By on March 15, 2017

wagons

CJinSD, FRONT AND CENTER! Thank you. Today, you will be recognized for having a very well-polished crystal ball. You were able to see five years into the future with near-perfect accuracy. Time for you to accept your prize, which is a whole bunch of EXPOSURE! Don’t spend it all in one place.


cjprediction

Yesterday, I told you about the disappearance of more than 40 good-condition B-body station wagons, commonly called “bubbles” in American street culture. I asked you to help me find my old bubble — and if that wasn’t possible, perhaps to help me find a solid “Oldsmobubble” Custom Cruiser Wagon with the Vista Roof.

There were plenty of good ideas, but it was fellow TTAC contributor Bozi Tatarevic who solved the mystery of what happened to my old car — and its compatriots — in painful detail. He pulled my inadvertently hilarious “DTF” license plate from the original story on the Caprice Classic.

From that he got the VIN.

From the VIN, he found out the car’s history.

bozirecord

That “historical record” entry is likely from when I had the car comprehensively serviced shortly after buying it. Or maybe from the title transfer. You can see that the title was transferred with just under 53,000 miles — and that’s how it sat for eight long years until it was sold to Buckeye Auto Parts, which stripped it, scrapped it, and junked the title.

I called Buckeye Auto Parts and was told the rest of the story. All of the bubbles came in together. Whether they ran or they did not, they were stacked up, painstakingly stripped — BAP is not a “Pick-and-pull” operation, they do their own parts removal and inventory — and then crushed for their weight in steel.

My wagon, which ran perfectly up to and including the A/C and all power features, which had fetched $3,000 dollars from the obsessive Bubble collector, was crushed. With 52,908 on the odometer. If that doesn’t upset you just a bit, then, my friend, I fear for your soul.

CJinSD called it. From what the guy at Buckeye could remember, the brothers had died and left the bubbles to relatives who didn’t want them and didn’t care about them.

My wagon is gone, along with many more like it; good, top-condition cars, many of them the Roadmasters with the LT1 engine. It’s a shame. But it’s also a lesson: if you don’t have a plan, a plan will be made for you. I’m taking that lesson personally. It applies to everything from my guitar collection to the stacks of gold and silver coins that, I’m afraid, are probably going to disappear in a tragic boating accident shortly after I quit work for the last time. The tragedy here is that the intransigence of the Bubble Brothers led to a lot of good cars disappearing a long time before they could have, or should have.

The vanquish’ d hero leaves his broken bands,
And shows his miseries in distant lands ;
Condemn’d a needy supplicant to wait,
While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
But did not chance at length her error mend ?
Did not subverted empire mark his end ?
Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound ?
Or hostile millions press him to the ground ?
His fall was destin’d to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand ;
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

68 Comments on “Crushed: The Tragic Wagon...”


  • avatar
    kvndoom

    That hurts me just as deeply as cash 4 clunkers.

    • 0 avatar
      OzCop

      I find it pathetic that Buckeye would part these cars/wagons out with odometer readings in the 50s and 60s. Surely he realizes he could have made more selling them whole than parting out. Those bubble wagons, the B wagons, and the venerable Ford TC wagons were favorites…to a lesser extent, so were the Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth wagons.
      My first wagon was a brown and cream colored 56 Plymouth, 3 on the tree, flat six, and room to haul a ton of stuff. I lived in So. Cal when I purchased it in 1961 for 700 dollars, with only 60K miles on the odometer. No air, just a base wagon with AM radio, but I had a blast with that thing for 2 years running up and down the coast highway. The biggest load it ever hauled was a surf board hanging out the rear window, which for some reason made it the coolest base vehicle a man could own, other than a VW bug in those days. I sold it to a “friend” who ultimately took off back to his home town of Mobile, AL without ever paying me the 500 bucks he owed me…thanks Steve…
      I have always been a sucker for wishing I had never sold certain vehicles over the years. Another such waste was my 68 Dart GTS race car. I had removed the 383 engine and installed a 440, and built it into a low 12, high 11seccond drag racer and had a ton of fun…even won a few bucks with it. I went through a divorce, had to sell it, and offered it to another friend at a danged good price. He in turn sold it to his friend, a mechanic who owned a farm in Georgetown, KY. Apparently he had blown the engine, and rather than fix it, parked it in the field behind his house after pulling the old engine…the last time it was seen it was still sitting in the field, rusting down, no hood, no engine, and a small tree growing up through the engine compartment. The value of that car today would be staggering.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    The truth of a plan being made for you is that you won’t care because you will be dead. That hoarder was fulfilled by that lot in some strange fashion. We shouldn’t discount that. In the end, his collection was his and only his… even after death.

