless expensive remediation is undertaken. There are several others like it along the Front Range (you see them off I-25) and of course in other places as well, the ones that make money (and get a lot of visitors) are the ones with an organized system, otherwise it’s just overwhelming such as the yard that Paul went to last year near Fresno.
In other words if there was money to be made from them, Iron Ridge would have lined up the old cars, catalogued them, and be selling the parts, after all they have the space! Or maybe Martin’s could have before selling but obviously not, there was probably more money in just crushing and shredding the metal in one go. I like old cars as much as the next guy but I wasn’t bothering to (and won’t) go and buy one that’s been sitting among the weeds for years or decades. Not many even of the rest of us that read this site would OR generally there is a huge disconnect between what a ready buyer is willing to pay ($100?) and a seller is willing to take (they know what they’ve got!). If there was money to be made by the former owners there it’s due to the land having being paid for generations ago, that would likely not work for a new owner. Nostalgia does not pay the bills, a front end damaged 2014 Nissan Altima with deployed airbags that the occupants walked away from though? A little gold mine…now multiply that by a thousand or more spots that turn over 4-6 times a year.
Everything you say is true, it’s just too bad that antique parts that have survived for decades somehow can’t be saved. I doubt that there were any restorable vehicles at Martins, but there were still lots of good parts. I forgot to mention that one reason to buy that location is being grandfathered in as a wrecking yard, the land was uniquely established for that purpose. In El Paso county if you clear the land of the old cars, then you loose the zoning and old cars can’t come back, I wonder if that’s why Anderson kept a tiny selection? I’m certain that with a modern pull and pay with late models it will be a money maker for Anderson. I own a wrecking yard and get calls for parts I don’t have, but I think that, well, Martins would have it, or Svigel’s, or Webb’s, or 7 Sons, but they’re all gone now. To close, at least 7 Sons had a going out of business auction and made a ton of money, I was there. Lots of neat stuff saved.
This may not be something these yards do, but to get a collector car in for salvage my 1st thought is to contact any local car club of that car to pick their interest. If there is no interest than whatever happens will happen (the car gets crushed). I don’t know about other yards, but some in Wisconsin will not sell you a car or major parts once it’s in the yard, apparently for legal liability reasons.
I came across a Sears Allstate (Henry J) at a yard once. It was roped off in a yard,complete and was not for sale. The 1st one I ever saw. I still wonder what happened to that car and have never seen one since.
that yellow camaro looks like the front fender is crumpled so the whole crush zone may have been compromised plus if the airbags went off the insurance company may have wrote it off as just to repair it would be worth more than the value of a 12 year old car especially if it had high mileage.
The wide open sky steals the attention in most of the pics!
I thought that too!
I hope you can provide periodic updates as the yard fills. It will be interesting to see which rows fill and with what.
Some operations have actually moved indoors. The YouTube channel “I Do Cars” is a mix of engine teardowns and project cars from a a specialist salvage yard operator in St. Louis. He has a small parking area and a large warehouse since his specialty is parts.
I’ve just picked up on that show. Luv his face protection device.
In 95% of the engine teardowns, looks like the lack of oil or oil changes is the chief culprit.
Individually, silver and grey can be beautiful colours on cars. I recall back in the 70s, before the two colours became very popular, silver and grey cars were some of the best looking on the road. I remember seeing a second gen white Ford Capri around 1977, and it looked striking, and beautiful, in white.
The problem is, the volume of cars taking advantage of the simple beauty of silver, grey and white has exploded. Creating this apparent monotony of colour. People can bemoan it appearing everywhere, but many of these cars do look great in these colours. Of course, manufacturers will take advantage of it.
In the NW Ohio area, I had never personally been to a junkyard where they picked the parts off and had them ready to go, with the exception of engines. I remember working on an old ’71 or ’72 Roadrunner, taking the exhaust tips, the console, which somehow, someway, wasn’t broken, and a couple of other items. My ’74 Roadrunner had by it’s first anniversary, had it’s second replacement console installed, and the one in the junkyard was a lot cheaper than the dealer for a “new” one. As always, one of the half dozen huge dogs watched me work. One seemed to like me, and I began bringing jerky to give him and eventually, he was overjoyed to see me when I came in once in a while. When I moved to Vegas, I don’t think any junkyard I went to was self-service. A lack of dogs seemed very odd to me too. I spent a lot of money at S.N.A.P. (Southern Nevada Auto Parts) on both my Roadrunner and especially my nightmare vehicle, my ’77 Power Wagon, SNAP kept it going for the four awful years I had it.
I remember a ’57 Cadillac convertible at a Bay Area wrecking yard back in the late 60’s. I told myself that when I turn 16 I’m going to come down and buy that car. Of course, two years later it was gone. There are a lot of dead, once forgotten cars that are bought by enthusiasts and brought back to life, but not from wrecking yards. Yard finds, street finds, field finds, garage finds and some genuine barn finds are turning up every day. I know that there were some specialty vintage car yards around, but there is only demand for the really popular models and if they’re halfway decent they will be sold as “builders!”
Once a car is too old to be found in large numbers on the street, they won’t have much value to a wrecking yard. I still find SN 95 Mustangs like my ’96 but I was surprised to find so many post 2005 models in my local self service lot. But then I realized that these models are over fifteen years old.
I’ve bought several cars and trucks from wrecking yards and restored some. Depends if they’ll even sell, or provide title also. I know friends who have done so also. Another scenario is the cream puff or close to mint car in the wrecking yard, there only for some minor problem, but the yard won’t sell for a variety of reasons.
Loved seeing that ’54 Hudson!
The simple facts are : very few want to buy anthing not running .
In the last three months I had so scrap three collector vehicles , I mentioned them here repeatedly and in the end _one_ person came t look at my 1969 Chevy C/10 shortbed stepside with extra engines, fully restored frame and body, new seats, factory taxhometer, on and on I told him I’d take any ca$h offer to prevent it from being crushed and that’s what he did .
The other two had to be GIVEN AWAY, all had clear California titles and current tags to boot .
I look at the ’56 (?) Hudson and think : I’ve brought back many cars rougher than this, why hasn’t it been saved ? as these are exactly the situations I look for : old unrestored cars that are complete but unwanted and left to die .
The amount of 1940’s ~ 1960’s vintage parts I’ve been giving to my local Mexican scrap guy are staggering .