Classics In The Southwest

Route 66 Junkyard

On a recent trip through Arizona and New Mexico, reader Guido S came across some amazing cars and an impressive junk yard in the New Mexico desert. He couldn’t resist but stopping and taking some photos. Since we all can appreciate a good junk yard, he decided he better share his find with us. Here is what he has to say about it – Last year I made a trip to Arizona and New Mexico. I saw many nice cars. And one of the best junkyards was in Grants, New Mexico. I have an album of most of the cars we saw on our trip. You can find it here on FacebookIt looks like Guido saw some amazing cars during his trip! Seeing that junkyard in Grants makes me want to make a trip to New Mexico this winter. I want to thank Guido for sharing his vacation with us and for the great photos! Oh and if you’re wondering, I believe the salvage yard is called Oscar’s Auto Salvage on Route 66.


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  1. Todd Zuercher

    The Facebook link doesn’t work. And I’ll agree there are some great automotive treasures in New Mexico and Arizona.

    • Randy Forbes

      FB link opened for me__are you a member?

      • Todd Zuercher

        Yes, I’m a member. I keep getting a “page not found” error. Just my luck!

    • Todd Zuercher

      I figured out why I wasn’t seeing them and got logged into FB – duh! What a great bunch of pictures. I recognize some of them from Seligman, AZ, too.

  2. packrat

    The picture with the four cars abreast is bugging me. There’s a (i think) plymouth, chevrolet, nash, and buick–but did someone give the nash some ’57 chevrolet headlight eyebrows or something? Or am I i.d.’ing that as the wrong car?

  3. boxdin

    I’ve lived in Albuquerque for 58 yrs and frequent the yards all around NM.
    That is a 47 or so chevy w a nash grille and frenched headlights. Most of the cars from Grants & Gallup are from the indian reservation. They were no roads so the indians were never kind to cars so most have been run hard and put away wet. There is a lot of Kingman AZ pics too. AZ and Colo have more cars because back then AZ & CO had more people & money than NM therefore more cars & trucks. There used to be some wonderful yards in southern CO but some of those have been auctioned off in the last few yesrs. The time to visit is now.

  4. Mark E

    Back around 1984 or so I was renting a bedroom from a guy who had a nice collection of Model As and a few Ts. He drove his father’s 1967 Cadillac Eldo as a summer car and a ’70s Ford 3/4 ton 4×4 supercab in the winter. His parents went down to the Southwest (AZ I think) every winter to live.

    He got his dream car, a 1954 Eldorado convertible, to restore. I helped him dissassemble it. A true Minnesota car, it was rotted to pieces. That winter, he took the pickup down to visit his parents in AZ for a week or two and returned with a ‘clean’ (ie: no cancerous rust) main body section of a ’54 Cadillac coupe strapped sideways across the bed of the truck(!!). With LOTS of creative cutting and welding he was able to convert it into a convertible body.

    For those of us in the rust belt, the junk yards of the Southwest are an invaluable source of body parts! ^_^

  5. Randy Forbes

    FB link opened for me__WOW, what a ton of great car pics!! If I let myself, I could waste several hours looking at ALL of Mr. Swartz’s pictures!! BIG THANKS for letting us (all) see them!

    As a child__that always loved everything about cars__my parents took me on a couple of vacations through the southwest. Fifty (50, or so…) years ago, it was still US Route 66, and we took that (picked it up either in, or south of Chicago, if I can remember…?) all the way to Los Angeles. Back then__mid 60s__there were still SO MANY junkyards alongside the hwy, and I’d have given anything for my dad to have stopped at just one (or ALL) of them. Plus too, there were quite a lot of 40s & 50s cars still “on the road” in those days! Growing up in Detroit__the rust belt and planned obsolescence, as least as far as cars were concerned__I only saw “old cars” for a few years at a time, before they dissolved!

    Again, my thanks; you never fail to reignite long forgotten memories.

    Like 1
  6. David

    I’ve driven by that yard a few times driving through New Mexico, it’s on route 40. There’s a similar place in Las Cruces just off hwy 25 north of the city, it sits east off the hwy kinda hidden unless you are driving out into the desert.

  7. Blindmarc

    I lived there for many years also, and as boxdin said, now is the time to go and search for your dream car. These yards are dying by the day.

  8. Bobsmyuncle

    I’d love to hear about other yards! Planning a driving vacation along (roughly) along Route 66 this summer from the Toronto area. Hoping to make it as autocentric as possible!

    • Leo Judice

      Tell me something Bob or anyone, I found a 1970 GMC fire truck, it was rusted out in a few places, but I took out the motor which is a 427 Hi-perf pass truck engine, now a few people I met was telling me about a tall deck engine, now what Chevy I can put it in

      • Bobsmyuncle

        I’m not sure what you are asking to be honest.

        The engine if original to the truck is more likely a 402. The stamping will tell you all, simply decode the serial number.

        Either way its a GM big block it can go into just about anything you want.

        Like 1
      • jamesB

        Car Craft ran an article way back about building mountain street engines from 501 Caddie, 427 Chevy Tall Deck and the like but im not sure the exact year. it was back in 90’s im pretty sure. But there are other places for info im sure. A google search will suprise you. happy hunting

  9. bruce R. Colbert

    Wow ! thanks so much for taking and sharing these photos. This is the stuff dreams are made of.
    Bruce R. Colbert

  10. Blindmarc

    One thing I can say about reservation vehicles is that, since they are on federal land, repo agents couldn’t go and repo a vehicle. Many left the dealer with a down payment and were ever seen again. This info was told to me 40 years ago by a friends grandfather when I was visiting him on the Mescalero Apache reservation.

    • boxdin

      In later years they got around that by mandating the lender was “indian owned” and only those could repo on the res. So all the Gallup dealers quickly established “indian owned” subsidiaries/lenders who could repo.

  11. Blindmarc

    Boxdin, you & me both know that wand nothing. I had to have my friend meet me at the gate, and escort me to his mothers house.

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