    Use everything up and enjoy it. I use up vintage watches that haven’t ticked in decades. Sure, they’re wearing out and will never be around again once they reach an irreparable state, but I won’t give a damn because I’ll be dead. I’ll wear them and enjoy their USA made charm while I’m alive rather than admire them in a damned glass case.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Amen, Brother.

      Let’s start breaking into the garages of trailer queens and going for joy rides.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        You comment made me think of a Youtube video I was watching a few days ago. Some guy racing around a in a very rare and expensive Mopar, in all places the busy streets of Chicago . I thought this guy is nuts but damn your right these cars should be driven not placed on a pedestal and worshipped like some pagan god!

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          Here’s link. He does a burnout in the Menards parking lot in the end…..LOL

        • 0 avatar
          Carzzi

          The “TaxtheRich100” YT channel has a delicious series of videos of a 288 GTO, an F40, an F50 and other deified exotics being drifted off-road with gymkhana precision masquerading as gay abandon — sprezzatura, if you will.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      So true, Tres, yet so hard.

      My grandmother gave me her beautiful wool Red Cross uniform from WWII when she passed as it perfectly fits my wife. The first few times my wife wore the jacket, a pang of sentimentality went through me because I feared it would be ‘ruined.’

      It took some time to adjust, but Granny gave us that so it would be used, not vacuum packed away in an attic.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        My grandma just recently broke up her house. I completely understand. My grandfather’s WWII Army Corp of Engineers wool uniform sits in a cedar chest I received. I’m just hanging onto that for a keepsake to look at every so often. Who knows, I may wear the coat out and about?
        Her perfect velour green tufted 9′ sofa? I’m going to enjoy every last inch of it :)

  • avatar
    NoID

    I could literally cry right now.

  • avatar
    threeer

    While not my favorite cars, my heart still hurts at this.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Someone posted a picture on the TDI forums the other day of a pile of TDIs in the crusher, including wagons. Such a sad end for unique cars whether it’s a Roadmaster or a Sportwagen.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    (I loved this poem long before Breaking Bad picked it up and rather appropriately ran with it.)

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Pour one out for the bubble wagons. My ’91 Olds CC with Vista Roof and all red everywhere interior was one of my favorite cars.

    I still daydream about finding a really clean one and giving it the T56 swap treatment. One of those 40 likely would’ve been a perfect candidate.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I worry about what is going to happen to my diecast collection if something were to happen to me before I figure out what to with it. Though I’m still in the midst of actively collecting, I also realize that no one I am related to wants anything to do with it if it were to suddenly become theirs.

    I would hate to saddle them with the burden of trying to sell it and I would hate to know they would trash it and give up what could potentially be a significant amount of money. I mean, no one’s going to get rich selling it, but it would definitely help my mom out for a few months.

    I feel like my wife is aware of its actual value based on some of the stuff I’ve sold over the years, but I also know she’s fairly lazy and would look to try to sell everything off as one huge lot. I don’t mean that derogatorily, she’s just the type of person who look s to minimize time investments in favor of giving up some monetary value. So at some point I need to reign things in and make sure what I have is truly what I want and move the rest along to others who haven’t realized the imposition facing them yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      There was a story about this on “USA Today,” almost a year ago, on March 21, 2016. Let’s hope the link to the story will stay posted.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2016/03/21/minnesota-house-of-cars/82075114/

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    CJ called it. Just as important is he distinguished the difference between the mental illness of hoarding versus a car guy when it comes to car collectors.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    You forgot the last two lines of the poem:

    Texas Edition Badges sit unsent;
    Leaving readers to wonder where they went.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I just don’t want Big Al to get his.

      • 0 avatar
        Stugots

        I have one of those coming to me too! The anticipation gives me a reason to go on living…

        • 0 avatar
          FuzzyPlushroom

          I’m not in a huge rush, because I still need to paint and hang my 245’s replacement rear hatch before I can add a new badge. Don’t worry – the college/parking pass stickers are on the side glass.

