When I’m searching car graveyards for interesting examples of automotive history, discarded rear-wheel-drive Volvos from the Swedish Brick era (roughly 1967 through 1998) have been easy enough to find over the last decade. Yes, 140s, 200s, 700s, 900s— I’ve been able to document each type. Even the pre-brick Amazon isn’t so hard to find in the big American U– Wrench– It yards. But the Amazon’s ancestor, the PV444/544, that’s a rare Junkyard Find, even though Americans could buy the PV544 through 1966.
During my recent trip to Sweden, I took in a Folkrace, saw many old American cars on the street, visited a farm full of restored classic Chryslers, and, of course, went to the junkyard. We’ve seen this 1966 Toyota Crown station wagon and this 1963 Ford Taunus 17M at Bloms Bilskrot in Söråker, and now here’s a very rusty example of a car that was popular in Europe but never made much of an impression in North America: the Simca 1000.
Some of our sharper-eyed readers noticed that the car parked next to yesterday’s Junkyard Find ( this 1965 Mercury Park Lane Breezeway) was also a mid-60s-vintage Mercury. It’s the upscale version of the Ford Falcon, the car that the Edsel Jihad still hates as a symbol of Robert MacNamara‘s misplaced— and probably Communist-inspired— priorities. Yes, Ford CEO MacNamara killed the Edsel in favor of the Falcon, right before he masterminded the not-real-successful war effort in Vietnam; the Edsel Jihad can forgive the latter but never the former.
I just spent two days in California (returning to find my Civic completely buried by the Denver snowstorm I thought I’d dodged), visiting family and 24 Hours of LeMons co-conspirators. Time was short, but there’s always time to visit the junkyard! Colorado junkyards are good for finding long-forgotten four-wheel-drive cars, but you can’t beat the San Francisco Bay Area for doomed classic Detroit iron.
The last junked New Yorker we saw left something of a bad taste in my mouth, what with its not-very-luxurious Late Malaise Era overtones and general air of diminished expectations. Let’s all admire a real New Yorker, a car that looks classy even when propped on crude jackstands and awaiting consumption by The Crusher.
My grandfather was a big rally- and ice-racing fanatic during the 1950s and 1960s, running everything from a Renault Dauphine to a Corvair in every Minnesota race he could find. Eventually, he picked up a Corvette, which he loved almost as much as his Saab 93, and the trophies started to pile up. On my trip to the Midwest last month, I managed to talk him into letting me have this one for my office.
Many years ago, I bought a yard-sale box of old 35mm slides in order to score the reusable glass slide-mounts. A few of the original images were interesting, so I hung onto them. With all the scanning of old slides and negatives I’ve been doing for the ’65 Impala Hell Project series, I’ve also been searching for interesting automotive images among the rest of my collection. This photograph from 1964 Pasadena (as in “The Little Old Lady From”, which was a hit song in ’64) contains quite a few interesting vehicles. I’m going to follow up my 1973 San Francisco Car ID Challenge with the 1964 Pasadena Car ID Challenge: what vehicles do you see in this photograph?
The Denver self-service wrecking yard a few miles from my house had a section packed with a few dozen examples of vintage Detroit iron, plus a few MGs. I say had because they just crushed everything. Fortunately, they did so to make room for a new crop of American machinery from the 1950s and 1960s, including this Mopar wagon.