By on December 8, 2010

After being away from the quick-turnover self-service junkyards of Northern California (where Guangzhou-bound container ships full of crushed vehicles leave the Port of Oakland every day) for a few months, I decided to check out one of the biggest when visiting from Denver last week. I found a ’62 Comet, a ’65 Fairlane, and a ’72 Mustang huddled together in The Crusher’s waiting room.

I’ve always preferred the Comet to the Falcon, and not just because Charles Bukowski drove a ’62 Comet. The first-gen Falcon was built in Argentina until 1991, but early Comets— even six-cylinder sedans like this one— are quite rare. In a couple of weeks, the number of ’62s will be reduced by one, because Schnitzer Steel will be mashing this battered-but-not-particularly-rusty example into a cube and shipping it off to China.

As I contemplated the demise of the Comet, I saw the snout of another vintage FoMoCo product peeking out from the endless line of Tauruses and Tracers. Is that an early-70s Mustang?

Why, yes, it is! About 125,000 ’72 Mustangs were built, which makes it rarer than the ’62 Comet and much rarer than its mid-1960s predecessors. Still, a higher percentage of these cars survives today, plus many of the components on this one have been harvested to keep living examples on the road, so I’m still more bummed about the Comet sedan.

Holy crap! Whoever did the bodywork on this car must have bought Bondo by the 55-gallon drum.

Is it possible that there’s a third old Ford nearby?

This 1965 Ford Fairlane coupe, complete with V8 and Cruise-O-Matic transmission, looks like it was in fairly decent shape… before someone decided to take an orbital sander to the paint. How? Why?

One rainy Bay Area winter is all it took to complete the damage. Next stop, Chinese steel factory!

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22 Comments on “Trio of Doomed Fords Destined To Become Geely Hysouls, Universe Keeps Expanding...”

  • avatar

    Tons of these old cars are getting crushed now.  I have a collection of photographs from an old junkyard I used to visit, everything from the 20s to the early 70s and about two years ago the entire yard, some 1,500 cars, got squished in a mobile crusher and shipped off to China.  My advice to anyone who see some parts car laying around that they want to get their hands on is get it NOW.

    • 0 avatar

      Last time I visited the sole surviving “U-Pull-It” type yard around these parts, it was full of vintage American iron.  Many of the previous owners had stored those cars for years, in some cases decades, always dreaming about the day they would have the time/money for a full restoration.  After the most recent Wall Street multi-trillion dollar theft, many people have surrendered and come to accept that fact that they will never be able to afford a hobby anymore expensive than bug collecting.  I, on the other hand, have not stopped dreaming.  I dream about the day when I will have my revenge against the bankster, lawyer, politician class.  I’ll stop typing now and go back to fondling my HK G3.

    • 0 avatar

      I hadn’t realized the US was exporting cars to China – it’s reassuring to know the Detroit 3 produce vehicles in demand in Asia ;)   I wonder if the Chinese automakers will be able to take advantage of favorable tariffs when exporting vehicles to the US by claiming their cars contain American made components (steel)?

    • 0 avatar

      Part of the reason people abandon restoration projects is that they are shocked at the cost of doing it properly. Rechroming, for example, is prohibitively expensive, at least in part due to environmental regulations. A show-quality paint job will easily run into five figures.

  • avatar

    I always get surprised on the condition of the cars shown in junkyard pics over there. Down here, that Taurus would still be on the road.

  • avatar

    Not to mention the Mustang.  That one is as rust-free as its gets in the Rust Belt.

    My grandparents had a nice red ’65 Fairlane coupe. First car I ever drove.

  • avatar

    Is the auto recycling business in the US sufficiently set-up to transfer collectible old cars worthy of restoration to the entities who want them?
    Seems like they could run the VIN number/condition and post it on some intermediary auction service where the save vs crush decision would be more thorough and vetted by the market.

  • avatar

    PS, you should try and salvage the small block from the Fairlane.  Failing that, at least the left rear tailight (including the original screws).

  • avatar

    Oh man, that’s a 1987 Cougar XR-7 next to the Comet! With keyless entry!!!
    I wonder when it’ll be okay to geek over 80s cars.

    • 0 avatar

      When The Bangles become spokespersons for nursing homes?

