Copart Castoffs: Donated Classics


Among automotive enthusiast circles, we always tend to think that if a relative left us a classic car, there would be no question as to what we’d do with it. Strangely, though, if you pour over the Copart donation pages, you’ll see a number of clean hobby vehicles that have ended up in salvage lots after being given away. Take, for instance, this 1967 Pontiac Bonneville here on Copart – it looks practically ready to drive off the lot after the tires are inflated and the oil is changed. Let’s see what else has rolled in to Copart after a dark garage was cracked open and grandpa’s estate was settled.


This little 1972 MGB GT is located in sunny New Mexico and can be viewed here on Copart.  It looks rust-free on the surface and the paint appears to at least be the same shade! The interior is dirty but largely intact and it looks like any other used car. The parking stickers on the chrome bumper may even indicate fairly recent daily use. Shine up the wire wheels and go driving.


This is perhaps my favorite vehicle in the roundup: a 1973 Lincoln Continental here on Copart. Can’t you just picture someone’s grandfather dusting his pride and joy off every weekend, only to stare at it and wonder when he might again drive it? These classy land barges are increasing in value and popularity as they represent an era in automotive style that isn’t likely to return soon. The interior is clean and the body looks fantastic.


I also wonder if the heirs or whoever owned the vehicle prior to it getting donated ever have a clue how much value there is in parts on certain vehicles. This 1980 Mercedes 380SLC here on Copart looks to be a Euro-market model, complete with slim bumpers, European glass headlights and the higher-performance 3.8L V8 with 215 b.h.p. on tap. However, some things don’t add up: it’s just a regular SL, not an SLC, and the pricey bits could have been added later to any US market vehicle. Still, it’s an attractive car with some desirable parts that an R107 enthusiast would love to have. Which donation vehicle would you choose?


  1. David

    That beautiful red Bonneville is a 1967.


    Be very careful with COPART there are a bunch of fees, internet fee, gate fee, make sure you can bid without a dealers license in the state the car is being sold in, if not you need a broker and more fees! It does not run then it’s scooped up by forklift and dropped on the floor! You need to get it fast or they start charging storage charges!

    • Jeff Staff

      I’ve heard you’ve got to be quick on your feet and aware of all of the fees when making an offer – still, I know many people who have picked up good project cars on the cheap.

  3. Mark S

    This trend of dumping Grandpa’s pride and joy into a place like Copart is no surprise to me, I’ve said this before the next generation are not interested in this hobby, as us old guys die off a lot of our cars are going into salvage yards to be recycled. So do what you want to them now and enjoy them while you can. Pass them on to a young relative that shows any interest. Mentor him/ her on how to maintain your old car envolve them in the use of the car let them do the driving .

    • Jeff Staff

      Agreed, Mark – most of the “millennials” I come into contact with just have their eyes glaze over when I talk to them about my project cars. They would much rather discuss how their lives are being oppressed while they shell out $500 for a new iPhone…

      • Mark S

        So how do we as hobby car guys change the trend to one of engagement by our youth? I put this question out there to all of you gear heads.

      • Jeff Staff

        Mark, that is a problem that has vexed me fore years now. A car would have to be seen as an opportunity for them, be it an opportunity to create memories or take them to a new job or go on a first date. They would have to see it could be used to autocross and participate in competitive events. They would need to see that they could pour their blood, sweat & tears into a project and make it something great. But first they need to have cars presented to them as a conduit for all of those things..

      • Glen

        Is there a Barn Finds app? , I don’t have an iphone, but lots of people do. An app might help spread interest.

  4. grant

    I for one love that lincoln land barge.

    • Robert White

      It’s actually a Lincoln Aircraft Carrier, and not a barge, Grant.

  5. Franke Paige

    Old cars like these should not be scrapped, they should be put aside and kept out of the elements to preserve what’s left. Have you ever talked to someone from Germany? Prices for classics are so much higher, not only are parts there scarce, which helps keep the prices high, but gas is higher too. For all we have we should not be letting any old cars be scrapped.

    • Jeff Staff

      Franke, we should be grateful. That’s why so many cars are getting imported with the new 25-year rule in place. Too much to maintain overseas but affordable for us.

  6. 64 bonneville

    go with the Pontiac. need to pull up their website and see what else they have available. BTW transport costs could double the price of your purchase.

    • Jeff Staff

      Been there, done that…but hey, the cars came from California and had no rust! Worth the price…

  7. Doug

    I wonder, are they free of liens when they go through Copart?

    • Miguel

      Copart can’t sell a car unless they have a clean title or a salvage title, which means all liens have been taken care of.

  8. erikj

    I have a line on a 68 bonnie,2dr fast back. orig, owner runs ad drives and mostly orig. $1800. Is that worth it ?no rust and even plastic over the seats still.been outside last five years.

  9. Peter R

    The Mercedes must be much worse than it looks – form says it has to be scrapped or parted out – I could use some of those parts – wonder where it is and what it would take to buy it.
    The Lincoln brings back memories of an era of bigger is better and this really was a land yacht

    • dj

      It’s issued Scrap or Non Rebuildable by the insurance company in NY. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t titled it in another state. But you would probably have to be a dealer to buy it. Insurance companies do stupid crap. I bought an XJS like that. After getting it home, it was a gray market car that wasn’t supposed to be here in the US. After getting a bond for the title, I drove it for several years.

  10. Peter R

    Thanks DJ for the update – as I intend to export it to Toronto where I live will I still need a dealer to buy it? Also does anyone have experience in buying these cars from Copart and care to suggest a final price area for it???

    • Jeff Staff

      Peter, sorry I can’t be of more help. I am honestly not sure. We’d love to be kept up to date if you buy it, though!

  11. Peter R

    I’m considering bidding but I see the final bid requires donor approval. Given my thoughts on value it might not be approved even if it is the high bid – I’ll let you know

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