The Truth About Cars » Denver http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:28:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Denver http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Electric Sport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1988-chevrolet-sprint-electric-sport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1988-chevrolet-sprint-electric-sport/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=788522 12 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow that it’s possible to buy electric cars that actually do what cars are supposed to do, we mustn’t forget the very lengthy era— say 1970 to just a few years ago— during which all manner of optimistic-yet-doomed companies converted various econoboxes into lead-acid-battery-based EVs. Every once in a while, I’ll spot the remains of such an EV at a junkyard; we saw a junked EVolve Electrics 1995 Geo Metro EV conversion last year, and now a different Denver yard has given us this ’88 Sprint “Electric Sport.”
06 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Sprint aka Cultus wasn’t a bad choice for an electric vehicle, being lightweight and cheap.
01 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinElectric motors are worth money, either as working motors or as sources of valuable scrap copper, so the one in this car is long gone.
18 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe remnants of the battery tray may be seen in the rear cargo area.
17 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSomeone grabbed the no-doubt-modified instrument cluster, too.
07 - Electric 1988 Chevrolet Sprint Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBonus points to anyone who can track down the company that built the Electric Sport Sprint!

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Junkyard Find: 1990 Daihatsu Rocky http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1990-daihatsu-rocky/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1990-daihatsu-rocky/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 13:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=775281 13 - 1990 Daihatsu Rocky Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinRemember the Daihatsu Rocky? No? That’s OK, several vehicles of this type sank without a trace during the late 1980s and early 1990s (e.g., the Dodge Raider), and Daihatsu itself fled the United States in 1992. I see Daihatsu Charades in self-serve wrecking yards about every six months these days— including this ’89 and this ’90— and I don’t bother photographing most of them. A Rocky, on the other hand… well, let’s just say that this is the first Rocky I’ve seen anywhere in at least five years. How many are left on the street in North America? Hundreds? Dozens?
01 - 1990 Daihatsu Rocky Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThere must be at least one in the Denver area, because this junked example has been picked clean.
07 - 1990 Daihatsu Rocky Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThese little trucks came with a 1.6 liter engine and front- or four-wheel-drive.
04 - 1990 Daihatsu Rocky Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinAre project Rockies worth anything? Apparently not.
20140315_120504Right after I photographed this Rocky, I felt compelled to go on eBay and buy a vintage Daihatsu Racing sticker for my travel laptop. I also got a Daihatsu patch for my race suit.
DaihatsuTerios2-900x540I was so inspired by the sight of this Rocky that I dove down the rabbit hole of 21st century Daihatsu mini-SUV ads, and there I found some seriously frenzied Daihatsu Terios-thrashin’ stuff. Perhaps Daihatsu will return to the US soon, with a Rocky-badged Terios. All right, let’s watch some Rocky ads!

The actors in this JDM Rocky ad need to lay off the helium, is all I have to say.

In Germany, a romantic approach was used to pitch the Rocky (badged as a Feroza in Europe).

For Australia, the Rocky (Feroza) was compared to the body of Surf Iron Man Champion Guy Leech.

Another Australian (or maybe New Zealand) ad shows the Turbodiesel Rocky, which was apparently half Ferrari and half tank.

Also an excellent choice for surfers who liked to crash through sand dunes. Wouldn’t some of those impacts have set off the airbags? Oh, right— pre-airbag era, carry on!

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Junkyard Find: 1994 Dodge Shadow ES http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1994-dodge-shadow-es/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1994-dodge-shadow-es/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=769394 09 - 1994 Dodge Shadow ES Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo many Chrysler P bodies in American wrecking yards today, so many that Shadows and Sundances generally make up a good quarter of your typical self-serve wrecking yard’s Chrysler section. You still see some of these cars on the street these days, though hit-bottom-years-ago resale values mean that a running Chrysler P is becoming semi-rare sight. I think the low-buck Shadow America and Sundance America are interesting enough to photograph, as is the Sundance Duster, but most of the time I just tune out the Ps when I see them during junkyard expeditions. The Shadow ES, with its goofy 80s-hangover tape graphics, manages to attract my attention, so let’s admire the exquisitely of-its-timeness of this ’94 that I spotted in Denver a couple months ago.
10 - 1994 Dodge Shadow ES Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars were pretty cheap, and they weren’t slow (by mid-90s standards).
08 - 1994 Dodge Shadow ES Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThat is, they weren’t slow when equipped with the Mitsubishi 6G72 V6, as this car is. Though, as we’ve seen, this engine doesn’t guarantee reliability.
05 - 1994 Dodge Shadow ES Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe early 90s are notable for having introduced the world to fake wood trim that was much more realistic than the Tormented Souls In Hell Simu-Wood™ of the 1970s and 1980s. Look, 20 years old and not faded or cracked!
04 - 1994 Dodge Shadow ES Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere oughta be a law.
14 - 1994 Dodge Shadow ES Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe snow is obscuring the mean-looking hood bulge with V6 emblems, but it’s there.
07 - 1994 Dodge Shadow ES Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith manual transmission, this sort of car wouldn’t be a bad first car for a teenager interested in making a cheap machine to take to test-n-tune night. Grab the turbo hardware off a wrecked Stealth, experience the joys of Xtreem Torque Steer®.

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Junkyard Find: 1967 Lincoln Continental http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1967-lincoln-continental/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1967-lincoln-continental/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 14:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=766745 40 - 1967 Lincoln Continental Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 1961-1969 Lincoln Continental, with its suicide doors and slab sides, is recognized by most as the styling pinnacle of the Lincoln brand in the postwar era. Very nice early examples are worth pretty decent money, but a ’67 in beyond-basket-case condition is worth whatever scrap cars are fetching per ton. Here’s a thoroughly used-up ’67 that I found recently in a Denver wrecking yard.
44 - 1967 Lincoln Continental Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car appears to have spent many years bleaching in the High Plains sun; there’s not much Michigan-style rust, but the interior is completely baked. It’s hard to imagine that Richard Nixon’s plush limousine was also a ’67 Continental.
35 - 1967 Lincoln Continental Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, the upholstery is dry as Moon soil.
15 - 1967 Lincoln Continental Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLikewise, the vinyl top.
41 - 1967 Lincoln Continental Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt has a great big 462-cubic-inch MEL engine.
32 - 1967 Lincoln Continental Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHey, some sort of primitive cruise control!
29 - 1967 Lincoln Continental Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThermostat-controlled HVAC systems were super-high-tech in 1967.

Watching the wind rustle a torn plastic-bag “window” in a once-proud luxury car while The Crusher clanks ominously in the background… well, it tends to remind you of your own mortality.

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Junkyard Find: 1974 BMW 2002 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1974-bmw-2002/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1974-bmw-2002/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=765913 11 - 1974 BMW 2002 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI see a fair number of BMW 2002s during my trips to wrecking yards, but for some reason I’ve been hoarding the photos of the few that I photograph. We’ve seen this ’73, this ’73, and today’s ’74. I found this car in a Denver self-serve yard about four months back, which means it has been fed to The Crusher by now. Just as well— this car had some scary, Minnesota-grade rust.
02 - 1974 BMW 2002 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen you see this on the fenders, you know the important structural unibody components probably aren’t so safe.
06 - 1974 BMW 2002 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinStill, this car was visiting Colorado state parks as recently as 2006.
05 - 1974 BMW 2002 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThanks to all the E21 320is in wrecking yards, there’s not much demand for used M10 engines. This one probably went to The Crusher along with the rest of the car.
01 - 1974 BMW 2002 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSomeone had already grabbed the instrument cluster by the time I got to this car.
12 - 1974 BMW 2002 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPlenty of Bondo to be seen.

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Dodge Aries K http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1986-dodge-aries-k/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/junkyard-find-1986-dodge-aries-k/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 14:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=764217 15 - 1986 Dodge Aries Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe quantities of true Chrysler K-Cars in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards have been declining a bit in recent years, though I still see enough of them that I choose only the most interesting to photograph for this series. So far we’ve seen this “Hemi 2.6″ ’81 Dodge Aries wagon, this ’83 Dodge Aries sedan, this ’85 Dodge 600 Turbo, and this ’88 Dodge Aries wagon, and today I’m adding a gold Aries sedan that has special significance for me.
18 - 1986 Dodge Aries Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYou see, this is the car that provided the hood for the “Lee Iacocca, Comintern Agent” mural that went on the Plymouth Reliant wagon judged to be the Worst Car In 24 Hours of LeMons History.
20131122_121205This hood now lives somewhere in California, having been removed from the Reliant by Iacocca zealots.
12 - 1986 Dodge Aries Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car was in pretty good shape for a 28-year-old sedan that depreciated to scrap value by about age 10: no rust, interior not bad.
05 - 1986 Dodge Aries Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinLots of options, including air conditioning and AM/FM radio.
04 - 1986 Dodge Aries Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinQuality engineered.
Don’t forget to visit the Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™!

