Junkyard Find: 1986 Dodge Ram 50 with 313,560 miles

As I search for interesting pieces of automotive history in the car graveyards of the land, I look for odometers showing impressively high final readings. My definition of "impressive" varies by manufacturer, so Honda and Toyota products now need at least 400,000 miles to meet that threshold.

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Junkyard Find: 1995 Subaru Legacy L Wagon with 366,223 miles

When it comes to junkyard cars with impressively high final odometer numbers, Toyotas, Hondas, Volvos and Mercedes-Benzes seem to be the most likely to have driven better than 400,000 miles during their lives. How about Subaru? Well, today's Junkyard Find is the highest-mile discarded Fuji Heavy Industries product I've ever found.

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Volvo 740 GLE with 403,348 miles

Volvo sold brick-shaped rear-wheel-drive station wagons in North America beginning in 1968 with the 145 and continuing through the final V90s three decades later. The 700 Series wagons showed up just about in the middle of that era, but tend to be overshadowed by their 245 predecessors today. Today we'll honor the 740 longroof by admiring one that drove past the 400k-mile mark during its career.

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Junkyard Find: 1993 Nissan Sentra with 320,165 miles

When I'm sniffing around in car graveyards and I find a discarded Toyota or Honda with between 300,000 and 400,000 miles, I won't photograph it unless there's something interesting about it beyond just the odometer reading. With Nissan machinery, however, the bar is lower; today's Junkyard Find should make both Yokohama and Smyrna proud.

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Volvo DL Sedan With 327k Miles

I've been writing about junkyardified cars here at TTAC since November of 2010, when I documented a pair of Fiat 128s in a Denver boneyard. Since then, we've seen plenty of discarded Volvos here, but no Volvo 200 Series four-door sedans!

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Junkyard Find: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300 D With 417k Miles

If you owned a car that had traveled more than 400,000 miles during its life, could you bear to send it into the cold steel jaws of The Crusher? In the course of my junkyard adventures, I've found quite a few vehicles that met such a fate. Here's a very solid Mercedes-Benz W123 oil-burner that now languishes in a self-service boneyard in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Junkyard Find: 1994 Toyota Previa LE With 376,407 Miles

Ever since the 1998 model year, Toyota has sold a big, American-style minivan with the engine in the front and cupholders throughout the interior. Prior to that, though, American Toyota shoppers looking for a new van had to take an innovative mid-engined machine designed entirely with the Japanese home market in mind: First the TownAce (known as the Van here) and then the Estima (known as the Previa here). The Previa was too small and too underpowered to compete head-to-head with Detroit minivans, but those who bought them found that they lasted for decade after decade. Here’s one in a Denver-area yard that got pretty close to the magical 400,000-mile mark.

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbodiesel With 411,448 Miles

I like to search for junkyard vehicles with exceptionally high final odometer readings, a task made more difficult by the fact that just about every manufacturer besides Volvo and Mercedes-Benz used five-digit odometers well into the 1980s. Even in the middle 1980s, most cars weren’t really expected to hit the 100,000-mile mark … unless they were Mercedes-Benzes with diesel engines, in which case their owners expected them to make it to 300,000 miles. Here’s an oil-fueled W123 in Colorado that exceeded even that expectation.

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QOTD: High Mileage?

238,900 miles. That’s the distance between here and the lunar satellite that controls our tides and has an American flag stuck in its side. It’s also a number that’s rapidly spinning up on the odometer of your author’s paid-off 2012 Dodge Charger.

Today’s QOTD is simple: what’s the highest mileage you’ve ever accumulated on a vehicle?

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Junkyard Find: 1990 Volvo 240 DL Wagon With 393,888 Miles

Because Volvo made the 200 Series cars well into the 1990s, they were pretty reliable, and 240 owners tend to stick with their cars for decades. I still see plenty of Swedish bricks in the self-service car graveyards I frequent.

In fact, I walk by a dozen or two discarded 240s for each one I shoot, but I appreciate good manual-transmission wagons and high-mile veteran vehicles and this ’90 checks both boxes.

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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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Junkyard Find: A 1993 Honda Civic DX Sedan With 323,486 Miles
As the owner of a very battered fifth-generation Honda Civic, I’m always aware of examples of Honda’s 1992-1995 subcompact when I spot them during my junkyard travels. I see plenty of these cars with odometers showing better than 300,000 miles, but it has taken a frighteningly wretched-looking one to get me to whip out my camera while on a junkyard-photographing mission.On a recent trip to grab a heater-temperature control knob for my car (lost in my garage clutter when I removed the dash during an ill-advised engine-swap-related rewiring job), I found this used-up ’93 sedan and decided that this high-mile veteran ought to be documented before it heads to The Crusher.
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Piston Slap: The Panther's 20 MPG Fuel-Economy Barrier?

TTAC commentator VolandoBajo writes:

Sajeev, my worthy and esteemed fellow Panther defender,

I acquired my ’97 Mercury Grand Marquis LS about six months ago and have enjoyed everything about it. I’m hoping to find a good source for a dual exhaust that doesn’t cost more than the book value of the car, and to convince my wife that the mileage increase will pay for the mod over time.

But my present problem is baseline fuel economy. I see repeated references to a 20 miles per gallon highway figure, but I can only manage 17 mpg at the best of times.

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Piston Slap: Of Cost and Axle Differentials?

Sajeev,

We have three cars in our household that see regularly use, but we are considering going down to two vehicles in an attempt to save some money. However, instead of just getting rid of one of those three cars, we are trading in two of them toward a newer vehicle that we plan to keep long term.

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Piston Slap: Deep Six the 626?

Joey writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I’ve been a reader of yours for years and greatly enjoy your style. (Woot! —SM)

My question is about my ’97 Mazda 626, with a hair over 215,000 miles on it, that’s been in my family for its entire life. It’s reliable, economical, and generally in good condition.

However, I am up for a registration renewal in October, and I need to complete an emissions test. I figured that it would be a good idea to check up on the codes behind the check engine light. The codes came up as an evaporative system and catalytic converter errors, which are both emissions fails.

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  • Lorenzo It's an election year, and Biden will drag down enough democrats without the state going deeper in the budget hole than it is now. Newsom isn't the smartest guy, but he has smart guys to tell him the state is running out of other people's money.
  • MaintenanceCosts The symbol is the standard international sign for "controlled access highway." Presumably they are trying to evoke the Autobahn.
  • MaintenanceCosts Absolutely. Most old classics are not Boss 429s or Busso Alfas. Most of them have powertrains that are just crap by modern standards. I'd love to have a classic without the pre-emissions stinky exhaust or the need to futz around constantly with points and jets to maintain drivability.
  • Ravenuer No, I wouldn't be interested in doing this at all. Seems like it would be quite expensive.
  • Tassos Why buy either when you have two matching 2007 diesel e-classes with combined over 950k km. NO ONE SHOULD WANT MORE THAN I HAVE SETTLED FOR.