Tag: 1973

By on March 17, 2014

Big_Lebowski_Torino_Crash-550pxBefore the Clint Eastwood film (but after the cheezoid TV show), the most well-known Ford Gran Torino in cinema history was the beater ’73 sedan driven by Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski. This film, which took quite a while to go from box-office dud to sacred document of the Lebowski Jihad, was released in 1998 and was set in late 1990 or early 1991 (a period during which I was also in Southern California and living a fairly Dude-ish lifestyle myself). The choice of a ’73 Gran Torino by the Coen Brothers makes some interesting statements for those who obsess about movie cars, and Monday is always the best day to discuss such things. (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2013

07 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinJust about everybody likes the “Boat-Tail” Riviera, and you’d think that would make even battered examples valuable enough to avoid the cold jaws of The Crusher. Think again! (Read More…)

By on September 11, 2013

09 - 1973 Mercedes-Benz 220 Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMost of the time, I don’t photograph junkyard-dwelling Mercedes-Benzes unless they’re coupes, SLs, or really old, but today’s W115 sedan was just so complete that I had to shoot it. (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2013

When an ordinary car— say, a ’94 Camry— shows up in a high-turnover self-service junkyard, most of its parts will still be present when it goes to the scrapper. However, when a seldom-seen-in-junkyards vehicle with an avid following— say, a ’71 Toyota Land Cruiser— appears on the yard, it gets eaten like a roadkill raccoon in vulture country. When I saw this complete and rust-free 1973 Datsun 240Z at my local self-serve yard a few weeks ago, I knew it hadn’t been exposed to parts shoppers for long. Sure enough, look at it now! (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2013


For some reason, BMW 2002s are easier to find in self-service wrecking yards (in Colorado and California, anyway) than are 320is. Most of the Crusher-bound 2002s I see are pretty well picked over— probably before they ever got to the junkyard— and so I don’t photograph them. However, a round-taillight 2002 with automatic transmission is something you don’t see every day. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2013

I see endless Z31 300ZXs in junkyards, and I usually don’t pay much attention to them (unless we’re talking about a rare 50th Anniversary Edition with BodySonic butt-vibrating seat speakers with super-futuristic digital dash, of course). Even 280Zs and 280ZXs are plentiful in self-service wrecking yards, so I don’t photograph many of them. However, an optioned-to-the-hilt 240Z, complete with automatic transmission, sunroof, and Malaise Era brown paint is worth shooting, so here we go! (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2013

Where do all these junkyard Fiat 124 Sport Spiders come from? You don’t see them on the street, you don’t see them half-covered by tarps and raccoon nests in driveways, and you don’t even see many of them at Italian car shows. And yet I’ve been seeing these cheaper-than-an-Alfa-Spider Italian sports cars at wrecking yards, at about the same rate, since I started visiting U-Pull-It in Oakland in the early 1980s. Here’s the latest example, a little green devil I spotted at U-Pull-&-Pay Denver last month. (Read More…)

By on January 20, 2013

Chrysler A-bodies are much like VW Type 1 Beetles when it comes to junkyard populations— they’ve been showing up in self-serve junkyards in a steady stream for more than 30 years, and you can usually find one or two in the larger yards. Like old Beetles, I don’t photograph most of the ones I see (though we have seen this ’68 Valiant Signet sedan, this ’64 Valiant wagon, and this ’66 Dart sedan in this series so far). The make-your-neighbors-hate-you band stickers on the decklid of this one caught my eye during a recent trip to my favorite Denver-area yard, and so I broke out the camera. (Read More…)

By on July 27, 2012

Dodge’s D-Series trucks of the 1970s are still on the roads in large numbers, since there’s always someone who needs a simple work truck and doesn’t care if that truck is 10 or 40 years old. Still, you can always find another sturdy (if thirsty) Detroit pickup if something expensive breaks, so this Adventurer is now Crusher-bound. (Read More…)

By on July 21, 2012

We’re on a 1973 roll here in Junkyard Find land, with a ’73 Luxury LeMans yesterday and a ’73 Super Beetle the day before, so I’m going to keep it going with another car from the year everything went to hell. The Montego was the blinged-out, gingerbread-encrusted sibling of the Ford Torino during this era, so it made sense that Mercury would sell a Brougham edition. (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2012

We’ll follow up yesterday’s ’73 VW Super Beetle Junkyard Find with another car from the same year. The Super Beetle listed at $2,499 and the Luxury LeMans four-door hardtop at $3,344… but now they are just so many tons of scrap metal. (Read More…)

By on July 19, 2012

I see many air-cooled Beetles in self-service wrecking yards these days. In fact, I have always seen many VW Type 1s in self-service wrecking yards, going back to my first junkyard adventures in early-80s Oakland. Like any car freak who came of age in that era, I’ve owned some old Beetles, and I can say from experience that there was nothing super about the Super Beetle. In fact, it’s possible that this ’73 is the Super Beetle that I sold in 1983. (Read More…)

By on April 26, 2012

The discussion of yesterday’s Junkyard Find, a 1973 Ford LTD, got a bit heated at times. Some felt that the ’73 LTD was an abomination too horrific to contemplate, while others (including most who had actually driven one back in the day) opined that it was a pretty comfy pseudo-luxo-chariot and no worse than its contemporary rivals. Both sides have valid points, which got me to thinking about what I would do if a time machine were to drop me off at Auto Row in 1973 with the money to buy a new LTD (assuming I was required to spend the money on a new car, instead of giving it to my 7-year-old 1973 self with instructions to buy Microsoft stock a few years hence). Would I get the LTD… or something else? If something else, what? (Read More…)

By on April 25, 2012

Every time I see a junked Ford LTD of this era, I recall my early-childhood memories of my grandfather’s ’69 LTD hardtop. My parents had a ’67 Ford Custom and a ’49 Cadillac sedan at the time, and I thought Grandpa’s super-clean LTD was the most luxurious transportation imaginable. Nowadays, of course, most big Fords of the 1965-75 period that one encounters are total hoopties… but even a junked Early Malaise Era LTD still retains a bit of its original class. (Read More…)

By on April 11, 2012

Some of these Junkyard Find posts result in plaintive emails (usually several months after the car has been crushed) from car owners in far-off places: “I have been looking for parts for this car for years. I am in (the Netherlands, the Maldives, the Upper Peninsula, etc.). Please send me the contact information for this junkyard so that I can have them ship me the (impossible-to-find parts).” The record-holder is this 1981 Chrysler LeBaron, which has resulted in at least a dozen emails from obsessive Malaise LeBaron restorers. I suspect this car is going to be another example of this phenomenon. So, if you found this post on Google and it’s later than, say, June 2012, this BMW has been melted down in a Chinese steel factory! (Read More…)

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