Classics in Vermont: Bruce Cliche Collection

bruce cliche

A few days ago, Josh wrote up a post about a junkyard liquidation sale posted on craigslist. Well, soon after it disappeared, Barn Finds reader Jeff Pratt sent us more information about the seller who is located in Vermont. It turns out he has a full website and Facebook page where some of his more desirable cars are listed for sale, and given my New England location, it sure is tempting to go up there and check out the yard in person (there’s an MK1 GTI I spotted among the hundreds of photos…) In the meantime, I picked out some favorites from their Facebook page (which you can check out here).

canam

Based on the Le Mans, these Pontiac Can Ams weren’t necessarily as racy as their exterior graphics package might suggest. But they did pack a bit more power (about 20 extra ponies) and I always dug the looks. They’re also not the most common thing on the roads these days, so seeing this one rotting away is a sad sight. Hopefully, a Pontiac fan needs one for their collection, or a parts car to keep a more sound one on the road.

68 plymouth fury

This ’68 Plymouth Fury appears solid enough to drive off the yard under its own power. It does look like an excellent parts car for any Fury owners restoring a road-going example, or perhaps it’s good enough to get running and driving once again.

68 camaro rs

This 1968 Chevy Camaro RS is one of my favorites in the yard. I love that it’s still wearing the old-school Vermont license plate and that the usually hidden headlights are just barely poking through the grills. Sure, it’s been beaten up a bit, but it looks rough and ready to rumble – assuming its perch above another car has kept the tin worm at bay.

70 dodge charger rt

The description on the Charger says it was “originally” a 440 / 727 car, which I interpret to mean the drivetrain has been replaced or sold off. Of course, I could be wrong – words can be interpreted in many ways – but given the popularity of those engines, it wouldn’t surprise me that it’s been sold to power another Mopar project, especially if the car is a long-time yard resident. That would be a shame, as I’d love to see this back on the road in original condition.

57 jaguar mk2

Bruce doesn’t just have American iron either. This 1957 Jaguar MKII sedan looks healthy enough to get back to touring Vermont’s backroads sooner rather than later. It’s also a desirable manual transmission model and the full album of pictures reveals a largely-complete interior and corrosion-free body.

88 dodge ram 30K miles

This 1988 Dodge Ram certainly isn’t the most special vehicle in the yard, but it only has 30,000 miles on the clock! That would have to make it one of the lower mileage examples still on the road today, and definitely worth bringing back to life. Many of these vehicles have been used and abused, so one with low miles could be a fun (and potentially easy) project for its next owner.

59 bel air

This 1958 Chevy Bel Air is still such a striking car today. There are a ton of photos of it on Bruce Cliche’s official website, along with numerous other cars in his collection. Despite being subjected to however many years of Vermont weather (which is often of the snowy and damp variety), the car still appears largely original and solid. Like many other cars in his collection, I’d love to see it saved (and I totally dig that side view mirror on the fender!)

If you’re interested in any of the cars on the site, Jeff says to contact Bruce directly at  802-454-7875. The yard is located in East Calais, Vermont.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. don

    some great cars, some rare, sad by the looks of some of them, they have been sitting a very long time and some are probably to far gone.

    • Jeff

      Hi Don,

      A lot of the cars are just good for parts and a lot of them are good projects, but many of them are still complete down to original radios. Also there are a dozen old school buses filled with parts including a fair amount of NOS. One of the buses is just for Muncie 4 speeds and their parts.

      Thanks Jeff

  2. RayT Member

    Isn’t that a ’59 Bel Air?

    The MkII does look restoration-worthy. That surprises me, because Vermont is not the kindest environment for cars that are inherently rust-prone.

    Checkbook and space permitting, I could easily see a trip up to this yard in my future. And not just for the Jag!

    • Jeff

      Hi Ray,

      The Jag was stored in a barn for years and hasn’t seen many years of exposure to Vermont winters.

      Thanks Jeff

  3. JW454

    Sadly, with a few exceptions, I think most of what I see here are merely parts cars. However, there are some pretty good donor pieces among the layers of rust.

    And Ray… you’re right ’59.

  4. Barry Thomas

    Is this a “collection” as he says on his website or just a junk yard? That ’59 Chev sure does get a lot play, but I wonder if it would collapse if moved?
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

  5. Cassidy

    Nice web site, some verbage might help, prices would help even more!