          (I could just replace the wiring harness for the original tailgate, but there are a couple of surface rust spots, and I need to clean out the latch and shoot some graphite up in there ’cause it’s been sticky…)

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Semenak

        Jack: You could send me his for my Chinese electric bicycle.
        https://www.farbike.com/x-treme-xb-502-pedal-asissted-moped-bicycle-review/
        I did enter the contest back then. I think it would be hilarious here in Tempe,AZ

  • avatar
    low_compression

    Learned that lesson when my grandmother died a few years ago. She was a product of the Great Depression, a forever saver. As we were packing her clothes up for donation my dad pointed out several coats, dresses, and other items that she very rarely wore because she was saving them for special occasions. They were in great condition, and worth pretty much nothing.

    I don’t mind spending some hard earned cash on items I plan to have/use for a long time. But, I’m going to use them up and enjoy them. So wear your expensive watch, shoes, coat. Play your custom guitar. Drive your fun car. Drink that old bottle of wine. Chances are that no one thinks it’s as valuable as you do anyway. Might as well enjoy ’em. They are all just things after all.

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      Sounds like we had the same exact grandmother.

      Going through her things after death, it was a good lesson on just how meaningless this stuff really is and how much she denied herself.

      Basically her entire set of possessions she held so dear were about the value of a single paycheck. She might as well have used those things and enjoyed them.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Such a shame to hear, but few people wanted these cars when they were new and it seems few want them now. The minivan and then SUV craze put the nail in the coffin of these “bubbles”. It’s always sad to see decent cars become shredder fodder though, no matter what it is.

    I’m in the process of trying to help my folks clean out while they’re still around. I used a program off the internet (Vinyl Studio if you’re interested) to take their collection of records and turn them in digital copies. It wasn’t much and most was adult contemporary from the 60’s and early 70’s, so nothing awesome. But it gave me some new music to listen to and to connect in a way with an earlier version of my parents. 40+ albums fit on one SD card they use in their Q5.

    I’m old enough to have cleaned out the houses of Depression-era grandparents and great aunts and uncles. But the shame is not being able to ask the questions “Why?”. I’ve started cleaning out my parents house because they are both capable of helping and I want to hear some memories from them before I no longer can. And my wifes grandmother bordered on hoarding. Most of the stuff wound up in a dumpster. She saved all that stuff and most of it wasn’t worth anything to anyone. I’d like my folks to at least see some of it before it all hits the dumpster or donation pile.

    There’s a car lot near me that borders a depressed area of town. The guy who owned it loved Mopars and AMC. I think the dealership might have been an AMC dealer at some point. 20 years ago, I looked at a Le Car convertible with a stick he had in the showroom. A friend bought a ’75 Valiant from the guy. He always had something interesting in the free Motor Mart magazine that we have here at the grocery stores. Like a ’92 Lebaron base coupe with 40k on it.

    And then the ads stopped. I drove past the dealer and all the cars are still sitting there from the last time I drove past about two years ago, sinking into the mud. Person must have died and no one wants it.

    Finally, on my drive to DC from Pittsburgh, I generally cut through Berkeley Springs, WV. Outside of town, there’s a house with an 79-85 Eldorado and an Ford Maverick sitting out front. Both in that awful yellow that was considered classy at some point. I’m intrigued by both, but the Maverick more because I had an 84 Eldo. I know it’s not worth anything really, but I hate driving past and seeing it sit. Some people want to rescue animals, I want to rescue cars.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’m reminded of a favorite youtube channel where a couple of yahoos and their buddies have a blast thrashing the daylights out of anything and everything with 2/3/4 wheels in a field and the ‘back 40.’ One of the vehicles is a ’46 CJ2 Willys in pretty rotten but functioning condition, along with some cool old Mopar 4wds (Trail Duster, power wagon, etc). Every now and then an upset commentor will lament the guys not restoring these rigs to somewhat better cosmetic condtion, or not using them to the point of axle failures and such. Hell I’d argue those 4x4s are being used 100% as intended, and the owners are really squeezing the juices out of them. I’m guilty of course of perhaps being a bit too ginger with my old 4Runner by preferring to use another vehicle for commuting, keeping it in the garage when possible. Of course I’ll point to the scrapes on the skid plates and the slobber all over the rear cargo area from the dogs, and a few minor “trail pinstripes” from this past winter horsing around on fire roads.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I learned to drive (and parallel park) in an LT1 bubble wagon.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I’m surprised the boneyard didn’t (at least initially) try to auction these off or take a stab at some eBay listings. Are the parts really worth more than the whole? That motor was cool for the time, but there are now huge numbers of better salvage LS motors to buy.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      That’s what I was wondering. Ratty B-bodies are just old beaters, but clean, low-mileage examples have collector value these days – like old Volvos, Grand Wagoneers, and so forth.