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Junkyard Find: 1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1992-oldsmobile-toronado-trofeo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1992-oldsmobile-toronado-trofeo/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=754577 13 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou like rare cars? How about a final-year-of-manufacture Olds Toronado Troféo? I’ll bet there aren’t more than a few hundred ’92 Troféos left in the world! Here’s one that I spotted last week at a snowy Denver self-service yard.
08 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI have an unhealthy obsession with the products of GM’s mid-80s-to-early-90s efforts to compete toe-to-toe with German luxury marques (or at least drop the average age of Buick, Oldsmobile, and Cadillac purchase from 96 to maybe 70 years old), and so I’m always happy to write about cars such as the Buick Reatta, Cadillac Allanté, and Olds Troféo. This car is the third Troféo in this series, after this ’89 and this ’90.
09 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinEven a 70-year-old in 1992 must have been aware that the Buick 3.8 V6 wasn’t exactly cutting-edge technology in the luxury-car world.
07 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLook, a driver’s-side airbag!
22 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAnd, depressingly, molded-in fake stitching on the not-quite-leather door panels.
20 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIf this thing had had the touch-screen Visual Information Center, I’d have pulled it and bought it on the spot. Just analog gauges, though.
21 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWith all its flaws, the ’92 Troféo has a certain amount of cool going for it.

Presented without comment.

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Chrysler Laser XE http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1985-chrysler-laser-xe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1985-chrysler-laser-xe/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=752617 19 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Chrysler Laser was the futuristic K-car-based answer to all those science-fiction Japanese cars of the middle 1980s. We’ve seen some of the Dodge counterparts to this car in this series, including this ’92 IROC R/T, this ’90, this ’88, and this ’87 Shelby Turbo Z. Since I’ve been collecting Japanese 1980s digital dashes, I just couldn’t resist adding a Detroit 1980s digital dash to my collection, in the slipperiest of slippery slopes.
05 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, I’ve grabbed this Laser’s digital dash and hooked it up to power, and in the meantime I’ve grabbed a few more Detroit digital instrument clusters from junkyards.
04 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinCheck out the cool fader/balance joystick control. Less cool is the fact that Chrysler used this exact rig well into the 1990s.
03 - 1985 Chrysler Laser Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Laser XE came with all manner of computerized gadgetry, plus it talked! Unlike the earlier Nissan Maxima, this setup was all-digital.

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Junkyard Find: 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1965-chevrolet-bel-air/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1965-chevrolet-bel-air/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=744065 10 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAs most of you know, I have some history with the 1965 full-sized Chevrolet. Back in 1990, when I bought mine, these cars were still very common in high-turnover wrecking yards; this was the result of high production (in fact, more 1965 full-sized Chevrolets were built than any other single year/model of American car in history) and low scrap value. Today, however, shredders that turn scrap cars into quick cash (I recommend this book to anyone curious about the recent technological advances in the scrap-metal field) mean that beat-up old Detroit heaps that aren’t worth restoring get funneled right into The Crusher‘s voracious maw. I find the occasional 60s full-size Chevy in wrecking yards these days, but 25 years ago they were as common as are Chrysler LHs today. That makes today’s find, a rust-and-Bondo-nightmare ’65 Bel Air coupe, even more special.
31 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI found evidence of several distinct applications of body filler on this car. It’s like counting tree rings.
33 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBecause these cars all leaked around the rear window and trunk weatherstripping and the water ends up pooling here, even the ones from dry Western states rust like this. My ’65 sedan spent lived most of its life in Southern California and had similar rot.
09 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJust for fun, I decoded the cowl tag. This car was built in the Janesville, Wisconsin plant in the second week of March 1965 (which happens to be the same week the first large contingent of American combat troops arrived in Vietnam). The paint color was Madeira Maroon Metallic, the interior was Fawn cloth and vinyl, and the car came with tinted glass, Powerglide transmission, and padded dash.
18 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe sticker on the inside of the glovebox door indicates that the car was sold by George Irvin Chevrolet in Denver. A little research shows that this dealership— which still used alphanumeric phone numbers after all-numeric dialing became standard— was located at East Colfax and Gaylord, which is just a few miles from the wrecking yard in which I photographed this ’65. The great circle of automotive life, nearly complete.
11 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe fenders came from some other ’65 or ’66 full-size Chevrolet, but chances are this car was built with a 283-cubic-inch small-block anyway.
08 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinA really resourceful Junkyard Finder would have scraped the yuck from this engine and obtained some block and head casting numbers. It’s a 283 or a 327 if it’s original… which it probably isn’t
24 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinRather than research the 197 trillionth small-block Chevy engine built, however, I became much more interested in what was in the trunk.
27 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDenver newspapers from 1982! Poor Marty Feldman— he died so young.
28 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMeanwhile, the beginning of the collapse of the Soviet Union was brewing in Poland.
25 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHowever, the Cold War was getting scarier and scarier during its final decade. Those MX missiles loomed large when Able Archer 83 freaked out Brezhnev’s equally doddering successor.
30 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMitsubishi started selling trucks under its own name (instead of with Dodge badging) in the United States in 1982.
29 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSo, our car-trunk history lesson tells us that this car got parked for the last time in the early 1980s, then sat outdoors in Colorado for the next few decades before getting sold for scrap.
19 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThat optional padded dash doesn’t look so great after 32 years at 5,280 feet.
32 - 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinTwo-door big Chevrolets are cool, but you’d end up paying ten grand to make this one worth maybe four grand. A factory 409 or 396 ’65 Impala two-door with some weird options, sure, that’s worth restoring from basket-case condition. This car… well, let’s hope its few remaining usable parts get grabbed before it gets crushed.


This swift, silent, jet-smooth Chevrolet spreads whole mountains, meadows, vales, and streams before enchanted eyes. There’s no way some spacy-ass commercial like this would get by GM’s marketers today, because they know that Americans hit ‘em hard!

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Toyota Celica GT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1978-toyota-celica-gt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/junkyard-find-1978-toyota-celica-gt/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=742825 05 - 1978 Toyota Celica Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe first- and second-generation Toyota Celica was to my generation of freshly-minted California drivers (I got my license in 1982) what the early Ford Mustang was to those born a decade earlier: fairly inexpensive and sensible, but still sporty enough to make you feel cool. I drove a ’69 Corona four-door, possibly the uncoolest car a teenager could own at the time, which was to the Celica in 1982 as the six-cylinder Fairlane sedan was to the Mustang in 1972. These days, of course, all the rear-wheel-drive Celicas are considered worth having… unless they’re in rough condition, in which case they are worth little more than scrap value. Here’s an unrusty-but-still-battered ’78, done up in painfully-late-70s Crisis of Confidence Mustard Yellow, sitting in a Denver self-serve yard.
15 - 1978 Toyota Celica Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe very sturdy 2.2-liter 20R engine made good torque, as befitted an engine well-suited for hauling Hilux-driving, Soviet-fighting mujahideen over mountain passes. You couldn’t spin the R much, as many LeMons racers have discovered, but it would outlast the rest of a Celica.
11 - 1978 Toyota Celica Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen did the 5-speed become commonplace enough that it wasn’t worth bragging about via badging?
02 - 1978 Toyota Celica Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSpeaking of badging, can someone explain what these “CARPET” decals on the rear quarter windows mean?
01 - 1978 Toyota Celica Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior is pretty beat, but you can still make out the nothing-like-a-Corolla sportiness here.

Guys with huge Malaise mustaches and earthtone suits knew: ditch the Volaré, get a Celica!

A car that gives you your money’s worth.

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Junkyard Find: 1971 Volvo 144 S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1971-volvo-144-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1971-volvo-144-s/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=693177 23 -1971 Volvo 144 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile Volvo 240s continue to be crushed in alarming quantities, I also see quite a few Volvo 140s during my wrecking-yard trips. Prior to today, we’d seen this ’68 142, this ’69 145, this ’71 144 and this ’71 142, and now another non-rusty, solid-looking 140 is going to be eaten by The Crusher.
09 -1971 Volvo 144 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYears before American and Japanese car companies went to six-digit odometers, Volvo had enough optimism to go past 99,999 miles on theirs. This car averaged just over 3,000 miles per year during its life.
11 -1971 Volvo 144 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 140 was very advanced for its day, with four-wheel disc brakes as standard equipment.
14 -1971 Volvo 144 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSome might say that a pushrod engine with SU carburetors wasn’t so advanced, but the B18 got the job done.
03 -1971 Volvo 144 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe combination of a rear defroster and a manual choke is one you don’t see every day.
01 -1971 Volvo 144 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSometimes I miss my hooptie 144, but not quite enough to try to rescue a car like today’s Junkyard Find. Still, a 142 with 16-valve B230 engine might be fun.

