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Jeff in the Junkyard: Cold and Frozen

Because I value the Barn Finds community, I don’t let some snow and cold get in my way of exploring this nation’s great hidden junkyards. What does slow me down, however, is slipping on a sheet of ice and whacking my head into the frozen tundra that is Western Massachusetts in January. My complaining aside, I hope you enjoy this latest installment of Jeff in the Junkyard, where I explore a gem of a salvage facility holding some great examples of American iron. Which ones can you identify?

While I’m as rusty as some of these cars when it comes to identifying them, I think it’s safe to say this is a late-60s Mustang, perhaps even the remains of a Mach 1 with those center fog lights in the grille. Great color, too, but who knows if it’s original – I don’t think it is, based on the paint peeling off the roof. This was in a section of the yard blanketed by pine needles and pleasingly free of snow and ice.

Also along the tree line was this once-handsome wagon. I want to say that with the slight upwards kink along the top of the rear door that this is a 70’s-era Buick Estate wagon. While it looks pretty tough on those Centerline-style wheels, the tin worm was doing a fine job of returning this former family cruiser back to nature. What can you spot parked alongside of it?

As the value of the air-cooled VW market continues its march upwards, these old Buses tend to catch my eye more and more. Unfortunately for this split window, it either rolled or had something stacked on top of it at one time based on the crease that ran the length of the roof. Great colors, however, with that two-tone white on red paint job making a strong case for getting this one back on the road; sadly, the vast quantity of rust makes saving the Bus unrealistic.

Someone far more informed than me should be able to identify this tired sedan based on the tail lights and fins. If the trunk was still present, I might have been able to use a familiar badge or trunk ornament to make a positive identification. The yard itself was a very clean operation, and certainly encouraged self-service parts removal; however, given the impressive quantity of vintage tin, I’m almost a little glad it hasn’t been overrun.

Old trucks aren’t normally the type of thing I’m interested in when I visit a yard (be grateful, I spared you from 17 pictures of the 1986 Subaru XT he had), but I was digging this one for its old-school bed that had been converted like so many modern trucks are to handle the daily duties of a contractor, plumber or other repair service. Despite the novelty factor, it did appear to be a crude conversion, especially since the rear fenders didn’t exactly fit.

Here’s one of my favorites from the day: this old-school Chevy G10 Sportvan. If you can make it out, the nose and the sides are emblazoned with the word, “Krackerjacks.” I did some Googling and it appears strinkingly similar in font style to a cover band of the same name, which calls itself “The Party Band of the South.” If the name and the band are one in the same, I wonder just what happened that the party van for the party band ended up in this remote salvage yard. Well folks, that’s what I have this week – but there’s plenty more to come from this yard visit. Check out previous editions of Jeff in the Junkyard here and here. Got a yard I should check out? Email us! 

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Comments

  1. Anthony

    Here’s my attempt at identifying the cars in the pictures 40 Chevrolet, 69 Mustang, 69 was the only year Mustang with quad headlights, and I think that is a late 60’s Galaxie parked along side it, the wagon is a 1970 Chevrolet, the black sedan is a 57 – 60 Dodge. I believe that old truck is also a Dodge

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    • Anthony

      And the copper colored wagon behind the 70 Chevy wagon is a 58 Chevy

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    • Mike H

      Old truck IS a Dodge, maybe an early 1950’s B-Series?

      The FC van is a Chevrolet SportVan; Chevrolet was late to the FC van game behind Ford and Dodge, unless you count the Corvair Van as a contender, which I personally feel it wasn’t. The Corvair Van was in a separate class from the Econoline/Falcon vans and the A100/A108 from Dodge. Those are really cool when restored, but that poor thing is pretty destroyed.

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      • Mike H

        Just noticed as I was looking closer. . . Seems that the SportVan has doors on both sides. Great utility option and I believe that Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet all offered that on their FC vans, including the Corvair Van. I’ve seen it (rarely) on the later Chev G, Ford E, and Dodge B vans, and VW offered it on the Type 2 prior to 1968.

        Corvair Van with doors open shown.

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      • Luki

        My bet is that the Krackerjacks left the van by the side of the road and took an unforgettable nice long scenic ride on the Grey Dog back down south.

