(first posted 4/15/2011) There are no less than 220 photos by Michal Meduna in this amazing gallery of junked cars being reclaimed by nature. Stephanie and I got totally lost in them; they are all superb. The hardest part was which ones to show you here. Well, I’m only going to show you a couple, because you just have to experience them all yourself.
Here’s the link and a hat tip to Sean Flanagan
Can’t help thinking it’s environmentally un-sound, and just a little sad, for these cars to end up this way. The Cubans could have them running again in no time.
Environmentally unsound? The moss, lichen and other sundry flora seem to not care as they slowly subsume Detroit’s finest into the larger green scape. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, iron oxide to iron oxide.
These are very cool. Sadly, this is only cool in areas where the vegetation is this aggressive, otherwise it looks like maybe you could snatch the car away from its rightful fate.
These cars look better rotting and covered with moss than just about any new car today.
Look at that Grand Prix. It’s everything modern Detroit cars are not. It’s simultaneously bold and restrained, sporty and luxurious. Why can’t we have things like this anymore?
(sarcasm on) You mean like distictiveness and brand idenity? How dare you! (sarcasm off)
This is spectacular! The first step toward fossilization is a rapid burial…We humans are going to leave some interesting fossils…
Awesome post!!!! had to share this with the Mrs. Thanks for posting this.
Looking thru the entire lot was quite emotional… I take my hat off to Michael… I don’t think I have the cojones to walk thru that place, way too eerie for me.
two things that brightened the mood:
1. that late 60s Coke can
2. the ‘johnnie come lately mid 80s Eldo looking WAY out of place here— like he’s too cool to be caught dead in this place.
Every plant I could see is one that I identify with low, wet land in western Washington or Oregon. It doesn’t make sense that someone would leave old car bodies in the water…too hard to get them there…maybe the beavers worked downstream and raised the water level in the lower parts of the lot. I saw power lines in a couple of the pics – that implies there’s a road close by on one side. Washington plates mostly from the Vancouver/Longview area, but a few more Oregon plates – I suspect this place is in Oregon, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find that it’s close to the Columbia River.
I’ve never seen car bodies that are so deteriorated from the effects of moisture. If this place continues to exist undisturbed it won’t be so many years before there will only be rusted lumps that once were motors and a few chrome die-cast pieces to remind a visitor that once upon a time a lot of old cars were there.
The owners manual mentions washing and waxing , did they know about this?
IF they painted them properly would this still happen surely paint can outlast this sorta time period 65 years ago this was new
A crying shame to see that Packard there, along with the GP. On the other hand, beautiful photos, if hauntingly so. (As a photographic subject, this kind of thing is right up my alley.)
Great photos, just one more reason why I keep coming back to this site. Bravo!
Does anyone have any idea where this is? I’ve never seen vegetation this aggressive on metal, but then I live in the Midwest not the bayou.
One shot showed a legible Oregon license plate, so I would assume that Paul’s home state is recycling these babies at the speed of mammal evolution.
This reminds me so much of when I was a kid and I used to accompany my dad on his used-parts forays. Daddy was raised poor, and he always kept his prices down for his working-man customers. This meant a heavy reliance on used parts, and some of the more rural yards we prowled looked a lot like this.
I knew it wasn’t Louisiana, though, by the proliferation of ferns.
In one shot I noticed that even the truck with the sheer-leg rig on the back that moved the cars around (every junkyard had one until the development of the outdoor forklift) is still there. I wonder if a pair of skeletal hands are still gripping the levers, ready to swing these babies across the river Styx….
Each and every one of these cars (and trucks) was once someones pride and joy. Washed, maintained, paid for, sold eventually to someone else. Imagine them on the highway cruising, out shopping, taking kids places. Good times and bad. It’s sad to see them all rotting away like this.
At least when they are melted down they die a dignified final death and are reborn as something new again. This is a slow death.
I owned models of those cars, makes me wonder if one of mine ended up in the woods for all eternity.