      If a dozen had been saved and the remaining two to three dozen parted out, well, that’s the circle of life. It’s sad to hear that they were *all* torn apart, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Jack’s car sat in that lot for 10 years. I like those old whales, but how much time and money do you want to invest in a 20-year-old GM product that hasn’t moved in 10 years? When you can still find running examples for cheap on Craigslist?

  • avatar
    The_Imperialist

    Jack, I see what you did there with the title. Well played.

  • avatar
    operagost

    All I know is that two years ago, I would KILLED to have been able to buy a 1990s wagon with only 50,000 miles on it for my sister in law and her family. Everything under $2,000 in south east PA is clapped out, rusted out, or both. $900 gets you a 110,000 mile 1991 Grand Am with a sagging headline, body damage, and rust everywhere below the belt. The Iron Duke still ran like a champ and the floor was still solid, but it only took the usual 20-something carelessness driving down a winter-roughened side street to start a chain reaction of failed components.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’m sorry, I’m just not seeing the appeal of these cars.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Crushed? CRUSHED?!? I’m crushed.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    It’s a shame cars can’t be collected like other things like guns or coins. I’ve found this out the hard way. So many of these treasures would love to stow away but it’s just not feasible unless you’re a retired gazillionaire or live inside a junk yard.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Reminds me of the ‘Pickers’ episode where they found some delusional old nutbar sitting in his AMC dealership with trees and weeds growing through the floor and roof.

    Inside were brand new AMC vehicles. Outside in the mud and trees and brush were other ‘new’ AMC’s plus a large number of low model trade-ins, etc.

    These vehicles were disintegrating in front of him because he couldn’t or wouldn’t or was unable to grasp the concept of conservation and preservation.

    As for personal experience. We had a ‘flood’ in our home years ago. Lost most of my ‘collections’. The insurance company will only pay you ‘market value’ if you replace them with an ‘identical’ item.

    How do you replace posters signed by long dead musicians. Or athletes? Or family heirloom wedding dresses? Or original works of art?

    Thankfully a few weeks previously I had given my brother-in-law my pristine collection of over 2,000 vinyl LP’s.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That was an interesting episode. Like the Apocalypse had happened and the guy sat there still waiting to sell AMCs.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn’t know it was still possible to buy a new Javelin.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        TMA1: I wonder what happened after that episode was shown.

        Collier Motors was an American Motors (AMC) franchised dealership located on business U.S. Route 117 in Pikeville, North Carolina.[1] Collier continued to sell the pre-Renault stock he already had on the lot … they include 1970s and 1980-model AMCs, such as Gremlins, Pacers, Matadors, Javelins, Eagles, and Concords. Many retain their original window stickers.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collier_Motors

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Pontiac, Pontiac, out there in my backyard
      Gonna fix it up, paint it red, gonna make that engine go
      Chevrolet, Chevrolet, the Chevy, it ain’t running
      Tire’s flat, this and that gonna make that engine go

      They’re all in my backyard, them old cars
      I love every one that I get
      Mixing gasoline with my NASCAR dreams
      Oh, I’m gonna get one running yet

      I’ll get one running yet
      Get one running yet

      Ford car, Ford car, Ford car’s all rusted
      But that Ford car’s my favorite car
      Gonna make that engine go

      Mercury now, Mercury, Mercury’s got wings
      She’s on the blocks but with some borrowed parts
      Bound to set her free

      They’re all in my backyard, them old cars
      I love everyone I get
      Mixing gasoline with my NASCAR dreams
      Oh, I’m gonna get one running yet

      I’ll get one running yet
      Get one running yet
      Oh, I’ll get one running yet

      Dodges car’s fastest car NASCAR’s ever seen
      I’ll paint it petty blue
      That’s what I’ll do just like 43

      They’re all in my backyard, them old cars
      I love every one that I get
      Mixing fast gasoline with my NASCAR dreams
      Oh, I’m gonna get one running yet

