CC reader SteveE peeled off a shot of this load of CCs heading for an unavoidable fate, in the Portland, OR. area. We all know what the top rear one is, but how about the others.
I see one 1961 Studebaker Lark.
VW Rabbit (or Pickup) in the middle of the second row.
I feel it could be a plymouth horizon, or dodge
There is a bolt head visible on the front bumper (in black), which the Omni/Horizon doesn’t have but the Rabbit does. What do you think?
These pictures make so sad! 🙁
Is that a Matador under the Lark?
I can’t tell what it is, but I don’t think that it’s a Matador. It looks to be too large in size, but I’ve never stood next to a Lark in person, so my eyes may be a bit off.
Since it’s cliche: “What’s a Matador?”
I think it is a late ’40s car. ’47 Plymouth?
What a terrible waste! And to think that there are a lot of hard-to-get parts from those that a lot of us classic car collectors would give their right arm to get! Yes, it is one of the most depressing things I’ve seen in a long, long time.
I agree, the Lark grill and headlight bezels still seem useable.
The problem is that with today’s price of real estate, taxes, and insurance you can’t make money letting a car sit in the yard for too long. People just aren’t looking for parts for vehicles like this in enough frequency. The only hope for parts for vehicles like this are a yard that does car-part.com, an individual who will find parts the think will sell on ebay or someone who knows about Row 52 and someone near that pulls parts from those yards. https://row52.com/.
Totally agree. If a very limited number of people are looking for parts for a particular vehicle that has limited resale value- ’61 Lark, ’67 Valiant, or ’74 Peugeot 504 in my case- then the economics just dont work.
I also agree that the recent Row52 approach is very interesting and maybe game-changing. Yards that use this service place their entire contents online, complete with pictures of said vehicles, and, more recently, links to people willing to pull specific parts off these vehicles for you. I dont know about the cost of such services and of course shipping is going to be problematic for large parts, but I think this approach might actually be able to put valuable rare parts in the hands of even small numbers of distant enthusiasts at reasonable prices. And cheap parts go a long way to keeping curbside classics on the road.
Oregon seems to be the only place where they use netting on loads like this. Having lived in Portland for just over a year I never see this many old vehicles (pre-early 80s) in one spot outside of a car show or that one place in North Tabor with about 1/2 a dozen Studebakers since most loads like this consist of 80s-00s vehicles. Not even junkyards that I know of have this many old cars at one time.
That could be a Chevy II on the bottom of the Pup Trailer. Looks like a square headlight VW Rabbit on the long trailer and a Barracude or a Valiant on top of it. The lack of moss on these vehicles makes me wonder where this load originated
The netting is interesting. Years ago in NC they would just chain the stacks down, but that may have been regulated away. Here in Virginia they don’t use open trailers anymore; There’s one open side for loading the cars, as well as the top, but the front, back, and opposite side have to be solid or at least mesh.
I have a morbid interest to see what’s in these stacks of cars on the flatbeds as they pass me on a freeway, which happens often as I commute on a freeway every day. I can’t help but glance at the cars, trying to make out the years, makes and models. I’ve noticed that I don’t see the netted loads as much, as they’re usually concealed in a steel bin, but every so often, I see a whole bunch of dead cars on their final journey.
I cringe when I see a favorite of mine in these piles. For me, the 1990s-2000s cars hit home. One car in particular beside the LH cars and other Chryslers and Dodges is the third-generation Chrysler minivans. I remember the day when my parents brought home a brand-new Grand Voyager back in 1998. It had the new car smell and was overwhelmingly state-of-the-art and futuristic. It was an improvement in every way over its replacement, a 1991 Ford Explorer.
Looking back on my naive self, I never thought that ten years later that these would wind up in the hands of unappreciative or inpoverished owners with fading paint, smoking exhausts and eventually sandwiched in junk piles like this. Oh how I was sorely wrong. It made me sad in a way to see these and my other favorites end up like this years later, but it’s harsh reality.