That was my thought as well–somewhere in the past, designers sketched out the designs, planners approved them, workers retooled the machinery, other workers assembled the cars, dealers and buyers worked out deals and signed the paperwork, the buyers drove them off the lot, families had happy or not-so-happy times in them, they were sold down the line to other buyers, and eventually they ended up here…all someone’s pride and joy, and now the cars are deteriorating hulks, and many if not most of the people involved are gone as well. Sic transit gloria.
I especially get that feeling looking at old station wagons, having romped around in the back of a couple as a kid.
this is extreamly sad……look at all the history in that yars….dang i wish i had the money to snach every single one of those cars out of there and restore them……i would do it in a heart beat…who would be careless enough to let a bunch of beautifull cars sit and rot away to nothing…and think of how many cars these could aid in the restoration of…..but no they are sitting here doing absoultly nothing in this wase land but wasting away to nothing…..i say find the owners and kill em
It saddens me and angers me to see cars like this wasting away. One of the cars on my top ten, must have list is a ’61 Impala and I see two here! I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never been able to afford to just abandon a damaged or broken down car instead of selling it to someone for parts or to the scrapyard. I occasionally (ok, frequently) scan Craig’s List and other such places and ’61 Chevys are going for big money even in poor condition!
The sixty-one Chevys caught my eye, too… the turquoise one appears to be a Belair or Biscayne, as it two lights on each side rather than three like an Impala. But while these photos are quite interesting, and very well composed, they are in fact quite sad. That Grand Prix just calls to be fixed up by someone.
The Grand Prix is the one I would gladly rescue. My wife is hardly a car girl but when she saw a dark blue Pontiac like the one shown, she said ” now that’s a car I would drive”. First time in 29 years she has ever made a comment like that. This is the woman that when shown two acres of brass hat cars and told to pick any of them, took a stripped Escort hatchback. I’m guessing they’re on land between Portland and Longview around St. Helens near hwy. 30. Or on the road from Vernonia to St. Helens?
Saw only one Tri-Five Chevy and it was a ’57 Chevy to boot!!
Go back and look again , all three are there .
So beautiful .
So wasteful .
I remember Junk Yards quite similar all over New England in the early 1960’s , back then it was mostly 1940’s & 1050’s vehicles , all paper thin just like these .
I wonder of anything is worth salvaging here ? .
Only one lonely Import , VW Typ III ‘ Squareback ‘ .
? No one else noticed this fresh water river / stream must be near the coast as the water level varies on several of the same cars…… this occurs when the tide comes in and goes out , raises the level up stream a little bit .
Clever use of the battery powered light .
Now this is a nature walk I’d actually find enjoyable!
Another nick against modern cars – their plastic fantastic bodywork never looks this good or distinctive in these dilapidated states!
Sound’s near my area. Would be a interesting place to visit. It’s kind of sad, but also beautiful in a strange way. Would like to find out the story of how (and why) these cars ended up in this flood zone.
Brilliant. I missed this one the first time round, but those are some great photos.
Incredible photos – I feel bad for these cars!
Truly striking but rotting relics of a long ago (to me) time. Like seeing ghosts. There are a lot of cars (mostly 1960s) that I remember on the road, and now banished to this purgatory. As many observed: both fascinating and sad.
There is a lot of water around in these pictures making me think that many of these cars were semi-submerged. Another noted that this looked like wetlands. There are so many cars here, maybe around 50? But how did they end up here in this lost elephants’ graveyard? Most seem close together, thrown among some trees, nothing to say any infrastructure that there was a lot or junkyard or even a landfill or dump in the beginning. Was this some place that tow trucks just brought them here to dump off and forget? Some of these cars it’s hard to imagine how they got pushed or dragged to their final resting place.
There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away.
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets …
Fantastic find! Have a look over at the original site and you’ll notice several of the cars still have keys in the ignition.
Tune in again for another episode of: “It Ran When I Parked It”
This has reminded me, I must wash my car today.
I love it! These combine my two greatest interests, cars and nature…. I guess not such a contradiction after all. I’m guessing the Olympic Peninsula is the location?
Soldiers in perfect camouflage.
After viewing these these pictures I feel like old TV commercial that had the Native American with a tear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7OHG7tHrNM
So sad for different reasons.
