By on June 8, 2018

1976 Plymouth Volare in California wrecking yard, front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

There’s something poignant about Murilee Martin’s Junkyard Find photos. Dejected, tired, forgotten by multiple owners, and stripped of their parts (and dignity) by self-interested scavengers, these once proud vehicles sit motionless, quietly collecting rust and dust in various scrapyards across the American West.

And yet, for some reason, I can’t get enough of them. Murilee’s sharp eye picks out peculiarities with Colombo-like precision, and there’s a distinct joy to be had as he envisions various episodes in the vehicles’ roadgoing lives. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of this junkyard goodness all in one place, you say?

Well, you’ve got your wish.

Murilee’s been hard at work itemizing every Junkyard Find post and slapping them in a nice new in-your-face gallery. Just look at this. Could life be any easier?

1994 Volvo 940 Turbo wagon in California wrecking yard, LH rear view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

If you’re bored this weekend and feel like spicing things up by reading about the coarse, 86 horsepower Iron Duke stuffed under the hood of an ’81 AMC Concord, Murilee’s your man. Maybe the ’85 Dodge Lancer Turbo — a sedan designed with the help of “computers” to take on the best of the Germans and Japanese (!) — is more your style.

Still wishing it was Memorial Day weekend? Bring up this ’89 Olds Ninety-Eight in a new browser window and make every day a patriotic affair. If you’re a Northeastern professor, look no further than the Volvo page for the perfect compliment to your elbow patches and tweed. Love astronomy, but don’t have the cash for that new telescope? Murilee’s got more Galaxies than you’ll know what to do with.

Your kids will wonder if they’ve disappointed you. You spouse will wonder, with growing suspicion, why you’re spending so much time on your phone or desktop. They just don’t understand the pull of a Junkyard Find.

Happy online scavenging.

[Images: Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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11 Comments on “Your Junkyard Find Treasure Trove Awaits...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Plymouth Volare! Mopar or no car!…okay, maybe no car in this case.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    I love it.

    But I don’t love how fast the main page flips through the pictures. I’m getting motion sickness. Can we slow it down?

    • 0 avatar
      brettucks

      I agree- funny how most are random but mitsubishi and suzuki seem to be desperately seeking attention.

      I wonder how long the rolls will be lonely-

  • avatar
    brettucks

    the audi 100 always makes me laugh. I had one for about 6 months growing up, haven’t seen another one since except in Murilees’s pictures…

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    Suprised no 1975-1977 Dodge or Plymouth B Bodies (a.k.a. Dukes of Hazzard Police Cars). Closest is a ’75 Road Runner

  • avatar
    s_a_p

    This is great! I follow Murilee and his antics all over the web. Love the junk yard series- I’ve almost been tempted to go to one because of it!

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I went to the Northeastern back in the early 00s. Don’t recall any professors driving Volvos even then.

    That aside, junkyard finds are some of my favorite articles on this website.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      They had moved onto Outbacks by that point, and Priuses shortly after that. At least that’s the path of many in the college town (Ithaca NY) that I grew up in.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Yeah, the Volvo/professor thing was in full swing in the 1980s when I went to college, and a lot of those cockroach 240s made it through most of the 1990s still going strong, at least out here on the west coast.

        I concur with the replacement vehicles mentioned above – that jives with my observations.

  • avatar
    DownUnder2014

    Junkyard Finds is probably the best series on this website for me. It’s also why I regularly visit, along with Down On The Street and Curbside Classics (back when it was on here a few years back).

  • avatar
    ryanwm80

    I rarely comment about the junk yard finds but I enjoy nearly every one of these. There’s a strange feeling looking at a car that used to be stunning and beautiful. Who were the people that owned theses cars? Where were the cars driven, and what purpose did they serve? What nifty features did the car have that didn’t catch on?

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