That was it for me when I seen a 2000s-vintage pearl white S-Class Mercedes sitting on top of a scrap trailer a couple of months ago. Yes, it could have been over ten years old and it could have been wrecked or put out to pasture by an owner with no money to fix an ailment, but still, it’s amazing and surprising in a sad way. It was once a $100k car and was as innovative as it could be in its time and it all was minimized–literally and figuratively–at The Crusher.
You see that on loads headed to the shredder in WA too, if they do not have a curtain side trailer to haul them on.
We get what Chris M. describes here in Illinois, one open side, one covered side and an open top. I’ve seen the nets elsewhere though, I vaguely recall that on one of our family road trips from here to Denver or here to Florida.
Brave little toaster was my favorite “kid movie” from my childhood, probably because it was so dark compared to most. I probably saw it as an infant so it’s no wonder I have so much attachment to cars, that junkyard scene really freaked me out!
My now-15-year-old daughter used to watch “The Brave Little Toaster” over and over. I had forgotten about the crusher sequence. I believe they picked up a Corvette with that magnet.
Good point and not even Camaros were built in KC, Missouri, but U.S 66 passed through there. There are other errors in that song.
Now there’s an animated movie!!
That particular scene always stuck with me a bit more than any other part of any movie when i was a kid. I always was obsessed with cars, and even at a young age, thought it was unfortunate when they survive for such a long time, and that 99% of them eventually lose the battle and end up like this.
One gutwrenching example is the picture of the burned up Tucker 48 being fed into the crusher that’s on the wikipedia page. A car that is almost priceless made totally worthless because of a building fire.
THANK YOU for this ! .
Here I am old and still discovering cool Automotive related things .
I’ll try to find a link to the entire movie .
Good grief, that’s just tragic! It’s odd to see so many vintage cars all having been flattened like this and on the way to the shredder though–I wonder if this is the result of an old junkyard closing, or someone who had hoarded a lot of cars on their property dying or being forced to sell. There are definitely a lot of good parts there; that Lark seems to have all its trim and even the headlamps are intact. Just a shame.
In terms of ID’s, there’s a ’66 Valiant in the second row, and a ’56 Mercury in the back (oval taillight opening). But what is that green thing in the front, two cars below the lark?
Interesting theory about a hoarder. Maybe the owner had a wife who either got fed up or got stuck with the hoard after the owner passed away and just wanted the “junk” removed from the premises, while not knowing the true value of these cars.
Looks like an old school wrecking yard has decided to close up, or the buyer they found was one of the chains which is more interested in the scrap steel part of the business and is clearing out the yard to focus on their specialty.
I recently came across a old school yard which is adopting the new ways. The old method was you had cars arranged by mfg and even by model. So you had a row of Ford cars, GM cars, Hondas, Ford trucks ect. The new model arranges rows based on when they hit the yard. So any given row will have a varied assortment of brands an models. Then when that row has been in the yard a set time the entire row gets crushed.
It gave me quite a scare last week. As I mentioned in a previous article I had purchased a P71 for my daughter at the local auction. It’s problem was that while it was sitting waiting to be sent to the auction they decided to pull the entire wiper mechanism for another car. So I went to this new to me wrecking yard armed with only the tools I needed to get those parts. While traveling between rows I ran across a Travelall that had just hit the yard, sitting off to the end of one of the rows. Due to time and lack of sufficient tools for all the things I wanted to grab I asked how much for some of the parts and told him I’d be back next week. This was on a Thur.
I went back on Mon and told him what I wanted and he responded I don’t have any of those, had a few a while back but we crushed them all. My heart sank. “But it was just there on Thur” “Yeah we just crushed a row”. I said but it had just hit the yard and was at wasn’t really in a row when I was there before. He then called back to the office asking Is there a Travelall out there I don’t know about? The guy in the office replied yeah it is on row 12 right at the end. I went out and snagged a mother load of all those little pieces that are getting very hard to find. I picked up a bunch of parts for about $100 that If I was so inclined could be pedaled on Ebay for 3-4 times as much.
