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!
Those ’67-’72 GM half-tons are starting to go for stupid money in any half-way restored condition. A neighbouring farm has one sitting in similarly derelict condition but you’d think now even the husk would go for something.
Yesterday I found a 69 or 70 1/2 C10 for sale at the local U Pull sales lot. Not rusty, straight, good tires sign said “runs and drives”. The body was pretty straight and the inside of the bed was almost dent free. Needed paint and interior. $1650.00 was the asking price. Good thing for me I have no more parking space. Too bad about that Suburban.
Mosquitos in Minnesota are no joke; landing in hot bacon grease will not kill them and they can grow to be the size of hummingbirds. Growing up near the Mississippi River I have experienced mosquitos, but Minnesota gives them an entirely new dimension!
Hummingbirds? Up north, we get ones the size of Cadillacs. And I’m not talking Cimarrons or Cateras, either. 😀
Down South where I’m from, we had ’em in two sizes: small enough to fly through the holes in the screen, and big enough to open the door.
Yeah, I heard that they put 80 gallons of aviation fuel into a mosquito at an airfield in Alaska before they realized it wasn’t a Cessna….
Joke’s on me… Thought the lead-in K5 was a short bed pickup (until closer inspection.)
Until I rebuilt the engine, my old Datsun B210 hatch would’ve made good mosquito fogging equipment for the Metropolitan District. 😉
Gawd, I miss the heater in that little rust-bucket! Good, HOT heat within 5 minutes in any weather. NEVER overheated in summer, either.
I also didn’t realize it was a Blazer with the rear roof removed until I started reading the caption.
How long were these (or their competitors from other manufacturers) available with removable roofs? Were they always offered up through the end of the 1973 body style in the early ’90s? Did they all come with removable roofs in the early years?
Shoot! Brother just sold Dad’s red ’84 Scottsdale-those houndstooth bucket seats and the console would have worked nice there. I will pass along. Great pix, I love running around junkyards as the snow melts and the treasures are gradually uncovered.
They spray a few times during the summer in the town where I live in west central Minnesota. You can hear the quiet drone of the truck as it drives up and down the streets. It probably isn’t good for the environment, but it certainly is nice for the next few days after they spray!
I had a professor in college who used to reminisce about when he was a kid and they would spray DDT and they would go outside and play in the spray.
Proof positive that Ford and Dodge trucks are so much better than the Chevys – there is apparently not a single one in the junkyard. 🙂
I’m loving that Scout. My college roomie’s dad bought a 74 model from a friend about 1976 or so. Fort Wayne was crawling with them back then, with the factory there and all. AMC six and an automatic (and cloth seats and air, even), it was sloooooooow. All three kids in the family wrecked it at least once, but it kept getting fixed. A constant supply of new body panels kept the rust away. I can only imagine how rusty one of those could get in Minnesota.
I will confess some sadness that some idiot let a mostly rust-free old Suburban go like this.
If one is to believe the grille and the fact that it is painted body color then it is a 1973, but they could have painted the grille with the paint job meaning it could be a 1974 too. Since the door isn’t totally sagging it might even be worth putting back on the road, as long as it doesn’t have the AMC 6 ;).
I like the inclusion of the Mosquito Control truck. My county’s trucks are always “buzzing around” in spring and summer, the pump and nozzle they use makes them sound a bit like 2.5 ton mosquitos. Curiously (to me), the trucks here are always full size short beds, usually Chevy but sometimes Ford, standard cab, rwd. I have often wondered why they use short beds instead of long beds, do they really save that much money on the purchase price? Seems like a long bed would have better resale value. For that matter, it looks like the apparatus would probably fit well enough in a Ranger (when they were still around), which would’ve saved even more money and gas.
Nice junkyard ! .
Thanx for sharing .
FWIW ; long beds have near zero resale value except on a farm .
The mosquito control truck followed by the Scout is quite interesting. I know a few people who have purchased old mosquito control Scouts. They are the perfect vehicle for spraying the ditches on the side of the road. The available RHD makes it easy to see what you are doing, the short wheelbase and 43 degree steering make it very manuverable while the 3/4 ton capacity means it can hold a big enough tank of what ever concoction to last through a day.