By on June 27, 2022

1993 Mazda MX-5 Miata in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe Mazda Miata has been with us for well over three decades, becoming the best-selling two-seat sports car in history along the way. Miatas were popular as quasi-sensible commuter cars in North America well into our current century, which means that I should have been seeing at least a couple in every junkyard I’ve visited for at least the last 15 years. In fact, I still see many more discarded MGBs and Fiat 124 Sport Spiders than I do Miatas, so this reasonably intact ’93 in Crystal White paint caught my attention immediately (naturally, there was an ’81 Fiat Spider 2000 a few rows away). (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2022

1962 Chevrolet Corvair 900 Monza in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAh, the Chevrolet Corvair. Easily the most controversial American car ever made, nearly two million examples were sold during the 1960 through 1969 model years. It remains one of the most common 1960s Detroit cars in Ewe Pullet-style car graveyards to this day. I found this sporty 1962 Monza Club Coupe in a Denver-area yard last month. (Read More…)

By on June 13, 2022

1989 Mazda 626 in California junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAfter selling a rear-wheel-drive 626 here starting in the 1978 model year, Mazda introduced a brand-new front-wheel-drive version for 1983. That was the same year the Camry first appeared on our shores, and the cheaper 626 lured many car shoppers away from Toyota showrooms with its impressive list of standard features. The Camry got a major update for 1987, and a new generation of 626 appeared the following year. Here’s one of those cars, photographed in a Northern California self-service yard last winter. (Read More…)

By on June 6, 2022

1986 Ford Escort GT in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsFord sold Escorts in North America from the 1981 through 2003 model years, with the ’91 and later cars based on Mazda designs. I’ve never been much interested in the 323/Protegé-derived Escorts, instead keeping a junkyard lookout for the increasingly rare Dearborndesigned 19811990 machines and especially the hothatch Escort GTs. Here’s a once-mean-looking black ’86 Escort GT in a Colorado Springs self-service yard. (Read More…)

By on May 31, 2022

1991 Geo Prizm GSi in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWhen The General began building the AE82 Toyota Corolla (actually based on the JDM Sprinter version) at the NUMMI plant in California, that car got Chevrolet Nova badges. When Toyota debuted the E90 Corolla platform in 1987, it made sense for the NUMMI-ized version of the new E90 Sprinter to join the Suzukis and Isuzus of the new Geo brand. That car was the Geo Prizm, and I’ve found one of the super-rare factory-hot-rod GSi Prizms in a Denver-area self-service yard. (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2022

1966 Ford Econoline Falcon Club Wagon in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsDuring the 1960s and well into the 1980s, plenty of vehicle manufacturers decided that passenger trucks and vans could be called wagons (I disagree with that idea), and so you got the Volkswagen Transporter, Toyota Land Cruiser, Corvair Greenbriar, Dodge A100, and many other trucks marketed as wagons. That was confusing enough, but then Ford took it one step further by taking the passenger version of the Econoline forward-control van and badging it as a Falcon Club Wagon. Here’s one of those vans wagons, found in a Denver-area yard last month. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2022

1996 Buick LeSabre Wildcat in Colorado junkyard, RH rear view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsDuring the bling-and-horsepower-crazed 1960s, The General’s Buick Division took the full-size B-Body platform, added a hot engine and flashy trim, and called it the Wildcat. Not many well-heeled grandfathers felt interested in doing land-yacht burnouts in the VFW parking lot, it turned out, so Wildcat sales ended after 1970… but a yearning for the glory days of the Wildcat must have inspired some Buick dealers to create their own Wildcats during the 1990s. Here’s one of those rare special-edition cars, found in a Denver-area self-service yard. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2022

1990 Subaru Justy 4WD in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe General began selling the Suzuki Cultus hatchback with Chevrolet Sprint badges here starting in the 1985 model year, with the later versions becoming the Geo/Chevrolet Metro. Even though gasoline prices had crashed during the middle 1980s, the three-cylinder Sprint sold well enough that Subaru decided to bring their tiny three-cylinder car to our shores. This was the Justy, and I’ve found this ’90 in a self-service yard in Subaru-crazed Denver. (Read More…)