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Junkyard Find: 1967 Plymouth Valiant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1967-plymouth-valiant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1967-plymouth-valiant/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=680690 05 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe march of the Chrysler A-bodies into The Crusher’s jaws continues in Colorado; in this series prior to today, we’ve seen this ’75 Duster, this ’75 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’66 Dart, this ’73 Valiant, and this ’61 Valiant. Most of these cars’ contemporary competitors— Chevy Novas, Ford Falcons and Mavericks, AMC Gremlins— were crushed decades ago, but plenty of the old 318- and Slant 6-powered Chrysler commuters managed to hang on in everyday service for nearly half a century. This ’67 sedan still looks pretty solid, but these days only the Dart coupes are worth fixing up.
14 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinChrysler made the Slant-6 engine from 1959 through 2000, if you count Mexican crate-motor production, and you could still buy US-built trucks with this engine in the late 1980s. With such a junkyard glut, not many Slant-6 engines will be saved once they get to this point.
09 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPlymouth Transaudio AM radio, with none of the CONELRAD frequency markers you’ll see in most car radios of this era.
10 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe owner of this car must have been an AM radio audiophile, what with this aftermarket fader control. No doubt Bobby Goldsboro sounded a lot better this way.
12 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHey, an aftermarket Libby Light!
07 - 1967 Plymouth Valiant Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDo you really need more interior than this?

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Dodge Ramcharger http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1978-dodge-ramcharger/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1978-dodge-ramcharger/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=670298 15 - 1978 Dodge Ramcharger Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinEven though Denver wrecking yards are always full of old trucks, the Dodge Ramcharger isn’t quite as common as its GM, Ford, and Jeep rivals. In fact, this Royal SE ’83 Ramcharger is the only example we’ve seen in this series, prior to today’s find. This tan Dodge is every bit as Malaise-y as the yellow ’76 Wagoneer we saw last month, so let’s look at these photos and imagine what it was like driving a 9 MPG truck during a period of high inflation and steep gas prices.
03 - 1978 Dodge Ramcharger Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinTan with brown and orange stripes. I think the library— wait, I mean “media center”— in my junior high school was done up in very similar colors, back in 1979.
12 - 1978 Dodge Ramcharger Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYou don’t want to know what kind of horsepower the 318 (or 360) made in 1978. The torque was enough, let’s leave it at that.
05 - 1978 Dodge Ramcharger Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinAt least it has a real transmission.
13 - 1978 Dodge Ramcharger Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYou don’t see many of these engine-coolant heaters these days.
10 - 1978 Dodge Ramcharger Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s a bit rusty, but probably still had some life left.

An all-around family car!

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Junkyard Find: 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1996-plymouth-neon-expresso/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1996-plymouth-neon-expresso/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=669282 01 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Neon sold in respectable numbers during its 1995-2005 production run, most Detroit cars in high-turnover self-serve wrecking yards are 12-15 years old, and so you’ll see many, many Neons in such yards these days. Most of the time, Neons are just junkyard background noise to me as I look for interesting cars to photograph for this series; I’ll shoot a rare Neon R/T, but that’s about it. Still, something about the dot-com-boom optimism of the Expresso trim level catches my attention, so I paused to document this ’96 in its final parking spot.
05 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars were cheap and had a bit more power than their similarly priced imported competitors, but they never built up much of a popular reputation for longevity.
04 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThere was a time when 16-valve four-cylinder engines were exotic, as were 5-speeds and fuel injection.
11 - 1996 Plymouth Neon Expresso Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car has the automatic, though. Note the cheerful party-style seat fabric.


Because I spend a lot of time watching low-budget race cars clank around road courses, I think of the Neon as a very good cheap racer— quicker and more reliable than most Japanese LeMons cars, and of course there’s that incredible junkyard parts selection. Here’s in-car video from one of those Neons in action.


It’s a pretty hot little number!


Neon-style cuteness was definitely out in the minds of car marketers of the 21st century, and so the Neon’s successor got ads like this. Stupid little fairy!

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Junkyard Find: 1964 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Luxury Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1964-oldsmobile-ninety-eight-luxury-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/junkyard-find-1964-oldsmobile-ninety-eight-luxury-sedan/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 14:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=668282 14 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI’ve done quite a few Olds 98 Junkyard Finds, but they’ve all been from the 1975-1995 era. Here’s a big Ninety-Eight from an earlier time.