    • 0 avatar

      Sanjeev, I spied the xr7 as well and thought you might need anti-depressants after seeing that.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s Ok, Sajeev. I had an 88 Mark VII LSC and I really loved that keyless entry. Say what you want about a key fob system, but the keypad is so much better. You can lock and unlock your keys in the car on purpose. 5/6 opens the trunk and a combination of 7/8 and 9/0 locks the car. I also used to know how to set a custom unlock code into the keypad (you can have up to 2, not including the main number printed on the trunk strut.
      So geek out over 80’s cars. When I was a kid, I loved the the 83-88 Cougar, especially the early ones with the quad headlights and exaggerated rear styling. The market has proven that everything becomes collectible, given enough time. I remember it being very easy about 10 years ago to find cheap GM colonnade midsizers. Now, they’re out of sight. I thought I was doing great selling my 77 Grand Prix SJ for $8,500, but now it would be worth over $20k.
      I’m doing my part to preserve the 80’s with my ’80 Seville, as are you with the Cougar. When us like minded souls start to accumulate some money as we get old, the 80’s cars will appreciate. Believe me, you really don’t want that to happen too soon.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks folks, I feel better now. That front swaybar, badges and other bits are worth big money in my book!
      I’ll go back to crying at the loss of another “Old” Cougar.

    • 0 avatar

      Sajeev, there’s also a 95-or so Vic that has met its untimely end.  It’s even in that shade of brown you’re so fond of.  :)

    • 0 avatar

      You’re telling me! I had a ’76 Chevelle that was fairly rusty, that I could barely give away to the junkyard because I yanked the powertrain and all the good parts out of it for future use. then a year ago I bought a ’77 Chevelle with a blown trans for 300 bucks. Glad I did at the time, as now a car in like condition (130,000 mile, all original) is worth about 2 grand. (4 door Classic sedan, 305/350 PS/PB, wonderfully meat-locker cold A/C, and AM radio)

    • 0 avatar

      @86er…that’s a very sad excuse for brown.  More bronze, or chocolate…otherwise the Brown Car Gods disapprove.
      @[email protected] : I rather like the Colonnade GM products, at least for the era.  They have style that will have mainstream collector appeal in the near future. What blows me away is how much 80s G-body stuff goes for compared to their Fox body competition.  Sorry, a Monte Carlo SS is absolute rubbish next to a Mark VII LSC. And it will only get “worse” in the future!

    • 0 avatar

      I think that time is just around the corner. This morning I made it to work and only saw one car on the road that was older than my ’88.

    • 0 avatar

      Sajeev, the Fox body was light years ahead of the G-body in terms of fit and finish and structure rigidity.
      A buddy of mine has had a string of G-bodies, and they’ve always felt 7/8 scale cars, with loosey-goosey chassis rigidity and funky ergonomics.
      I had a chance to buy my childhood neighbors much coveted 1967 Comet from some random guy I met at the parts store near my new place, he lives 2 miles from where it sat in a garage for 30 years. She sold it to another guy, and it was mint condition 40,000 mile California car in Texas. He left it sit for 10 years with the window down and downright ruined it. The guy that I talked to, was going to sell it to me for dirt cheap when he looked in the glove box and found all the paper work for the little old lady that bought it new. I turned him down, after seeing that he’d sold all the trim off of it, and tracking down 4 door trim would have been a nightmare. That I have no place to do that extensive of a restoration, the ’77 is enough of a challenge already in an apartment complex that frowns on old cars.

  • avatar

    It seems the only way to get project parts now is to buy complete vehicles before they pass through the scrap-yard gates. I currently have four complete running F150’s, and I will have several more before I have the right parts combination for my project truck.

  • avatar

    Please, someone rescue all the rear side windows and regulators and associated hardware from all the pillarless hardtops so the technology isn’t lost! One of these days someone will re-introduce the style to the American driving public and they need something to use as a basis to know how to properly engineer this once-ubiquitous standard style, thus making coupes useful again!

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. The hardtop style disappeared about the same time convertibles went away in the early seventies. It was yet another casualty of cost-cutting, particularly considering that hardtops weren’t as structurally rigid as the pillared body style.

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    Here’s the Cinderella ending to the Comet story-this baby is alive and well and non-crushed…okay it’s a Meteor,(Canadian cousin) but happy endings come in all forms.

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