Real-World Review: Fleeing Hurricane Sandy Across 8 States In a Rented 2012 Kia Sorento

So the Halloween Hooptiefest 24 Hours of LeMons at New Hampshire Motors Speedway went well, with the Rust In The Wind Saab-powered Nissan 300ZX taking a very improbable overall win, and we of the LeMons HQ crew were packing up the gear on Sunday afternoon and getting ready to head home… when we heard that all of our flights out of Logan— in fact, all flights out of the northeastern United States— were canceled due to ZOMG THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMING PANIC YALL!!!1! The plan had been to drive our rental Kia Sorento 70 miles or so to an airport hotel, spend the night there, and grab our flights early Monday morning. We got to the hotel in Burlington, Massachusetts, where we convened an emergency meeting of the very exhausted LeMons brain trust.

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Dodge Ramcharger Royal SE

In the final year of the Malaise Era, truck shoppers could still get a Chrysler SUV that wasn’t trying to be a tall New Yorker. Because the echoes of the vans-and- Quaaludes ethos of the 1970s were still quite loud in 1983, this Ramcharger came equipped with groovy earth-tone stripes.

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Junkyard Find: 1975 Jeep J10 Pickup

This being Colorado, I see many old Jeeps in my local self-service wrecking yards. Just about all of them are Cherokees and Wagoneers, so this four-wheel-drive pickup caught my attention earlier this week.

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Junkyard Find: 1971 Toyota Land Cruiser

While the regular junkyard visitor might run across the occasional FJ60 Land Cruiser in a cheap self-service yard, especially here in 4WD-centric Colorado, there are some Toyota trucks you just don’t see in such junkyards. One is the 4Runner (I’ve found exactly one so far) and another is the FJ40 Land Cruiser. But wait— look what I just found!

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Junkyard Find: 1993 Subaru SVX

The Subaru SVX, as I explained in the text of the previous SVX Junkyard Find, is one of those cars with a real-world price tag far, far lower than Internet Car Experts would have you believe. So low, in fact, that it is not at all difficult to find Subaru’s amazing last-gasp-of-80s-silliness car in wrecking yards. Here’s a ’96 I found in Denver a few weeks back.

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Toyota 4Runner Gran Ville

While 1980s Toyota Land Cruisers show up in self-service wrecking yards every once in a while, you’re more likely to find a Studebaker Avanti than a Toyota 4Runner in such a yard. In fact, in all my years of visiting high-turnover, uniform-priced self-service yards, I can’t recall ever having seen a 4Runner. Well, there’s a first for everything!

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru XT6

As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado junkyards are full of Subarus of the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Mostly I’m sort of indifferent to Subarus of this era, with two important exceptions: the BRAT and the XT. Both are fairly rare (the last time I saw a junked XT was last year, when I found this Juggalo-abused ’91), so I came to a screeching halt when I found this XT6.

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Junkyard Find, Denver Style: So Many Old Subarus!

Every time I do a Junkyard Find with a Subaru (for example, the ’79 BRAT we saw yesterday), I mention the large numbers of other old Subarus to be found in the same yard. How many? Well, at the Denver U-Pull-&-Pay (where I found the BRAT), I decided to walk through the entire Imports section and get a photograph of every Subaru from the early 1990s or earlier.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Subaru BRAT

I find many old Subarus in Colorado wrecking yards. So many, in fact, that I don’t bother to photograph most of them. Usually, it takes an XT or a third-eye-equipped Leone to get my attention. However, a BRAT, no matter how trashed, is a very rare Junkyard Find, and I reach for the camera right away.

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Toyota Land Cruiser

The Land Cruiser is one of those vehicles that washes up in self-service junkyards only after its body and interior become so thrashed that even bottom-feeder truck shoppers can’t stand the idea of being seen in the thing. Contrast this with the legions of great-looking 1980s Jaguars you’ll find in the very same yards.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Jeep Cherokee

I spent a lot of time crawling around this ’69 Dodge A108 van during the last couple of weeks, picking up much-needed parts for my ’66 Dodge A100 Hell Project, and so I became quite familiar with the A108’s junkyard neighbor: this ’79 Jeep Cherokee.

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

Here’s a car that you still see frequently in Colorado, both on the street and in the junkyard. You see Tercel 4WD wagons on the street here because they’re cheap, sensible winter cars and they tend to keep grinding out the hundreds of thousands of miles in their Tercelian slow-motion fashion… and you see them in the junkyard because they’re not worth enough to fix when something major finally fails.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle

Ah, the Malaise Era. By the late 1970s, AMC was on the ropes. The Jeep Cherokee still sold well, however, and the brains in Kenosha decided they’d go for the Acapulco Gold-smoking generation and throw a few square yards of decals on the truck. Golden Eagle!

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Subaru GL Wagon

You didn’t start seeing Subarus in large numbers in North America until the third-gen Leone showed up. Even so, most of these quarter-century-old veterans are gone now, even in regions they once dominated (e.g. New England, Colorado). I found this more-80s-than- Wang Chung example in a Denver self-service yard a few weeks back, and I had no choice but to document this soon-to-be-rare piece of Subaru history.

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Junkyard Find: 1973 International Harvester Scout II

Scouts are still pretty commonplace in Colorado, for reasons too obvious to get into here, and that means that some of them are going to wear out and take that final tow-truck ride. This one is a bit rusty, but should have been good for a few more years of farm-equipment-style abuse.

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  • Calrson Fan Jeff - Agree with what you said. I think currently an EV pick-up could work in a commercial/fleet application. As someone on this site stated, w/current tech. battery vehicles just do not scale well. EBFlex - No one wanted to hate the Cyber Truck more than me but I can't ignore all the new technology and innovative thinking that went into it. There is a lot I like about it. GM, Ford & Ram should incorporate some it's design cues into their ICE trucks.
  • Michael S6 Very confusing if the move is permanent or temporary.
  • Jrhurren Worked in Detroit 18 years, live 20 minutes away. Ren Cen is a gem, but a very terrible design inside. I’m surprised GM stuck it out as long as they did there.
  • Carson D I thought that this was going to be a comparison of BFGoodrich's different truck tires.
  • Tassos Jong-iL North Korea is saving pokemon cards and amibos to buy GM in 10 years, we hope.