The ultimate in limousine comfort!
17 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis Olds was sold in Denver. If this Denver yard can hold off on feeding it to The Crusher for a few more weeks, this car will die in Denver— an even half-century after its first trip out of the showroom.
20 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinBefore that happens, though, I hope some more pieces get pulled. This climate-control panel looks serviceable.
16 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin1963-64 Olds 98 taillight lenses must be hard to find today.
07 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 394-cubic-inch Sky Rocket V8 made 325 generously defined gross horsepower and was the biggest of the original Olds Rocket V8s.
01 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSomeone pulled the bench seat but then decided not to buy it.
02 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinCheck out the handy storage pockets and grab handles on the rear of the bench seat.
22 - 1964 Oldsmobile 98 Down on the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI might have to go back and get this Luxury Sedan door pull, for a carrying handle on the next junkyard boombox I build.

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Nissan 200SX http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1986-nissan-200sx/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1986-nissan-200sx/#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=665226 07 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 240SX version of the Nissan Silvia has become something of a cult car among drifter types in the United States, but the earlier (1984-88) 200SX version seems to have disappeared from both the streets and the public consciousness. Still, I see the occasional 200SX in wrecking yards these days, and I spotted this red ’86 in a Denver yard last week.
03 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSo close to 200,000 miles!
02 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinExcept for the odd checkerboard seat upholstery, Nissan kept the interior of this car fairly restrained by 1980s standards.
18 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin120 horses from the CA20E engine, which was acceptable power in 1986.
11 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinRust-free, straight body, interior pretty good— a Supra of the same vintage and condition would have been worth enough to stay out of The Crusher’s domain.

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Subaru Leone 4WD Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1978-subaru-leone-4wd-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1978-subaru-leone-4wd-wagon/#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 14:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=661010 01 - 1978 Subaru Wagon Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOne thing that makes Colorado wrecking yards different from those in the rest of the country is the large numbers of Subarus in every yard. We’re talking the history of Subaru North America in every yard here. In fact, you’ll see more 1980s and 1990s Leones aka GLs, DLs, and Loyales in a typical Denver-area self-serve yard than you’ll see Corollas or Civics. You’ll also find lots of more recent Legacies and Imprezas, not to mention XTs, BRATs, SVXs, and even the occasional Justy 4WD. 1970s Subarus, however, are getting pretty rare here; in this series, we’ve seen just this ’79 Leone wagon and this ’79 GL sedan so far. Today, we add this very-much-of-its-time ’78 wagon.
22 - 1978 Subaru Wagon Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBack in 1978, your choices in four-wheel-drive vehicles were very limited; you could get a truck, you could get an AMC Eagle that drove like a truck… or you could get a Subaru.
12 - 1978 Subaru Wagon Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese things were ludicrously underpowered, rusted quickly, and didn’t come close to the reliability standards set by Honda and Toyota, but they got decent fuel economy and were competent in mud and snow.

Subarus were quite rare in the United States back in the Malaise Era, but the marque made it into popular culture with songs like this one.

Or this one.
07 - 1978 Subaru Wagon Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJudging by the quantity of pine cones and animal nests in this car, it hasn’t run for many, many years.
13 - 1978 Subaru Wagon Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot many places in Colorado damp enough for moss to grow on cars.
29 - 1978 Subaru Wagon Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSold in Colorado, will be crushed in Colorado.

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Junkyard Find: 1983 BMW 633 CSi http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1983-bmw-633-csi/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1983-bmw-633-csi/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=656586 09 - 1983 BMW E24 Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe BMW E24 6-series is one of those cars with a vast, uncrossable gulf between the values assigned to it by Internet Car Experts and those assigned by Hardbitten Burned-By-Real-World-Purchases Car Experts. The Internet Car Expert has seen an ’87 635CSi in nice shape with an asking price of $25,000 on Craigslist, and therefore he knows that even a rough one is worth ten grand, minimum. The Hardbitten Burned-By-Real-World-Purchases Car Expert once paid $2,500 for a fairly solid E24, put $1,500 of parts into it, and sold it for $2,750. The junkyard doesn’t lie, and I see E24s in cheap self-service yards all the time, so often that I don’t photograph most of them. Today’s Junkyard Find, however, has just enough of that Late Malaise Era appeal, with its overtones of imminent Able-Archer 83-triggered nuclear annihilation (plus a manual transmission), that I decided to shoot it.
11 - 1983 BMW E24 Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s hard to imagine BMW adding these cheezy tape stripes, even back in 1983, but they appear to be factory-applied.
04 - 1983 BMW E24 Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe E24′s guts were pretty much the same as those of the E28 5-series, and so the 6 tended to last for a respectable (for the early 1980s) number of miles.
02 - 1983 BMW E24 Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou don’t see many of these cars with manual transmissions, since low-level S&L scammers and white-powder salesmen back then mostly wanted automatic-transmission luxury to go with their German-coupe style.
12 - 1983 BMW E24 Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one is pretty rusty by Denver standards, so it probably spent some of its life in the Midwest.
05 - 1983 BMW E24 Down On The Junkyard -  Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin181 horses out of this 3.2 liter Big Six engine. That sounds weak these days, but was impressive enough in 1983.