The plus to this model is that they come up with a price for an item and in general it doesn’t matter what car it is for. So for example any wiper motor is say $20 while the old model based it on what you could buy a new one for. So a wiper motor for a Ford might be $20 because a rebuilt one is say $50 while a wiper motor for a Mercedes could be $200 because you can only purchase a new one from the dealer for $600.
There was a yard like that in western Sydney one price for the part no matter what it was off a mate of mine got a green windscreen for a 63 EJ Holden $40 its a windscreen $850 retail used.
That is a bummer, I liked having a row of pre-1996 Chrysler Minivans I could bounce between to pick parts off of.
Yup now they tell you one in row X another in row Y, and a couple in row Z. Around here we still have a few that do it the old school way of grouping cars by make and sometimes model. The thing with the crush by row model is that they can pack them in much tighter since they don’t need to get the fork lift down the rows.
I went to the junkyard today and snagged a mint 1995 Town Car owner’s manual, complete with Mark Cross leather portfolio, for my collection. That TC didn’t belong there, other than a dent in the quarter panel it was very nice–and rust free. I would’ve gotten the hood ornament too but the only wire cutters I had were on the back of my needle nose pliers, and it was too wide to get at.
From the paperwork it was originally registered to a truck parts company. Must’ve been the boss’s car.
This is insane. I was really hoping that these were some really damaged and/or rusted out beyond repair cars. But even parting the cars out must be worth more than scrap value, although it would take more time.
1967 Valiant on top in the middle. First year of the new body style and the only year with the split grille and a Plymouth emblem in the split.
Awwww! That poor Lark. 🙁
I see a few dozen soon to be Hyundais
Or buicks in china
A Lark and a Valiant. Two very tough old cars reach the end of the road. Its a good thing I don’t own 100 acres in the country, or I might become the guy who runs the Land of Misfit Cars.
Add me to the list of people astounded by the sight of the front end of that Lark heading to the crusher. Everything appears to be intact, down to the emblem on the grille. Even the bumper is salvageable.
Wow, what a panini! Looks like there are 5 separate cars in the pile with the Lark on top. The very bottom one might be a ’66 or so Falcon, as it’s got the squarish headlamp surround and the grille is right, or maybe it’s a Scout or a Travelall. Sad to say, but the blue one above it might be a Volvo PV-544. That Mercury taillight is sobering to see, too.
Now that you mention it that square headlight bezel does look like a 75-79 Scout unit, and that cowl/firewall and remains of a rear quarter panel could be a Scout.
A couple years ago when driving through Pennsylvania, I passed a truck like this that had just run off the road and wrecked. It scattered its load over a couple hundred yards. It was surreal and disturbing to recognize many of the models, looking like dismembered corpses.
And here I thought I was the only one who watched these trailers go by and try to recognize as many old cars as I can .
Back in the bad old days they’d have ’55 Chevy Coupes , Chrysler 300’s , ’38 Fords and so on =8-( .
In days of yore disposing of cars was simpler we ran a steel wheeled Fordson tractor back and forth over them the winched the remains onto a Gardner diesel powered Austin 6 tonner and took the flattened bodies to the landfill freeing up space for more rusty old bombs to dismantle for parts, 30s and 50s cars simply get demolished when attacked by a cast iron Fordson bodies were not worth saving most had terminal rust sending them for junk anyway mechanicals were harvested for NZs Cuba like car repairers.
I’m surprised the cars on this truck are still recognizable, most trucks like this that I have seen have cars crushed into metal pancakes.
The type of trailer used and the use of “netting” is probably determined by how far the load will travel and/or if it is going to cross a state border.
I don’t know if they still exist, but I seem to remember reading about 1 or 2 “salvage” businesses in the Pacific Northwest that were housed in old warehouses or parking structures. They were 1 make businesses, Volvo and Peugeot come to mind as the makes in question, and THAT would be the way to go…IMHO.
They crushed a Lark? *sob* At least it isn’t a repeat of this pic
Former ordinary cars will not get collectors to fight over them, so off they go to scrap.
Most casual car fans will go for the common ’69 Camaro or ’65 Stang, when they “want to get an older car”.
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