The first North American Ford Escort went on sale for the 1981 model year; it was related to its Mark III Escort European counterpart but was more of a cousin than a sibling. It wasn’t a great car, but was such an improvement over its miserable Pinto predecessor that it flew off the showroom floors in great quantities. These cars were cheap and disposable, so nearly all of them disappeared during the 1990s.
I see quite a few of the Mazda 323/Kia Sephia-related second-gen Escorts in junkyards these days, but a genuine, early Escort wagon is nearly as rare as a numbers-matching Geo Prizm GSi today. Here’s a solid-looking ’84 wagon that I shot in Denver earlier this winter. (Read More…)
No, the State of Colorado isn’t blowing up grandmas for doing 10 mph under the limit in the left lane. But the state’s Department of Transportation is keeping people safe by clearing avalanches with World War II artillery.
Armed with a 105 mm howitzer — possibly an M101A1, though please feel free to correct us — the Colorado DOT clears avalanche prone areas by shooting shells up to 7 miles away into the mountain tops. Those shells have a secondary charge that explodes on impact to trigger a controlled avalanche.
While it was possible to buy a new W-body late-1980s/early-1990s Lumina, Cutlass Supreme, or Grand Prix with a five-speed manual transmission, almost nobody did so. These cars have become pretty rare by now, so the chances of finding a five-speed Grand Prix in the junkyard are about the same as finding a five-speed BMW 7-Series; it’s possible, but not likely.
Here’s an ’89 coupe I found in a Denver yard last week. (Read More…)
The badging on US-market Datsuns and Nissans got very confusing thanks to the Datsun-to-Nissan changeover that stretched from 1981 through 1984. It resulted in vehicles with awkward names such as “Datsun 810 Maxima By Nissan” showing up in showrooms with all the Datsun logos about to be chiseled off the walls. There was an ever-shifting cast of Bluebirds and Cherrys and Violets and Sunnys sold with American-market designations ending in “-1o” that sometimes corresponded with their corporate identifiers and sometimes didn’t. And then there was the Stanza-based 510 that wasn’t related to its beloved Bluebird-based 1968-73 namesake.
Here is such a car, spotted in a Denver self-serve yard a few weeks ago. (Read More…)
We examined part of the endgame of the Audi 5000 debacle in the United States with a junked 1990 Audi 100 Quattro sedan in Denver. Having banished the toxic Audi 5000 name, Audi called these cars Audi 100s until everyone was thoroughly confused, then renamed it the A6, which they still use today.
Here’s a sort of unusual example I saw at a Denver yard a month ago: the final year of the Audi 100 name in the United States, and it’s a wagon. (Read More…)
Examples of the Chrysler Cordoba continue to show up in the self-service wrecking yards I frequent, though I tend to skip the ones that are particularly wretched and break out my camera only when I’m in the presence of a Cordoba that still has a certain personal luxury aura.
So far in this series, we’ve seen this ’76, this ’78 (which provided me with a classy Corinthian Leather couch), this ’79, and this ’80, and now we have this fairly straight ’79 that I saw in an icy Denver yard last week. (Read More…)
We saw 104 Junkyard Find vehicles here in 2015 (I did a few dozen Junkyard Treasures posts for Autoweek as well) and among them were some great examples of automotive history and culture.
The oldest Junkyard Find we saw here during 2015 was this ’51 Ford, and the newest was this ’09 Kia Rondo. As for the most interesting ones, I’ve selected my 15 favorite Junkyard Finds from the past year. Here we go, in model-year order.
Click on a vehicle’s photo to jump to that Junkyard Find’s post. (Read More…)
After delaying its Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon diesel trucks for a “final validation” issue, General Motors said Tuesday that the trucks would be on their way to dealers.
“The highly anticipated 2016 GMC Canyon diesel has begun shipping to dealers. We look forward to getting these trucks in the hands of our customers and appreciate their patience,” GMC spokeswoman Kelly Wysocki said in a statement.
Earlier this month we reported that people who ordered the truck — in some cases as far back as August — said GM was delaying delivery. A GM spokesman said the trucks were delayed due to a “final validation” issue. GM didn’t specify what the “final validation” issue was with the trucks, nor did they say why they were delayed. (Read More…)
Just about every kind of vehicle shows up at the low-priced, high-inventory-turnover self-service wrecking yards, sooner or later. It took until the late 2000s before I started seeing Mazda Miatas in such yards, and now it appears that the advance scouts for a steady flow of RX-8s are here. I saw this silver ’04 at the same Denver-area yard that gave us the biohazardous 2009 Kia Rondo. (Read More…)
General Motors has delayed delivery of its Canyon/Colorado diesel trucks for an unspecified problem at their “final validation” stage, the automaker told TTAC on Wednesday.
“Those trucks are still in final validations and we hope to ship soon,” said Brian Goebel, a spokesperson for GMC.
More than 60 trucks ordered by customers are in varying stages of production, according to customers who shared order details with TTAC. Several of those trucks’ delivery dates have been pushed back multiple weeks, and many of those orders go as far back as the beginning of August.