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Renault Encore http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1985-renault-encore/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/junkyard-find-1985-renault-encore/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 14:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=646930 12 - 1985 Renault Encore Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile the US government decided Chrysler was too big to fail and bailed out the company with loan guarantees in 1979, American Motors was judged just the right size to fail and had to get bailed out by the French government. This led right to the weird history of the Renault Alliance, which included a Wisconsin-ized Renault 11 hatchback called the Encore. The Encore wasn’t a huge seller in North America and the car tended to deteriorate quickly under American conditions, so today’s Junkyard Find is a rare one.

Can you see yourself in, or maybe as an Encore?

Driverless, stretchy Encores bend lysergically about the nation’s mountain roads!
13 - 1985 Renault Encore Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car spent at least part of its life being towed behind a giant RV.
05 - 1985 Renault Encore Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere’s no telling how many of these miles took place under the Encore’s own power.
02 - 1985 Renault Encore Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin23-channel CBs had been obsolete for quite a few years before this car was built, so this Surveyor rig was an antique even in 1985.
08 - 1985 Renault Encore Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJanuary 10, 1985 was a fine day in Kenosha.
03 - 1985 Renault Encore Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinKenosha or not, this HVAC control panel has a suspiciously foreign look about it.

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Junkyard Find: 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1998-chevrolet-cavalier-z24/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1998-chevrolet-cavalier-z24/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=630138 13 - 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinGM made many, many Cavaliers during the model’s 23-year production run, and these days the mid-to-late-90s models are most common in high-turnover wrecking yards. Mostly I don’t photograph Cavaliers for this series, though I did shoot this ’90 Cavalier RS last year. However, I do think that cars powered by the Oldsmobile Quad 4 engine are worthy of Junkyard Find status— we’ve seen this ’90 Cutlass Calais International Series and this ’93 Achieva SCX so far— and the Cavalier Z24 was the last GM car to get the Quad 4, so let’s take a look at this ’98 that I spotted in Denver last week.
04 - 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFor the 1996 model year, GM had come up with the LD9 Twin Cam 2.4 version of the Quad 4, which featured balance shafts plus a torque-enhancing stroke-increase/bore-decrease treatment. Power was 150 horses, which was pretty good for a car this small.
11 - 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe late 1990s were all about body-colored plastic cladding and trim.
01 - 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Getrag 5-speed is pretty rare in these things, so I was disappointed to find the usual automatic shifter inside.

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Junkyard Find: 1972 Porsche 914 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1972-porsche-914/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1972-porsche-914/#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=623985 13 - 1972 Porsche 914 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile prices of Porsche 911s keep getting crazier, 914s may be found for reasonable sums. Really trashed examples, or even slightly bent ones aren’t worth restoring, and so they end up like this one: parked in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.
01 - 1972 Porsche 914 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI found this beat-to-hell crypto-Volkswagen yesterday, and it still has plenty of parts to offer.
08 - 1972 Porsche 914 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinVolkswagen? NEIN!
14 - 1972 Porsche 914 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe engine is still there, and perhaps someone will rescue it.

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Junkyard Find: 1982 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1982-ford-thunderbird-town-landau/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1982-ford-thunderbird-town-landau/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=615545 10- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFord may have squeezed even more vehicles out of their Fox platform than Chrysler got with their roughly contemporary K platform and derivatives, and the range of cars was just about as broad. Though Foxes are very plentiful in high-turnover self-service wrecking yards, I let most of them go to The Crusher undocumented. We’ve seen this ’79 Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car, this ’80 Mercury Capri, and this ’82 Mercury Zephyr so far in this series, and today we’ll add another Malaise Era Fox. Yes, there was a Fox Thunderbird with squared-off, Fairmont-style body, available for the 1980 through 1982 model years. Not many of these cars were sold, so today’s find— in Denver— is a rare one.

