Junkyard Outtake: Tough Times for Two Tri-Shields


It’s Friday, and you know what that means – time for another Junkyard Outtake! As always, I’m your man on the scene with cameraphone in hand. Let’s see which gems are waiting to be picked this week!


Yesterday several readers noticed the Impala on my trailer and wanted to know more. Since it actually ties into today’s parts run, I decided to oblige them.

It’s a pretty typical 9C1 (police package) car, with all the ugly wear that one would expect to find on a vehicle that came out of a small-town department. I rescued it from certain crushing at the hands of an impound operation; it was one of their many abandoned vehicles that were for sale. I literally had to climb over several Saabs (seems the local ex-dealer decided to rid themselves of everything not worth fixing, mostly blown-up NG 900s) to get to this, the apparent gem of the backlot.


This would be the reason it got dumped. Fuel sprayed from a damaged plastic line or fitting caused a small fire, which melted most of this 3800’s plastic top-end components. It was a milder case than most, but still bad enough that someone decided to walk away from it and never return.

Being as I was needing plenty o’ plastic, I decided to hit the U-Pull on my way home. A recently deposited Bonneville provided everything I needed to get the car running again, save for gaskets and other consumables.

While I didn’t take any pictures of the rather forgettable donor, I did shoot a few more noteworthy cars. (The mood drops in three, two, one…)


I was a bit taken aback upon seeing this. So straight! So clean! Where was I when this car’s owner threw in the towel?


Two-door LeSabres are a bit of a rarity to begin with. Two-door Electras, such as this one (thanks to our readers for the correction!), even more so. But to find one as intact as this one was – well, that just doesn’t happen every day.

The last LeSabre coupe I saw was in 2006, an ’85 “Collector Edition” left to sit under a pine tree by an elderly owner. He was willing to sell – but for an astronomical price. It rotted away under that tree; eventually the condition sunk to where I didn’t bother trying to persuade him anymore. In time it, too, wound up in a junkyard.

The last Electra coupe I saw? Pretty sure this is the first, last, and only that I’ve laid eyes on.


The Olympic rings are a dead giveaway that we’re looking at an ’84.


Looks like an Olds 307 to me. Maybe not the world’s best power plant, but it ought to have motivated this two-ton Buick decently enough.


So much velour! Not perfect, but still savable.


All four 15″ Buick sport wheels, and even two of the caps, are still present. It just makes my heart sink.


If the LeSabre – er, Electra – was tugging at my heartstrings a bit, this Regal grabbed on with both hands. My first car was an ’85 Limited in Midnight Blue (a darker shade than this one)…


…with this exact blue velour interior.


This one was above average body-wise, but it hadn’t been spared from the tinworm.

My biggest regret seeing it in this condition is that I didn’t get here sooner. See, my winter project is an ’82 Regal, soon to be the recipient of a ’70 Buick 350/2004R combo and a super clean ’86 tan interior with all the bells and whistles. I have all the body parts I need (times two!), but I still need a good pair of front bumper fills and other pieces that this car likely once had.


Removing almost all of the front clip allows us a unique view of the engine.


That little 3.8 six looks lost back in there – but rest assured, it’s all there. And it’ll probably stay there. It took me months to sell my last one, which ran like a top and had a mere 86K miles on it. (And I didn’t get squat for it, either.)


The wood is fake. The rust-holes aren’t. (Road salt – boooooo!)


This late eighties 98 Regency is quite similar to my faux Touring Sedan.


Looks like just another blue-hair special. But wait! What’s that in the cab?


Factory leather! And to think, I spent days cutting and dying Toronado and Touring Sedan parts to accomplish the same thing. Timing is everything, eh?


Remember this one? Looks mighty picked over now, one month later. Clearly folks around here know what the answer is.

As I wrapped up my tour of the GM department and the truck section (my usual stomping grounds in this yard), I decided to venture off into foreign territory. The Impala had been the unlucky recipient of about six NMO-style antennas. I wanted to remove the majority of them – and to do so, I’d need a bunch of those 3/4″ rubber plugs commonly seen on former police cars. Having found none up to this point, I wandered off into Ford country to look for some P71 Panthers.

I was a stranger in a strange land, surrounded by vehicles odd and varied.


Like this one – what appears to be an eighty-something Marquis.


Some sort of V8 holds residence under its hood. 302, perhaps?


Wagon wheels. Because they fit, I suppose.


The interior is awash in a sea of green vinyl. Seeing this, the yard inventory’s claim of 1981 seems to make sense.


Next week, it’s back to the Back Forty for more vintage goodness. (The Junkyard Outtake winter plan: one week of Back Forty, one week of something else; keep alternating until the supply is exhausted or until spring returns and the yards reopen.) Happy hunting!