QOTD: Mining That Junkyard Gold?
Every week, Murilee regales us with a selection of something notable from his junkyard travels. Whether it’s an Audi 100 with infernal inboard brakes or some oddball Camry, the man never fails to disappoint.
Surely, he’s not the only one to prowl the yards across America. What’s your best score taken from a machine in The Crusher’s waiting room?
For this author, pick-yer-part yards were non-existent in the communities of my formative years, except for the town dump where one could scavenge parts for free from battered and discarded automobiles. You were often competing with black bears looking for their supper, though, so caution was warranted. Murilee has no such concerns at his local U-Pik save for the sketchier customers eyeing his junkyard toolbox or crazed LeMons [s]inmates[/s] competitors making a beeline for cheap GM superchargers.
Nowadays, the only outlet of the self-serve variety is a solid 75 minutes from my home — a distance which, combined with our foul winters, makes frequent visits a difficult undertaking. This is why I plan ahead when I’m bound for sunnier climes and reserve an afternoon for parts hunting at my destination. The rest of the family enjoys the beach; I enjoy rows of broken cars. I should probably seek help for that, eh?
Last year, I stumbled on a master class in depreciation — a VW Phaeton that had washed up in a Florida yard. It wasn’t a W12, but its speedometer was still good for supercar speed. Thanks to a flat price structure, I was able to walk out of the establishment with a 200 mph unit for the same price as one out of a base Corolla.
What’s your biggest score? It could be something you bought and resold for a relative fortune or simply a part you’ve been seeking for ages. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to plan my next trip.
[Image: ©2017 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]
Salguod on Feb 03, 2018
Back in high school and college I spent many hours in the local junkyards around Toledo (Spuds was a favorite) looking for parts for my 1976 Camaro and then my 1980 Monza. I think I walked every yard looking for a passenger fender for that Camaro and never found a good one. One day I ran across the remains of one of 2 1975 Hurst Olds sold in Toledo (I had almost bought the other) and later, shopping for Monza parts, I found my old Camaro in one of Spuds' yards. Many years later, when my daughter wrecked her Protege, she said I spent a hot Saturday morning pulling the entire front end off of one here in Columbus. It was a half off weekend so we got everything (headlights, hood, fender, bumper, bumper beam, radiator, ac condenser and core support) for, I think, under $150.
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