By on November 25, 2010

Back when two major self-service junkyard chains were locked in throat-slicing competition for the Northern California market, Thanksgiving Day always featured the sacred Junkyard Half Price Day Sale. Alas, Pick Your Part has pulled up stakes— which means that Pick-N-Pull has spurious “15% off all door panels” sales instead of the real deal— but in honor of the memory of Half Price Day we bring you some junkyard goodness from Denver.

Here’s a Malaise Era Ford Econoline Chateau, which hauled six-generation extended families in bouncy, trucky comfort many years before the ’92 Chateau Club Wagon won Motor Trend‘s Truck Of The Year award. Just the sound of the name seems so vanlike: Chateau!

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17 Comments on “Why Isn’t This a Chateau Brougham?...”

  • avatar

    Not too many “you-pull-it” type junkyards left around these parts.  Killed off by a combination of environmental regs, insane property taxes, and lack of wrenching skills among the general population.  It’s too bad.  A trip to the junkyard was one my favorite destinations as a kid.

  • avatar

    Now you find us a CHAPEAU van and then you’d have something.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Come to Houston.  We have them all over.  Without zoning laws, sometimes even in your backyard…..

    • 0 avatar

      Same here in Alberta. Every other farm seems to have a field full of scrap vehicles. Blew my mind when I arrived here from the UK. I had assumed the “New World” would be all pristine and environmentally aware.
      Found out the Wild West still exists. lol

  • avatar

    Pick your Part…AKA “el pulpo” is still the king in Los Angeles. The second biggest, Ecology is pretty large too, but not as big. Pick your Part are having the 50% off sale all weekend, but its 40 fricken degrees in LA this morning!!!!
    I have been going to the 50% off sales since August  looking for a T5 trans out of late ’80s F body, but the professional junkyarders always beat me to the punch.

    • 0 avatar

      When I lived in SoCal, I spent a lot of time at the Santa Fe Springs Ecology yard, but the king was the Wilmington Pick-Your-Part. Big flea market in the parking lot 7 days/week, ice-cream truck section, and surrounded by refineries burning off huge flares.

    • 0 avatar

      The “Ecology” in Santa Fe Springs was also surrounded by refineries and tanks until a bout of 80’s redevelopment and I’ve heard that there was a fuel spill on that land in the 40’s. Ever notice how the refinery burn-off seems cranked up on 3-day weekends? I’ve always wondered about that.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    I like the 80s Toyota Van next to it!  Based on the color scheme (aka graphics stripe), I wonder if that’s a cargo conversion.

  • avatar

    Chateau. Brougham.
    I sure miss the days of cars having real names….

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    +1 Supremebrougham on cars having real names.  First car, 1982 Chevrolet Celebrity CL, I found out the CL stood for classic, making it a 1982 Chevrolet Celebrity Classic (funny when 1982 was the first year of production.)  Second car was a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham, but what I really wanted was a 1985 Oldsmobile 88 Royale Brougham or maybe a 1985 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Brougham.  Of my father’s work wagons I was most impressed with the Buick Electra Estate but the Pontiac Parisienne Safari was a close second.  (Did it have the Brougham package?  I can’t remember.)  The last car my grandfather owned before his passing was a Ford XL but was it a Galaxie XL or a LTD XL?  My grandmother can’t seem to remember.
    See isn’t that much more interesting than RL, TSX, HHR LT, G6, G8, G5, 300TD ect…

    • 0 avatar

      Happy Thanksgiving, Dan.  I know that in 1967 it was still a Galaxie 500 XL.  But in either 68 or 69 Ford started calling the sporty one the XL.  I think that 1970 was the last year for the XL.  I was only about 10 or 11, but still marveled that somebody would name a car the Ford XL Sport Sportsroof.  By 1971, sport was out in the big cars and luxury was in, so it went from Galaxie to LTD to LTD Brougham.  Can you tell that I was a Ford man in those years?

  • avatar

    In the malaise era you could still get the big engines.  These got grim in the 80s with the 302 being about it.
    These were really nice back in the day.  My friend’s dad bought a 76 Club Wagon, but settled for the Custom trim.  Nice, but still vinyl seats and decorative rubber matting on the floors.  We tried to talk him into the Chateau, but we were in high school and he was the one paying for it.
    I later owned a 94 Chateau.  I showed it to my cousin.  His wife asked why it was called Chateau.  He replied that it was because the car was the size of an average house in Switzerland.

  • avatar

    Murilee, you saucy minx, I could hug you for being on TTAC.

  • avatar

    “but its 40 fricken degrees in LA this morning!!!!”

    [shakes head] Pull a starter motor out of a V6 S-10 (hint: you have to go in from the botom, around the cross memeber) in an Alberta wrecking yard at -30 and talk to me.

    The Pick-Your-Part in my town used to have “all you can carry for $X” sales when I was a teenager.  You only had to carry it about 20 feet, but it all had to be carried by one man.  Going down there for the show was amazing.  It was like the World’s Strongest and Cheapest Man competition.

    • 0 avatar

      “All you can carry for $X” ?

      Wow. I’ll bet there were folks carrying out complete air-cooled VW engines. :-)

      I could *almost* carry a FIAT 128 engine, but I would probably hurt myself.


  • avatar

    Curiouser and curiouser,
    Perhaps it is a MW thing, but there are about 10 self-serve yards within 20 miles of me.
    No matter where I have lived, I have found that any yard was self-serve if you actually knew anything about taking cars apart…

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