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      • ccrvtt

        Actually, Krackerjacks (they eschewed “the”, as in they were simply “Krackerjacks” like Cream, you know?) were a cover band from Macon, Georgia. They played mostly Skynyrd & Allman Brothers hits to a limited but mostly loyal fanbase. One night in a dive bar called Toe Jam in Amherst while they were half way through their signature 23-minute version of “Free Bird” some disgruntled patron slashed all the tires on their van and broke out the windshield. He was upset that Hairy Dave, the lead singer, was making eyes at his girlfriend. Upon discovering the calamity at about 3:00am in the dead of winter Dave was heard to exclaim, “Bummer.”

        Indeed it’s true, they left on the ‘dog the next day and were never heard from again.

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    • EdK.

      Photo #5 is a ’59 Dodge- one of the tail light housings is sitting on the roof.

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    • Paul S

      I agree with the 69 Mustang, only year with dual headlights until many years later. Behind the 70 Wagon is a 58 Chevy Wagon. I believe the Dodge is a 1959. I now see that others have said the same about the Dodge.

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  2. tasker

    LOVE the junkyard pics….always a great time back in my youth to go picking in the yards on a Saturday morning. I can relate to most of them growing up in the north east….keep em coming!

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  3. JW

    I remember walking among these old cars in junkyards past while scrounging for parts on my first couple beater cars I owned. Going up to the owners shack with a wood burning stove going and him telling me go look I’m not sure what I have out there but it’s all for sale. Then there was his German shepherd letting me know don’t leave without paying.

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  4. Howard A Member

    The upside to junkyard adventures in the winter, is no wasps ( my arch nemesis) The Dodge truck looks like a ’54 or newer, one piece windshield, and was a Bell Telephone truck. http://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/58/7f/ed/587fed88f7facee921eb402fec7b70f3.jpg

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    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      There’s a lot to be said for wintertime junkin’ – plus, the tick population is greatly reduced, as are the spiders. Their webs are there, but they aren’t!

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      • Tracy

        Where in MA?

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  5. Joe Nose

    There’s another junkyard on Rte 23 with the woodless remains of a 49(?) Ford woody behind the fence which always caught my eye.

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  6. Luki

    That passenger door on the VW Bus is better than the one on mine.
    There are still some good parts on that baby. Seats, steering wheel,
    deluxe bumper trim, ect.

    I didn’t know you could fit a 66-67 hub cap on one of those wheels.

    l Learn something new on BF very day.

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      Good catch on the hubcap… Odd.

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  7. Woodie Man

    Fifth pix down looks like a ’57 DeSoto Firesweep sedan

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  8. CCFisher

    The mystery sedan is a ’59 Dodge.

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  9. KevinW

    Not to get all nit picky, but I think the wheels on the station wagon are those hideous wire basket thingies from the 80’s. Keep up the good work, I’m an old junkyard hound in Texas, it’s cool to be able to look in on yards I’ll likely never get to visit.

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    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      No worries! Good point on the wheels. I’d love to poke around a Texas junkyard, a lot less rust!

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  10. 86 Vette Convertible

    The pickup looks to be about a 54 or 55 Dodge.

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  11. Todd Zuercher

    Love looking at these old treasures. We don’t have many like this here in the southwest. A few specialty old car yards where everything is gold plated and the rest are pick a parts – a cool phenomenon in itself but where cool old stuff rarely appears these days.

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  12. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Great post, Jeff!!

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    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      Thank you sir!

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  13. David Miraglia

    All the cars in the photos are great for parts , no more.

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  14. Andy Frobig

    The Microbus pains my heart as it reminds me of what might have been the greatest VW junkyard in America, Zap’s VW of Mayfield, NY. Zap’s wasn’t huge, but it was about 98% air cooled VWs. If you like these vehicles, it was a wonder to behold: sad to see all those VWs sinking into the ground, but great to have such a wonderful resource. I went there twice: once for a speedometer for my ’66 Type 2–I pulled it out of a 21 window Deluxe; and once for a generator for the same bus–that time, a left-turner ran me into a ditch in Amsterdam and the owner of the yard had to come flatbed me the rest of the way. The owner died a few years later of a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound, and as far as I know, about 10 acres of VW parts were crushed shortly afterward. Sad on multiple levels.

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  15. Tracy

    What is the name and where is the parts yard? How much for the utility bed on the Dodge?

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  16. Bobby

    Hi Jeff, Tracy and I would like to know the name and location of the yard. I live inbetween Springfield and Worcester.

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  17. Roar

    Behind photo 3 I belive it is a 58 Chevy wagon and I need some parts from it, but the problem are that I live in Norway

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