1982 Ford Thunderbird Commercial

Ford’s marketers did their best, but the Thunderbird name had fallen on hard times. Again.
01- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Old Car BrochuresHeritage split bench seats in Midnight Blue!
04- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese Midnight Blue seats have lost some of their luster after 31 years, but you can imagine how Barcalounger-like they must have been when new.
11- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinDetroit stuck with the “wire wheel” hubcap concept well into the 1990s, but the middle 1980s were the pinnacle of the style.
03- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Town Landau emblems are gone, but the landau roof remains.
13- 450px - 1982 Ford Thunderbird Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interesting thing about these Foxes is that just about everything mechanical, plus unexpected stuff like dash panels, is bolt-on interchangeable between cars. You can swap in the drivetrain and suspension out of, say, a ’93 Mustang SVT Cobra into an ’82 T-Bird with a minimum of modifications. Or you could install the Heritage Split Bench seats out of an ’82 T-Bird into your Mustang.

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Junkyard Find: Volvo 240 With Rare BMWization Package http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-volvo-240-with-rare-bmwization-package/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-volvo-240-with-rare-bmwization-package/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 13:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=611537 05 - Volvo 240 with BMW Grille in Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMost of the time, a car’s final owner doesn’t realize that his or her ride’s next stop will be The Crusher, but some are very aware that the Automotive Grim Reaper will be coming for their wheels soon. Sometimes such an owner glues crap all over the car, and sometimes disturbing cut-and-paste body modifications are in order. In this case, the owner of Volvo 240 must have thought something like, “Hey, Sweden, Germany, what’s the diff?” and applied a quick dose of Bavarianitude to the boxy Swede. I prefer it when a car’s last owner turns it into a road racer, but I think this low-budget customization is worthy of a Junkyard Find.
04 - Volvo 240 with BMW Grille in Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOK, so the space between the lip of the hood and the top edge of the grille needs some filler, but otherwise this might look convincing at 200 feet, on a foggy night.
02 - Volvo 240 with BMW Grille in Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou’d expect zip-ties and/or plumber’s tape for this installation, but some fairly substantial materials were used instead.
01 - Volvo 240 with BMW Grille in Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThough this car sports the two large round headlights of the 1975-76 US-market 240, it appears that this is a later-model car with some hooptily-installed headlight buckets.

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Junkyard Find: 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1974-oldsmobile-cutlass-salon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1974-oldsmobile-cutlass-salon/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 13:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=600321 10 - 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinThe fourth-gen Olds Cutlass was one of the few bright spots for The General as the Malaise Era grew darker for Detroit. You could get T-tops, factory 8-track players, velour interiors in a wide range of bright colors, and who cared if engines were making less than one horse per two cubic inches? The Salon was the top-of-the-line Cutlass for ’74, with reclining bucket seats, radial tires, and other futuristic goodies. Here’s one that I spotted in a Denver self-service yard not long ago; nearly 40 years of personal luxury for this Olds.
08 - 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinThose body-colored hubcaps really added some class to the Cutlass Salon. The seat belt starter interlock, mandatory equipment in ’74, added annoyance.
02 - 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinOh yes, Whorehouse Red interior was a must on a cream-with-red-roof Cutlass in this era.
11 - 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinThis car visited Mexico early in its career.
05 - 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinI’m not going to look up the horsepower figures for what I’m guessing is an Olds 350, because they’ll just depress everybody.
04 - 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinInstead, imagine you’re cruising your brand-new Cutlass Salon with the A/C blowing cold and Grand Funk on the radio.

These headlines! It’s no time to buy a car.

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Junkyard Find: 1973 Buick Riviera http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1973-buick-riviera/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/junkyard-find-1973-buick-riviera/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 13:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=580337 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!
06 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinThis car is very rough, with a lot of three-dimensional patina, but it doesn’t seem to have much super-cancerous rust.
17 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinWhen the 1973 oil crisis hit, the value of these big fuel-sucking personal luxury coupes plummeted. That meant that a lot of these cars descended into beater status during the middle and later parts of the 1970s.
11 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinThis car clearly spent many years sitting outdoors in Colorado, so the interior is pretty much toast.
12 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinStill, you can see remnants of the luxury that once was.
14 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinSomebody got the intake, but there’s still most of a super-torquey Buick 455 here.
15 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinLook, Buick Rally wheels!
10 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinLooks like the traditional GM rear-window rust was repaired at some point, with copious quantities of Bondo used to smooth things out.
22 - 1973 Buick Riviera Down On the Junkyard - Picture by Murilee MartinThis glass must be getting hard to find these days.

There it is— America’s dream car!

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