      Kevin Costner & Modern West – Backyard Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  • avatar
    skor

    Back in the late 80s a local guy had a Chrysler wing car….Superbird or Daytona, I don’t remember which…rotting in his driveway. I stopped and rang the bell, fat guy wearing a wife-beater answered the door. I started to ask about the car and fat-guy proceeded to go into a rant, told me to get the f*** off his property. From what I could tell the car was rough but complete, and did not appear to have been wrecked. Would have been an easy restoration at that point. The car rotted in the driveway until it was moved to the backyard, I’m gonna guess the neighbors complained about the ‘eyesore’. Fast forward to the mid-2000s I was driving by that house and saw an ‘Estate Sale’ sign out front. I immediately stopped to see if the wing car was still in the backyard. Apparently the fat-guy was dead and his family was cleaning out the wreckage of the house. The car was still in the backyard….in two pieces. As it turned out the car remained in the backyard until it sank up to the floorboards in mud. The family called a tow truck to pull it out. The car split in two during the extraction process. Apparently the family knew the car was valuable, but could never convince the owner to sell it. It’s my understanding that they salvaged as many bits and pieces off the car as they could and sold it on eBay.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Crazy story skor, thanks. I could visualize the whole scene.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I have a similar story. One of my friends in high school was car crazy like me, and his neighbors (two brothers if IIRC, Daryl & Daryl types) had a ’70 Challenger rotting in their driveway. But not just any ’70 Challenger. From what we could tell, it was a rare T/A car (no way were we risking our lives to step onto the property and check the VIN).

      Somehow he got word that the guys would be willing to part with it for about $15K, which at the time, would have been the price for driveable, if not quite show-worthy, Challenger T/A. The engine, apparently, was resting in their living room. Based on the amount of rust on the car, which had eaten numerous holes through the sheetmetal, I doubt it could have been salvaged at that point anyway.

      Not sure what ever happened to that car. Probably towed away and scrapped when they lost the house.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    What a waste. Oh well, I guess at least the parts will serve collectors who truly appreciate the B body.

  • avatar
    OliverTwist78

    That reminds me of a painful experience I had with my 1971 Alfa Romeo 1750A Berlina in the late 1990s.

    Yes, you are reading it right: it had factory-installed automatic gearbox from ZF. Alfa Romeo built 249 or 251 1750A Berlina in late 1970 as 1971 model. 1750A was never offically listed in the sales catalogue since Alfa Romeo wanted the field test of automatic gearboxes done before offically introducing it in 2000/2000A in 1972.

    My father acquired that 1750A in Germany to replace his much loved 1968 BMW 2002, which was getting too impractical for a growing family of four. We brought it to the United States when my father had a job transfer. After passing 1750A down to the next family member in turn, I took it as my daily drive until the idiot pick-up truck stopped in the middle of intersection for no reason. Whack! 1750A acquired a boxer’s nose. The insurance was little generous with $1,800 payout, which was used toward buying Chevrolet Celebrity. My 1750A sat in the storage awaiting the fund for thorough restoration.

    In the late 1990s, my financial situation forced me to sell off many stuff, including 1750A. One guy wanted to buy it from me but was so horrendous, shaming me into reducing the offer to $100 (so he could part the car out and sell the parts). Nobody was interested in buying 1750A so I let it go…

    Recently, the Alfisti forum lit up about whether ‘unicorn’, namely 1750A, really existed at all. I posted the photos of my family’s 1750A (which turned out to be only photos in existence). I felt really bad when the forum members were crying about the missed opportunity to buy the 1750A.

    Lesson here: don’t you dare to be a real dick about price! Accept whatever is offered. Don’t be so cheap and hope for the lowest offer. No exception! No question!

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    To the deceased Bubble Brothers, an ode to thee:

    Look on my Wagons, ye Mighty, and despair!
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of these colossal Wrecks, boundless and bare
    The lone and level junk yard stretches far away

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    Have a friend that has a indoor/ outdoor storage lot. Steel keeps well in the high desert mt. air. However, rubber and interiors sun rot and rodents eat the wiring. I see it so often. owners will pay storage for 20 years until their death. When the disinterested spouse, relative or heir gets the late notice for storage dues, it’s usually $50 paid in hand to the new owner and then off to the shredder.

