Scrap Yard Classic: A Chrysler Windsor, And An International Pair

Last week, before the snow hit, I cleared out some of the scrap metal cluttering up my garage and took it to the local recycling yard. Usually there are a handful of old cars in front, and the first one of them I saw from the road was this  grandly formal old Chrysler Windsor, awaiting its fate with the shredder.

It was my first time at this yard. Their process wasn’t super clear, but in any case you must first weigh-in your vehicle at the scale across the road. So there I was with my scrap-stuffed minivan, waiting at the scales among quite a few heavy trucks and folks with trailers. If anyone is interested, a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan whose seats have been removed and filled with crap weighs in at roughly 4,300 lbs. with the driver aboard.

Then it’s through the entrance, and now I can get a better look at the ’49 Windsor. It has a bit of body damage on the driver’s side, but overall isn’t all that rusty-looking. Since these aren’t worth a ton of money, I understand why a restoration probably didn’t make economic sense, but it’s still rather sad to see this almost-senior citizen end up here. Some retirement. Hopefully, all that chrome can be stripped off to help another Windsor stay on the road a while longer. From 1939 into the 1960s, Windsor designated the full-size, mid-level Chrysler.  While 1961 was the last year for the Windsor badge in the U.S., Canadian Windsors (which were, ironically, rebadged American Newports built in Windsor, Ontario!) continued in production until 1966.

Many 1949 Chryslers, including Windsors, were advertised as a Silver Anniversary models to celebrate the nameplate’s 25th year. The Windsor sported a new post-war design with somewhat squarer and more upright styling.

The front end was not nearly as massive-looking as in 1946 to 1948.

The Windsor was powered by the same corporate flat six found under the hood of pretty much every Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth of the day. The Chryslers got a slightly larger 250.6 cu in version, but the Prestomatic fluid drive semi-automatic transmission it shared with its corporate cousins likely blunted most of its 116 hp. Slow and steady would be definitely be the preferred (and perhaps only) pace here.

Directly across the path sat this pair of rather sad-looking International L-series pickups. The L-series ran from 1949 to 1952, when it was replaced by the R-series. Like the Windsor, these also featured a straight six, but unlike the L-head Chrysler engine, the Silver Diamond engine in  International’s light-duty trucks used overhead valves. The truck at the left looks to be a L-170 heavier-duty model with the older, flathead Super Blue Diamond engine. I suspect these two were sourced from a farm clean-up. You’ll still find lots of old trucks in the fields around here.

Being stuck behind some big trucks that took time to unload gave me the chance to spot this 1960s GM pickup waiting out its last days.

Finally, it was my turn to dump my load of mostly cut-up Toyota pickup box pieces and bent trampoline poles. I was able to deposit everything behind this early 1980s GMC. I had planned to take my wife out for a nice dinner with the proceeds, but I guess the price of scrap metal must be down: I got only $17.30 for 380 lbs. of scrap steel, which we spent on a couple of grocery store-bought pizzas and a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream, with 40 cents left over. Maybe the next metal run will be a little more profitable so that I can more adequately reward her suffering as the spouse of a car obsessed nut-job.