Junkyard Find: 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Limited Roadster
Junkyard Find: 2005 Pontiac Vibe, Gambler 500 Edition
Several hooptie-centric road rallies take place every warm season in Front Range Colorado, including the 24 Hours of Lemons Rally, the Rocky Mountain Rambler 500 Rally, and the Colorado Gambler 500 Rally. Teams will build crazy stuff— say, a Lincoln Continental Mark IV filled with three tons of engine-heated water or a gutted Volkswagen R32 converted to a doorless post-apocalyptic Astroturf nightmare— or just acquire some random cheap car, decorate it, and beat it half to death on Rocky Mountain fire roads. As you’d expect, many of these cars go right to the nearest boneyard when the rally is over, and I find quite a few of them during my junkyard travels in northeastern Colorado. Here’s the “Good Vibes” Pontiac Vibe, found in Denver over the summer.
Junkyard Find: 2005 Saab 9-7X Linear
The General had a healthy sales hit with the GMT360 platform in the 2002 model year, when the new Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada hit the showrooms. Since GM had devoured Saab in 2000 and most American car shoppers wanted trucks or truck-shaped machines by that point, it seemed to make sense to produce a Saab-badged GMT360 and extract some cash from that slice of the car-buying populace that craved both the rugged-lifestyle signifiers of a truck and the quirky-yet-sensible Swedish image of a Saab. The Isuzu-badged version— the Ascender— had had its debut for 2004, and so the Saab 9-7X appeared for 2005 (sadly, no Daewoo- or Vauxhall-badged versions were produced). Here’s a first-model-year 9-7X, found in a Denver self-service yard last week.
2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, Last Gasp of the J Platform Edition
Junkyard Find: 2005 Volvo S60 With Five-speed Manual Transmission
Junkyard Find: 2005 Saab 9-2X Linear
Junkyard Find: 2005 Suzuki Reno SWT
Would you consider a special-edition version of the Daewoo Nubira’s successor to be worthy of inclusion in this series, even as I walk by 99 out of 100 junked BMW E30s? Hey, if I’m willing to photograph every Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally and Geo Storm GSi that I find in the junkyard, then of course a genuine, numbers-matching Suzuki Reno SWT makes the cut!
Junkyard Find: 2005 Scion TC, Not So Fast Yet Somewhat Furious Edition
Junkyard Find: 2005 Mercury Monterey
Junkyard Find: 2005 Audi S4
Junkyard Find: 2005 Scion XB, Devil Vampiress Edition
Toyotas mostly don’t show up in the big self-service wrecking yards until about age 15, so discarded Scion xB s are just beginning to appear in U-Wrench-It inventories. Here’s a Scion Toaster covered with totally brutal airbrush murals, spotted in a Denver-area yard a few months back.
Junkyard Find: 2005 Dodge Sprinter Cargo Van
The European-style vans sold by Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, and Dodge have been with us here in North America since 2001, and have held their value very well since that time. Depreciation of even the most useful vehicle is relentless, however, and it was inevitable that used-up Sprinters would begin showing up in big self-service wrecking yards at some point.
That day has arrived; I spotted the first of the discarded Sprinters in my junkyarding experience, this one in a Phoenix yard over the summer.
Digestible Collectible: 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Limited
Two out of four ain’t bad, I guess.
The perfect vehicle, as proclaimed by auto journalists and web commenters alike, is a brown diesel manual wagon. Here, however, the rally-legend Subaru turbo flat-four is a better choice for a hot daddymobile than a nasty oilburner. The low-key blue paint won’t turn heads at the PTA, but will be near invisible to over-zealous traffic enforcement.
The Subaru Legacy 2.5GT wagon, in other words, is an Impreza WRX STI for grownups.