  6. Walter Joy

    I have a 1989 Ram that has 44000 miles on it. But the Charger and Camaro look like good cars to fix

  7. Clay Bryant

    .3 dollar piece of plastic on all of them would have kept the rain and elements out.1000s of dollars on each in damage.Convertible behind the Pontiac wide open.Go figure…………………….

    • The Walrus

      Must be you don’t live in VT. Here, plastic on top x 10 years would result in a pile of iron oxide in various sized chunks. Humidity in summer is a killer when coupled with the freeze thaw cycle.

    • Jason

      “.3 dollar piece of plastic”

      Yep, plastic tarps tend to trap all the moisture. Not recommended!

  8. Rick

    The Jag looks pretty good…for it’s age. I saw that the steering column had been moved to the left side without switching the instruments from the right also. Interesting. A stick shift is also cool. I remember on my first tour to Germany, seeing Mercedes that were made for German buyers, not North America, and seeing stick shifts, interiors not leather, etc. My 250 SE was German spec with a cloth interior, but it was an automatic IIRC. A friend of mine had a 280 SE in dark grey that was gorgeous and a stick, while another had a 280 SL. Both eventually shipped back to the US.

  9. ken hickey

    nice to see them still out there.
    Hey, I’m restoring a 1957 Desoto Fireflite Sportsman here in Australia and I’m looking for all side moulding stainless, I do have some, but a lot is damaged or missing.
    Any help locating some of these and other parts would be a great help.

  10. Warren Bryce

    What is the yellow and blue one, on the bank behind the ’59?

    • Jeff

      Hi Warren,

      The car you are wondering about is a 64 Nova drag car called “CHEVY THUNDER” it was built in the very early 70s

      Thanks Jeff

  11. dj

    There’s something you don’t see every day….An Arby’s sign in a junk yard. The Can Am looks mighty rusty but could be used to save another one. 1377 was the total production number.

  12. Chris

    Small point but judging by the turn signal indicators on the front as well as the full frame door frames (not chrome) the Jag is actually a MKI, not a MKII (Plus the MKII didn’t come out until 59′). It does look in fairly decent shape as do quite a few of the other cars. I love the random parking job of the vehicles. Sort of like “Ah, that’s close enough…”

  13. Jeff Staff

    Jeff, I noticed an old red BMW 3-Series in the Facebook photos along with the MK1 GTI. Do you still have both cars and any other 70s-80s European marques?

    Thanks, Jeff

    • Jeff

      Hi Jeff

      He does have both, not sure if they would be any better than parts cars, but you can ask Bruce about them.

      Thanks Jeff

      • jeff

        Posted pics of 1983 VW GTI on Face Book $500.00

    • Jeff

      1983 vw gti $500.00

    • Jeff

      Posted more pics on FB of the 1983 VW GTI $500.00 @ Bruce Cliche cars

      • Jeff Staff

        Just saw it Jeff. Looks half decent, honestly…but I can’t tell how bad that rust is along the fender line under the hood. The car looks awfully original.

  14. james

    The 69 Mustang has a High Rise 427 in it. Those are very wicked fast. Most 427 Ford’s you see are Low Rise or Medium Rise. It wasn’t just an induction set-up,all three had different heads. Most High Rise 427’s went into factory race cars or crate engine’s because the hood wouldn’t clear the carbs without a scoop. 600 hp and 7000 rpm was normal. Even the Shelby Cobra usually had medium riser engines. They even produced a Tunnelport 427. Just using the induction from a high riser on a low riser netted 25+ hp (even with the intake and head port mis-match)

  15. Blindmarc

    Can Am scoop is backwards. First one I’ve seen in years. A teenage friend of mine had one when they were new.

  16. Mike_B_SVT

    I love that Charger RT! But suddenly I’m craving a roast beef sandwich…

  17. Rocco

    Keep us updated.

    • Jeff

      Hi Rocco,
      Keep checking in @ Bruce Cliche Cars for news and pictures and if you see something you want to post on Barn finds feel free to do so. If you want to check out the place and take the tour call Bruce @ 802-454-7875 8am-8pm.
      Thanks Jeff

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