    However, we did have 3 B bodies. A 91′ bubble, a 9C1 and a Roady. Mixed and matched. Driveline from Roady, body of the Bubble and suspension of 9C1. The bubble is now in AZ hauling a scamp all over the SW with pride. As for those who never got the appeal of the B Body, its like trying to explain a why a rib-eye is better than a filet mignon. They will never get it.

  • avatar

    Truly sad, Jack. Truly freaking sad.

    Last time I came thru Columbus was in a bubble wagon. Deep red ’91 Caprice that got 23MPG at 80 MPH with the family on board. I forget what it came to need that made me sell it, but with over 160,000 on the clock and repairs needed, it was time to say goodbye.

    My wife still misses it.

  • avatar
    Willyam

    Of all the stories of cars lost, I have one good ending. Setting: 1980. I walked to elementary school (the HORROR!) and the final block I went down a gravel alley that exited into the side of the asphalt playground next to the school.

    The backs of the little houses had chain-link fences covered in honeysuckle. In one back yard, on a trailer behind a little detached garage, sat a red sports car. To 6-year-old me, it was a Ferrambroghini, but roofless, metal seated, and shod with steel wheels. It looked quite a bit like this one from a blog (and was probably in a similar state of neglect): http://crosleykook.blogspot.com/2010/07/beginning-of-mystery-part-iii.html

    I gradually forgot about it, then remembered during adulthood, then realized it was long gone. Years later, in a group of enthusiasts having a fish fry in a race shop (highly recommended) I ran across someone who was actively racing in the area in the sixties. It turns out the car was a late fifties Jabro, (usually Crosley-powered, but this one had a Saab combination). He remembered it being very effective in wet conditions. He had owned it briefly and sold it along to be restored. So, occasionally, they have happy endings. I still search the web occasionally, hopeful that it will appear at a vintage event.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Wow, it looks like you could tow that thing with a 1990 Miata, and it would be making fat jokes about the Mazda the whole time.

      I used to do something similar when walking home from school, but I was peeping at a mere DeLorean.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My family had a station wagon for most of my childhood starting with a 59 Plymouth Sport Suburban 9 passenger that got totaled 3 years later by my middle brother and replaced by a 59 Buick Lesabre wagon that had been through a hurricane. The Buick was bought used to replace the totaled Plymouth but the Buick was replaced by a new 64 Impala wagon 9 passenger with a 327 with a 4 barrel. My father after several years of not having a wagon bought a used 77 Impala wagon from Enterprise which was a good car. The 64 Impala was a great car and I used it for most of my college years. I do miss station wagons having only 1 myself which was a 94 Escort Wagon with a 5 speed manual which was very reliable. I don’t really see a resurgence of the station wagon with the crossover being as popular as it is. I like the Roadmaster wagon the best of these bubble cars.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Sad to see such a waste. Hoarding is a disease and I have seen some of what happens to the stash when the hoarder dies. I’d never trash cars, but if you have ever been in a house where there are only narrow passageways and stacks of old newspapers and junk, well the first reaction is to get a few 30 yard dumpsters and get rid of it all. Trying to cull out what might be worth something quickly becomes an exercise in futility.

    What ever happened to CJ anyway? I’d figure with all the election jibber jabber he would be yacking about making America great again….

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Another sadly typical sad ending .
    .
    I too have watched so many ‘collections’ turn into junk, ten years, in the Desert is usually a death sentence for any vehicle .
    .
    They get crispy and full of mouse poop and hanta v*rus, people _DIE_ from fooling with those old Desert Junkers .
    .
    I used to run a Junk Yard and unlike the buttholes who run most of them, I never asked too much for anything so I never had too much stock ~ I turned it over quickly and made money and happy Customers .
    .
    I often repaired and re sold the ‘Junkers’ that I’d towed in for $25 .
    .
    Best job I ever had .
    .
    I keep telling my Son to just burn my place down when I die, it’s either a museum or shithole, depends on who’s making judgement .
    .
    I’m still pulling out parts and tools to use that I bought 35 + years ago so that’s a good thing I guess .
    .
    Too bad I can’t add a photo of the box full of vintage VW parts still in factory boxes I pulled out last Sunday for my ’59 Beetle .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    210delray

    He’s still here, disguised as ToddAtlas. He gave himself away to me by naming Observatory Road, in a certain Virginia college town.

