Junkyard Find: 1968 Ford LTD Sedan
Full-sized Detroit sedans from the 1960s, cool as they are, don’t get much interest from those willing and able to take on project cars. With so many millions of these big boxy four-doors made — they were the default mode of transportation for most Americans back then, remember — plenty still sit in barns and fields and driveways a half-century later, and they continue to show up in self-service wrecking yards.Here’s my latest find: a fairly solid 1968 Ford LTD sedan, in a Denver yard.
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Junkyard Find: 1968 Chevrolet Nova Sedan

There was a time, from the late 1960s through the late 1980s, when the third-generation Chevrolet Nova was among the most plentiful Chevrolets found on North American roads. These cars were cheap, sturdy, and fuel efficient for their time, but discarded ones are so rare now that this is the first one I have seen in a self-service wrecking yard since this ’73 hatchback in 2011.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Volvo 140 Sedan

How is it that there are still sufficient Volvo 140 s left, more than 40 years after production of the original Swedish brick ceased, that you’ll still find plenty of them in American wrecking yards? Not in the quantities you’ll find of their 240 descendants, of course, but anybody driving a 140 today should have no problem getting parts.

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Crapwagon Poll: 1967 Ford Mustang Vs. 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Mark’s look today at a couple of late Sixties’ performance icons has inspired me. Yes, my automotive ADD kicked in and off I went to eBay in search of affordable Cutlass and Mustang projects.

And, really, I’m still searching. The majority of what I’ve found are either total basketcases, poorly-done “customs,” or pristine show cars with prices to match. I’d love to find a car that has needs, but could be driven away and worked on over time.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Coupe

Fully three-quarters of you who took our “Ralph Nader, Angel or Demon” poll voted to give ol’ Ralph a halo instead of a pitchfork, so we don’t need to explain how his book wasn’t really the cause of the Corvair‘s plummeting sales after the initial burst of enthusiasm following the car’s release. No, most likely it was that more traditional Chevy II that did that, but the case can be made that The General kept on building Corvairs all the way into 1969 as a way of proving that Ralph Nader can’t push around (what was then) the Most Powerful Corporation In the World. In 1968, only about 15,000 Corvairs were sold, which makes this rusty Denver example fairly uncommon.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Saab 95 Station Wagon

The Saab 96 (and its station-wagon sibling, the 95) is one of those iconic cars that just about everybody claims to love, but few are willing to rescue. Most of the 96s in the country passed through the junkyard gates and into the recycled-metal continuum a couple of decades back, with only the nicest examples deemed worthy of saving, but a few have hung on in side yards and cornfields long enough to show up in wrecking yards now. We saw this ’68 sedan in California last year, and now there’s this ’68 wagon in Denver.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Saab 96

I see plenty of Saab 900s in self-service wrecking yards these days, but Saabs older than that have all but disappeared from the U-Wrench-It ecosystem. I did see a truly ancient Saab 92 at a yard over the summer, but that was in the heart of Saab’s homeland. So, it came as a big surprise to spot this Saab 96 three weeks ago in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Kaiser Jeep DJ-5A, With Factory Chevy Power

After I found the very rare Audi-engined ’79 AM General DJ-5G “Mail Jeep” in a Denver junkyard, I thought I’d go back to ignoring most junked DJ Jeeps. They’re very common in Colorado, and this series has always been more about historically significant vehicles than just plain old ones. However, DJs built before AMC bought Kaiser-Jeep, and featuring the nearly-forgotten Chevrolet Nova four-cylinder engine, deserve some attention.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Toyota Corona Sedan

Since my first car was a Corona and I’ve had quite a bumper crop of Corona Junkyard Finds this year (including this ’79 LE sedan, this ’70 sedan, and this ’70 coupe, the last of the 2012 Junkyard Find Series might as well be this ’68 sedan.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Dodge D-100 Adventurer Pickup

I’ve been finding quite a few vintage D-Series Dodge pickups in Denver-area self-service junkyards lately, which reminds me that I’ve spent too long ignoring Detroit pickups of the 1960s and 1970s in this series. I see them, but (unless an old truck has a GMC V6 and a bunch of ancient Deadhead stickers) I usually don’t photograph them. So, the Dodges: I shared this ’74 D-200 Club Cab and this ’73 D-100 Adventurer last week, and now we’ve got a ’68 Adventurer that shares quite a few components with my ’66 A-100 van.

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Junkyard Find: 1968 Volvo 142

After seeing this 1969 Volvo 145 wagon a couple of weeks back, I figured I wouldn’t be seeing any more 140s for quite a while. Not so!

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Capsule Review: 1968 Fiat 500 (595) Esse-Esse Abarth

I haven’t been to Italy, in 21 years. My cousins and I are having dinner together for the first time in 21 years. If I didn’t already know it, I’d have learned it now: males with Italian blood are obsessed with cars. My cousin Nicola even works for FIAT, in the seaside town of Termoli.

“Are there Fiats at Chrysler stores in Canada now?” he asks.

“Just the 500,” I inform.

“That’s not the real 500,” says Angelo, his younger brother. Two hours later, we’re in my Nonna’s garage. He pulls the tarp off a stunning, perfectly restored 1968 Fiat 595 SS Abarth. “Quest’è la vera Cinquecento!” he informs me.

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Down On The Mile High Street: 1968 Volkswagen Beetle

Given the way that Beetles have had all their parts swapped over the decades, I’m always reluctant to try to nail down an exact model year of a street-parked example, particularly when it’s a primered-out survivor owned by a guy who spends a lot of time at junkyards. If we are to go by the taillights and hood latch, this car should be a ’68… or it might be a ’64 with a fender swap… or a ’74 pan with a ’68 body. Anyway, the important thing is that it’s an old air-cooled Volkswagen survivor that gets used as a tow vehicle.

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And the Real Winner Is…

We were all quite impressed by the way the Cardorks/Invisible Pink Unicorn BMW clawed the win from the grasp of the Pro-Crass-Duh-Nation Alfa Romeo, but the serious battle at the Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons took place among the contenders for the race’s true top prize: the Index of Effluency.

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Junkyard Find: This One Really Hurts

Before GM delivered a one-two-three punch to Cadillac’s image with the Seville, V8-6-4 engine, and Cimarron, the first of the front-wheel-drive Eldorados attained some sort of zenith for strip-club-owner-grade, ridiculous-yet-awesome Detroit Iron. Here’s a ’68 Eldo that will never drive the Las Vegas Strip again.

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  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.