The 1958 (?) Cadillac (image 122) surely deserves a better fate. Superficially at least it does not look as bad as the others and is not so water-logged. Seems a great shame if only to salvage for parts even. Tow it out?
I wonder if any of the ghost hunter types ever thought to look around these old wrecks? If you were a disembodied spirit, and for whatever reason decided to hang around this plane of existence, you might be attracted to the happy times and associations clinging to these cars. I can imagine a ghostly family arrayed inside one of them, ready for a ride in the country.
I still feel the way now that I did when I was a kid–when I saw a junked/ derelict car, it was sad. I always felt like I could save every junked car. They fascinated me because even at that age, I had seen cars not as transportation, but as a personal identity and style. And they also signified a sense of freedom, in that you could go anywhere you wanted. I couldn’t figure out why those cars weren’t wanted by anyone.
The older me can rationalize that the cars became a liability in some way–too expensive to fix, too old, too outdated for the people that had to have something brand new all the time. But the younger version of me still thinks that these once new, once vital cars still are capable of being enjoyed. I guess that we still are enjoying the cars; we enjoy looking at pictures of them in whichever state they are in.
Thise evokes quite a few emotions. It is sad that these cars have been junked like this, but there is beauty here as well, the way nature has the final say in everything.
I thnk this is a far better end for a cool cars life than being recycled into a cheap washing machine,
Or even worse, a demolition derby.
Exactly. There is a powerful beauty in these old relics going back to nature–and, to me, it’s a dignified end. Creating beauty even in death.
Recycling for metal is so impersonal and utilitarian, ending as a parts car or at the pick-a-part at least allows parts of the car to live on, demo derbies are barbaric. But this is, just perhaps, the next best thing to being preserved as a working vehicle.
Exquisite bittersweet imagery.
I do a lot of hiking on my vacations. When I’m in the the PNW, I can count on running into old 50s/60s/70s cars and trucks (mostly 1970s, but I’ve seen a handful of 1990s and even the odd find from the early 2000s just randomly “there”). My favorites are the odd find where there’s a tree growing through or its enveloped in a cavelike mass, much like some of the cars in this post. You know it’s been there for quite a while, at least fifty years.
It annoys my girlfriend because I always have to take shots of it, especially if it’s a car I like (Mopar, usually) or if it just looks creepy. I half expect to find skeletal remains or evidence of foul play but thankfully haven’t yet, and I always peek in or open doors if I can. If there’s a mini junkyard going on that I have to explore, we get to our campsite after dark. That’s a completely different story.
I get a thrill when I run into other things out in the woods. Camp trailers, old machinery, even household appliances. Hikes for me are more an industrial archeology expedition. I always speculate how these things get far and up these logging roads or primitive paths.
Interesting ideas for an aquarium.
Quite an impressive gallery, and just a little sad. I remember seeing a lot of those cars on the road as a young boy and it’s a shame to see them rotting away. That said, nature taking back the works of man is always a fascinating subject, and as a photographer (my hobby, actually) it combines a couple of my personal favorites – nature and old cars. I’ve photographed a few myself, but nothing like this. I would happily spend a day or more wandering through it and looking for different shots and different lighting. I don’t think you could run out of shots…only battery life and memory capacity (and film, for those who still use it). I also agree with the reader who said that ’70’s Eldorado looks out of place. It needs another 30 years or so before it can really fit in with its compatriots.
Thanks once again for an interesting story and link.
Here in 2021 “the link” didn’t seem to work—but even this sampling is striking food for thought. Any chance someone can take photos of nature’s progress over the past decade?
Interesting pics! The posters who mentioned Oregon as the probable location were likely right, as the Oregon plate on the 62 Ford would suggest.
Here’s a link to much more of the same type of photos –
These are terrific. A pity Google killed Picasa so the gallery is no longer, and while I do find a Michal Meduna on Flickr, he appears to be in Czechia and I don’t see any pics like this in his stream.
I wish I could find Michael Meduna’s page, but nothing shows up in a 2021 search. Beautiful and haunting.
This isnt confined to the woods I was beside a Toyota Blade in city traffic today and looking down on it there was stuff actually growing on it probably last washed when new or freshly imported.