    BTW, about the stacked newspapers, I had a teacher in high school whose house was like that. I bet she was never married.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Oh cheer up, the next department at the yuuge auto manufacturer I happen to work for now has job applications sellotaped to their office door (which I am as a contractor are not allowed to open) – and they search talented individuals in the IoT field for a fun new project. I fear for our future.

  • avatar
    DirtRoads

    When I was a kid I remember riding in the back on some of those wagons, rear window down, dust coming in on the dirt roads, along with an adequate dose of carbon monoxide and burnt oil. Them was the days. Oh and then they came up with the electric window version WOW! You could roll the back window up and down without stopping and getting out to flip the crank and roll it like the other door windows.

    I learned to hate those cars as a teenager, and looked at them as dinosaurs while I feasted on the last remaining Fiats in the tri-county area and ran all of them as hard as I could. I loved winding the rubber bands as tight as they’d go, then snap the butterbox tranny into the next gear and go some more. OK the 124 had the butterbox but the others weren’t so bad.

    Now I wish I had one of those old land yachts, even an older LTD from the 70s would be a grand car to have (not a Ford lover here). Especially in the event the wife kicked me out of the house; I’d have a place to live.

    As a side note, I never thought, after being a VW mechanic for a few years in the 80s, that I would own one. I have now owned one for a few years and have proven myself correct; I never want another one. It’s quite comfortable, but costs more in maintenance than any automobile I’ve ever owned.

  • avatar

    A few blocks from where I live there’s one of “those” alleys that has some interesting stuff if you’re looking/curious. The alley runs between the back yards of either side of the block. Halfway down there was a cinder block multiple car garage. In one of the bays was a 65 Barracuda – gold in color if I remember right – up on blocks. The rear window was still intact and the car was showing very little rust at that time. Haven’t been down that alley for a few years. Maybe have to take a spin by tonight and see if it’s still there.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    So basically exactly I said happened to them is what happened to them…what a waste…

  • avatar
    salguod

    Jack, if you want to solve another Columbus car mystery, check this out:

    http://www.salguod.net/weblog/archive/2011/08/rare-cars-decaying-outside-in-downtown-columbus.shtml

    Several years ago a friend tweeted about these old cars sitting in a lot downtown, so I went and looked and wrote it up on my blog. Evidently they had been there for months.

    A month later I took my Dad down there to see them, and they were gone.

    http://www.salguod.net/weblog/archive/2011/09/theyre-gone.shtml

    I did later see the Imperial show up for sale on a forum, but the seller never responded to questions. I’ve always wondered what the deal was and what happened to them. Plate numbers are visible in the images if someone who can wants to dig.

    Man, I hope they didn’t suffer the same fate as your wagon.

  • avatar
    Troggie42

    My younger brother had a 96 Roadmaster wagon that either came with or was converted to a 9C1 car and had been equipped with a slightly massaged LT4 engine. Carfax said it was owned by state gov’t in New York IIRC. Anyway, he got it for $1600 on craigslist from a slightly shady Russian fellow. Told my brother that the oil gauge was broken. Turns out, the oil gauge was 100% accurate, it was the pump that was bad. So, about 500 miles later, the engine seizes and rods make their escape. He rebuilt it, drove it around some more, and the damnable 4L60 ate its own face. After that he parked it for a while, and came upon a “deal” of a $300 96 Impala SS that was in a flood and mostly ruined from the door trim down. He figured he could flush the trans and swap it over. Well, in the course of yanking the wagon apart for the trans swap, he discovered a couple of two-basketball-sized rust spots in the floor. Under light structural investigation, they quickly became two giant holes in the rear floor. OK- Plan B time. He took all of the really good stuff out of the wagon including the wiring harness and engine (impala’s was toast) and basically combined two cars to make one good one, since the Impala’s body was rock solid and somehow rust free after the flood damage. He got it all together, running like a champion, and three weeks later the transmission blew up again because he discovered he forgot to flush the trans cooler. Now it sits, for about six months now, because he is fed up with fixing it and saving up for a 4L80 to go with the little 5.3 truck LS he’s been building on the side as well. Should be fun once he finishes it. The death of that wagon though, it was tragic. Out of all the cars we have owned together, that one was up there as one of the most fun ones.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Ironic, I think CJinSD was banned long ago.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States