Junkyard Find: 1997 Saturn SC2, With Rare Badass Flame Job Option

junkyard find 1997 saturn sc2 with rare badass flame job option

Even though the Saturn S-Series has been one of the most common vehicle types in American self-service wrecking yards for at least the past decade, I’ve always walked right past the SCs and SLs when I’m looking for vehicles to photograph for this series. The rise and fall of the Saturn marque is a fascinating story, and the S-Series spent much of the 1990s being driven by fanatically devoted owners who appreciated the distinctly un-GM-like experience of buying their cars. The SC2 has been one of the quicker and more reliable cars in 24 Hours of LeMons racing as well, but even that wasn’t enough to make me raise my camera when I passed a whole row of the things at U-Wrench-It. It took this red ’97, with its metalflake flame job peeking through the snow at a Denver yard this winter, to give us a Saturn Junkyard Find.

Someone loved this car, but then it got wrecked hard enough to render it not worth fixing.

Perhaps King Credit has an in-house staff of flame painters, who apply flames to any vaguely sporty car that shows up in their inventory.

The flames are executed very nicely, with clean edges, gold pinstriping, and generous application of metalflake.

I didn’t feel like freezing my fingers to lift the hood and verify that the twin-cam engine was there, but I’m assuming that nobody would bother to paint such beautiful flames on a lowly SC1.

Though I’d also say the same thing about an automatic car, and so perhaps I’m wrong and this car is a single-cam SC1. It has been crushed by now, so we’ll never know.

About 10,000 miles per year during the course of its life, so this car’s owners got their money’s worth before the big crash.

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  • Modemjunki Modemjunki on Jun 05, 2014

    Ha, late last year I picked up an automatic '98 SW1 with under 27k (not a typo - under 27,000) original miles. Little old lady, garage kept, never driven in bad weather, you all know the story. The little wagon still had it's original tires, belt, battery - I think even the wiper blades were original. Replaced all the stuff above, new motor mount, changed the fluids, plugs, wires - and it runs like a new example of the genre. With luck and some care it will last my son for many years and he'll be tired of driving it long before its service life is over. It's a tiny, noisy economy car with cheap seats, excellent visibility, and a surprisingly responsive chassis. Too bad it's a slushbox.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jun 05, 2014

      I recently acquired an SL2 sedan myself with 30, also with original everything. Consider changing the trans fluid prior to 50, mine looks/smells pretty good but I often remind myself its over 12 years old.

  • JonBoy470 JonBoy470 on Feb 17, 2016

    Yeah I had a 95 Saturn SL1 when I was in college. Bought certified pre-owned from a Saturn dealer. One of the less reliable cars I've owned. Never left me stranded but constantly had puddly stuff crapping out on it. Still, the dent/rust proof body was the bomb up in the snow-belt, and I got 32 mpg in it, with an automatic and driving it like I stole it.

  • 01 Deville https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/new/nl-New-Toyota-Sienna-Madison-d308_L39766
  • Lou_BC This would be a good colour for anyone that would actually use their truck offroad, on gravel roads, in the winter or poor visibility situations.
  • EBFlex “getting a full charge in just about three hours or so. Not that it would’ve mattered if I couldn’t charge – I’d just run on gas.”And this folks is why PHEVs are the future and pure EVs will remain vanity products for the rich.
  • Pmirp1 Simple. Electrics are not yet prime time. In time, they may become the norm. For now, they are still the new kid on the block. A curosity. A status symbol. They are not the work horse of American life. Everyone knows that. You buy it because it is fast. It makes you feel like, you know, Prius like 10-15 years ago.Electrics have improved. Tesla is without a doubt the standard bearer. Still, long way to go before they can be your ONE vehicle. So companies charge more because these things are coooool. Not real.
  • Rich Benkwitt I’ll take that red and white 2 door and I guess the 4 banger so I can have the manual tranny just like my 1969 Bronco. I have my Wildtrak on order now waiting impatiently!