Toy Custom Vans, Crushed: Always Save Everything, Forever!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

In addition to unearthing the 1993 photograph of a beater Torino wagon hauling junk while scanning old 35mm negatives for the Impala Hell Project, I ran across this shot of junkyard-find toy vans on a spice rack in my slacker abode of 1993.

At the time, I was doing a lot of junkyard runs to get parts for backyard repairs I’d do for quick cash, and I always grabbed any toy cars I found in junked cars during these trips. These vans are long gone, purged during one of the 18 moves I did during the decade of the 1990s and no doubt decomposing in a landfill somewhere right now… and what I’d give to have them back!



Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Lilpoindexter Lilpoindexter on Aug 24, 2011

    I found a Fast And Furious style car of indeterminate make the last time I cared to take a little toy car home from the Junkyard. I'm always amazed at the crap people leave in their cars...Old pay stubs, love letters, photos, job applications with addresses social security numbers, etc.

    • Fincar1 Fincar1 on Aug 25, 2011

      Yeah, me too. I saw one car with the trunk full of paper with airplane diagrams and stuff on it, along with markings something like "BOEING CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION - NOT TO BE RELEASED". I once traded my 55 Merc Montclair 2-door hardtop for a 1957 Fury with factory 3-speed. Got it home and found his wife's purse in the glove compartment.

  • JK43123 JK43123 on Aug 25, 2011

    When I was little, my Dad bought a 1965 Dodge Monaco (I think!) and the dealer gave me a couple of plastic models I used to play with in the sandbox. Once I came out and they were smashed, local bullies I think. I sometimes with I still had them. John

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