Most of my junkyard-prowling experience has taken place at the modern-day self-service yards, where the inventory turns over fast, prices are standardized, and 90% of the cars on the yard tend to be 15 to 20 years old. Now that I’m in a constant search for parts for a 45-year-old Dodge van, I’ve been venturing out to the more traditional wrecking yards, where you haggle for every part and the inventory sits for decades while each and every salable part gets picked. A couple weeks back, I went on a quest for A100 parts at a breathtakingly vintage junkyard located about halfway between Denver and Cheyenne.
This is the first REO I’ve ever seen in a junkyard. Sadly, it’s not an REO Speed Wagon; I believe this is an late-30s REO 19AS.
You know the inventory has been sitting for a while when the junked work trucks have four- and five-digit phone numbers painted on the doors.
The searing high-altitude sun in Colorado has a way of stripping paint down to bare metal over the decades. In the case of this truck, the sun has exposed layers of old business names.
This much-bleached “Goddess of the Rockies” emblem is painted on the door of a 1940s dairy truck.
I was tempted to buy the Goddess of the Rockies truck door, to hang on my garage wall… but then I saw this. Flames, a Viking ship, and a berserker. I may have to steal this design for my van’s paint job.
There’s something sad about an abandoned flathead V8 sitting in the dirt for 50 years.
Looking for parts for your 1955 Nash Statesman project? This one seems just about totally complete.
Just like the MGB-GT and Ferrari 308, the Statesman featured Pininfarina design.
And a “Double Strength” unit body.
Not to mention Weather Eye climate control.
Let’s jump forward a decade to a later AMC product.
IHC Scouts galore here, including this one that was victimized by a shotgun.
I’ve always loved the old Plymouth sailing-ship hood ornaments, ever since I fell in love with this semi-rat-rodded ’47.
No A100s here, but I know where to go if I ever get a Corvair Greenbrier.
I could spend all day just photographing patina-with-emblem-ghosts.
In fact, I believe I’ll return and do just that. These shots are just scratching the surface.
Even though I left empty-handed (other than these photographs), my friends scored some parts for their 40s Ford pickup projects, off a ’43 military Ford truck with all sorts of cool war-wagon-only goodies, inlcuding a super-rare flip-up windshield.
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