By on May 2, 2022

1985 Cadillac Cimarron in Colorado junkyard, RH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWay back in 2007, I kicked off the Down On the Street series (which was supposed to be a one-time reference to the title of a Stooges song beloved by me and the late Davey J. Johnson) with the first of what would turn out to be hundreds of interesting street-parked cars: a 1984 Cadillac Cimarron d’Oro. That led to something of a Cimarron obsession, and I’ve spent the past 15 years documenting every semiintact Cadillac J-Body I find during my junkyard adventures. You’d think they’d all have been crushed by now, but such is not the case; I found this loaded Brown Overload Edition ’85 in a yard near Pikes Peak earlier this year. (Read More…)

By on April 25, 2022

1983 Dodge Rampage in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsOnce the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon, front-wheel-drive econoboxes that began life as Chrysler Europe designs, proved to be strong sellers in North America, Lee Iacocca and his poker buddies decided that a pickup based on the Omnirizon platform would be a fine idea. The result was the Dodge Rampage and its Plymouth-badged sibling, the Scamp. I found one of those cartrucks in a Denver-area wrecking yard a while back. (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2022

2011 Suzuki Kizashi in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsEven though everything in the General Motors universe looked pretty shaky in 2009 and GM-affiliated Suzuki gave up on its attempts to sell Suzuki-badged cars in America in 2013, somehow an interesting new Suzuki midsize sedan managed to appear on our shores for the 2010 model year: The Kizashi. Just under 23,000 Kizashis were sold in the United States and Canada during the car’s 2010-2013 sales run, and I’ve found this clean ’11 in a yard just south of Denver, Colorado. (Read More…)

By on April 11, 2022

1990 Lexus LS400 in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWhile Honda was the first Japanese car company to have a North American showroom hit with a new luxury brand, the Legend lacked the imposing bulk to really threaten the flagship sedans of competitors based in Michigan and Europe (and, on top of that, it had Accord running gear and Rover DNA). Nissan and Toyota got into the luxury-sedan game here in the 1990 model year, when the Infiniti and Lexus brands had their debuts here with the Q45 and LS 400, respectively.

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2022

1985 Ford Escort wagon in California junkyard, RH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsRemember the era, around the middle of the 2010s, when we were all supposed to desire a brown station wagon with a manual transmission (or mock those who liked brown wagons after it was cool)? Well, today’s Junkyard Find is just that! (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2022

1997 Mercury Cougar in California junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsFord’s Mercury Division built rear-wheel-drive Cougars from the 1967 through 1997 model years, followed by a 1999-2002 run of front-wheel-drive Cougars based on the Mondeo chassis. Today’s Junkyard Find is thus historically significant on three counts: it’s the last model year for the rear-wheel-drive Cougar, it’s a special edition commemorating the 30th anniversary of the debut of The Man’s Car, and it’s the last year for the XR7 luxury package. Bitter tears, indeed! (Read More…)

By on March 21, 2022

2006 Buick Lucerne in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsRemember, not many years ago, when American car shoppers could choose among dozens of new Detroit sedans? For the 2006 model year alone, General Motors offered 12 different four-door sedans, and that’s ignoring sub-models plus the sedans bearing the badges of (GM-owned) Saab and Suzuki. Today, there are three new GM sedans available here, and both of the Cadillacs are built on the same platform as the Camaro. The Buick Division got out of the US-market sedan game when the final 2020 Regal rolled off Opel’s line in Rüsselsheim, but the very last proper full-sized Buick sedan was Hamtramck’s own Lucerne. I found this Northstar-equipped first-year Lucurne in a Colorado Springs yard last month. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Art Vandelay: Yeah those guys that wrote the Declaration would have never had political discussions online. And yeah,...
  • EBFlex: “But this is the pain we must endure to create a green, more sustainable economy that welcomes all who...
  • Jeff S: @Art–You tell me what Skye is referring to because I don’t see what the hidden meaning is? I...
  • Skippity: Maybe they just got a good deal and their credit scores are fine.
  • Jeff S: @CaddyDaddy–Have a Happy Fourth and God Bless you and your family.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber