The Right Spec: 2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Thanks to Nissan’s glacier-like design cycles, we don’t have to look very far back in the history books to find a so-called ‘real’ Pathfinder. Before it morphed into a three-row crossover that blended into the scenery, it was a body-on-frame rig with a proven engine and square-shouldered stance that didn’t apparently play well in the company’s corporate slide deck.

Except it probably should have. After all, Toyota is currently making bank with such a machine in the gotta-have-it 4Runner.

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Subaru GL-10 Turbo 4WD Wagon

By the second half of the 1980s, Subaru had moved beyond being known only for tiny, hilarious econoboxes. While American Subaru shoppers could still get front-wheel-drive cheapmobiles at that time, the same showrooms also offered futuristic-looking s ports cars and four-wheel-drive family wagons loaded with luxury features. Today’s Junkyard Find is the swankiest Subaru wagon money could buy in 1987 North America: a GL-10 4WD Turbo, found in a Denver car graveyard last summer.

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Dodge Colt DL 4WD Wagon
Chrysler sold various Mitsubishis badged as Dodge or Plymouth Colts from the 1971 model year all the way through 1994.Here’s a Mirage-based fifth-generation Colt in California, the final model year for the Colt station wagon, and it sports both a five-speed manual transmission and the very rare all-wheel-drive powertrain.
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Junkyard Find: 1987 Dodge Raider, Sawzall Roadster Edition
Even after the Mitsubishi Overlords began selling vehicles under their own badging in North America in the early 1980s, Chrysler continued selling those very same vehicles with Dodge, Plymouth, Eagle, and Chrysler emblems. One of these machines didn’t stay on sale for long, but captured the hearts of a devoted American following: the Dodge Raider, twin to the Mitsubishi Montero (aka Pajero).Here’s one that acquired some mean-looking modifications before meeting its demise in Colorado Springs.
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Gaining Traction: Americans Shun Two-wheel Drive In Record Numbers

Once upon a time, it was expected to find the driven wheels of a car aft of the rear seat. In this writer’s recollection, the coming of winter would see the addition of a few bags of concrete mix or sidewalk salt added to the trunk for extra traction. Most pickups, usually of the wholesome regular cab variety, boasted the same setup.

Eventually, front-wheel drive replaced RWD as the go-to way to put power down, while in the background four-wheel drive gathered steam.

Would it surprise you to learn that the majority of 2020 model-year vehicles sold in the U.S. thus far eschewed front- or rear-drive?

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Junkyard Find: 2002 BMW X5 4.4i
Now that I’ve been doing these Junkyard Finds for 13 years and having just written my annual 10 Best Junkyard Cars post, I’m taking a look back to see what historically significant vehicles I’ve neglected as I pursue weird examples of badge engineering and trivia– question AWD versions. I’ve been working on filling in the blanks with junked BMW 3 and 5 Series cars lately, along with 21st– century econoboxes, and now I will be trying to shoot more German luxury SUVs.We’ll start off with this clean-looking ’02 X5, which I found in a yard just south of Denver.
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Rare Rides: The Very Special 1998 Ford Expedition SeaScape

There’s nothing especially unique about a first-generation Ford Expedition, given that the company sold hundreds of thousands of them in the late Nineties. But things get a bit more exciting when the Expedition in question was a custom build for SEMA.

So today let’s remember the boat times, with this 1998 SeaScape.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Compact Japanese SUVs From 1991

Last time on Buy/Drive/Burn, we considered three-door Japanese SUVs from 1989. In this edition, we move forward a couple years in history and down a size class. Up for grabs are compact SUVs with removable roofs, all of them Japanese.

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Junkyard Find: 1994 Mazda Navajo LX
Mazda and Ford go way back when it comes to the badge-engineering game, what with all those Mazda-built Ford Couriers, Mazda-based Ford Escorts, Mazda-badged Ford Rangers, and so on. Since I love weird examples of badge engineering in the junkyard, I’m always on the lookout for the likes of a Saab-badged Chevy or Acura-badged Isuzu, and so I have been keeping my eyes open for a rare Mazda-ized Ford Explorer for quite a while. Most of them got crushed long ago, as the early Explorer has very little value today (due to its laughably small size and lack of luxury features, by 21st-century American-market suburban commuter-truck standards), but this ’94 just showed up in a Denver self-service yard.
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Junkyard Find: 1988 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon With 413,344 Miles
The Toyota Tercel 4WD Station Wagon, known in its homeland as the Sprinter Carib, sold very well in Colorado, where I live, and tended to be both reliable and well-loved by owners. I still see them in wrecking yards here, so many that I don’t photograph any but the most interesting. This one in a Denver yard had an impressive-even-by-Toyota-standards odometer reading, so it made the cut for a Junkyard Find.
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Rare Rides: Justy a Little Subaru, From 1990

Just two Subaru models have graced these Rare Rides pages in times past. The first was a very beige Desert Fox edition of the midsize GL wagon, and the second was a clean example of the very first car Subaru ever offered in the United States: the tiny 360.

Today we combine the characteristics of both of these prior Rare Rides and take a look at an Eighties hatchback, one which represented the smallest North American offering of the time. It’ll Justy take a moment (ugh).

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Junkyard Find: 1999 Acura SLX
Even though we’ve just had two Japanese Junkyard Finds in a row, I’ve been searching for a discarded Acura SLX for so long that I had to share this ’99 in Denver immediately.
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Rare Rides: A 1983 Audi Ur-Quattro - the Start of It All

The Rare Ride seen here represented an important turning point in the history of all things automotive. A single vehicle which changed rallying and simultaneously made four-wheel drive a more realistic prospect for passenger cars.

Presenting the Audi Quattro.

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Subaru GL 4WD Wagon

Living in Colorado (as I do) and spending a lot of time in junkyards ( as I do), I see discarded Subarus. Lots of discarded Subarus, in fact, so many that I only notice the more interesting ones — say, an XT Turbo or a really ancient wagon out of a novelty song.

Today’s Junkyard Find isn’t particularly noteworthy by those standards, but it seems to embody so many Denver Subaru stereotypes that I decided to photograph it. High mileage, high final owner, and high levels of oxidation, all here at a mile-high junkyard.

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Rare Rides: The First-ever Crossover - a 1987 AMC Eagle Wagon

The Rare Rides series has dabbled in AMC previously, cataloging some of the fun ideas generated by the good people of Kenosha, Wisconsin. We’ve featured the luxury targa Concord Sundancer, the unrealized Van, a baroque Matador Barcelona, and the Renault-by-AMC Alliance GTA. But none of those represents the AMC brand quite as well as today’s Rare Ride. It’s a pre-CUV crossover. A luxurious Subaru Outback, before there was such a thing.

It’s of course an Eagle 4×4 wagon, looking Limited in black over tan.

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  • Oberkanone Does $63,350 include $1,500 mandatory optional Onstar?
  • Kendahl $1,500 is a good reason to turn OnStar into OffStar. I guess that means writing off Buick, Cadillac and GMC. The more garbage manufacturers stuff into otherwise very good vehicles, the less likely I am to trade in my 15-year-old Infiniti G37S. It's mechanically sound at 70k miles.
  • Kcflyer Great looking rigs. Too bad there in such short supply.
  • Jkross22 I'm such a sucker for retro. I don't like SUVs or trucks, but F did a good job picking colors and the cloth interior is brilliant. The old logo and as JMII said, the badging is key for this working the way it does. Damn, marketing had some good ideas. Very surprising.
  • JMII I'm not the off roader type but these look good, especially the old school script badging.