Field of Dreams: Massive Classics Junkyard in Kansas

This seller of literally acres of sunburnt classics has access to two full yards of vintage tin, and has been advertising his wares on craigslist and eBay for months now. This latest posting on craigslist is a means of updating his followers that he just bought another salvage yard, also chock full of rusting classics, and it makes me want to pay a visit to Great Bend, Kansas to see what else is hiding out there. Some of the potential projects the seller has on hand includes a 1962 Chevy step side pickup, a 1964 Dodge Pickup 1/2 ton shortbed, 1965 Rambler Station Wagon, 1967 GTO body with tags and title, 1970 Challenger 318 body with tags and title, and much, much more. Find the full description here on craigslist with no specific prices listed.

The seller notes his inventory includes over 1,000 cars and trucks in varying states of decay or preservation, depending on what you’re after. Looking at the photos, I see vehicles that look like they could return to the road with reasonable effort, and others that are already total parts cars – but the best kind, with dry bodies and no major cancer. The listing also notes that there are plenty of desirable parts available for purchase as well, including a 1958 Chevy fuel injection unit, 1962 Chevy fuel injection unit, two Fulton outside visors, two early 50’s era IHC pickup truck outside visors, 1950 Olds 88 complete grill, 1957 Buick rear bumper, 1966 Corvette 425HP 427 transistorized distributor, and plenty more. How rare is that T-top coupe in this picture?

Then there’s some oddballs thrown in, economy cars and other low-brow models that have likely been in the yard for years and are almost jarring to see in relatively complete condition. Take this first-generation Chevy Cavalier, an absolute beater of a car, and most of which have rusted out or been forgotten in the back of a repair shop for decades, abandoned by the last cheapskate owner. This one is sporting a few too many cosmetic defects with those patchy spots of surface rust to inspire a malaise era fanatic to pursue a rebuild, but given how few of these still show up in salvage yards, it could be an excellent parts car for an enthusiast to pursue.

While the seller is up front that most everything he has hails from the USA, there are some imports throw in the mix, like this forlorn VW Karmann Ghia and Golf duo. Overall, this looks like an incredible place to spend a day (or two) but more importantly, this represents an opportunity to buy a near rust-free example from a salvage yard that has likely kept more than a few desirable classics protected from the rigors of daily use. This is why so many of my projects come from a salvage yard environment: in many cases, these cars have been spared from the type of wear and tear that daily drivers encounter, usually due to some sort of repairable mechanical issue. Looking at the pictures, which one of these Midwestern classics would you want to rescue?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Wow! This is simply overwhelming. You wonder where they all came from. Kansas isn’t exactly New York. It really is quite an incredible collection and looks somewhat organized. Lot of junk, but a lot of really cool stuff. Except for a few exceptions, probably aren’t many worth restoring, but a gold mine in parts. Typically, these people don’t feature many trucks in their photos, so I’d have to see what they had, but one thing for sure, I’d spend the better part of the day looking,,,just like old times. By gar, it’s been a while.

    Like 20
  2. ken tilly UK Member

    The biggest surprise is that they are all laid out in neat rows. If I were there to look for parts for a fairly rare car I would make sure to take along a drone in order to save time and energy trying to find the car model that I want spares from.

    Like 9
  3. Arby

    A patina buyers utopia.

    Like 5
  4. David Miraglia

    I’d take the Rabbit and the Ghia

    Like 5
  5. Casey j wiseman

    The t top coupe appears to be a 76-77 buick regal.

    Like 1
    • Terry

      I was thinking Cutlass…..

      Like 8
      • Rixx56 Member

        ’76 Cutlass… If they’re good,
        I could use those T-tops!

      • ACZ

        You really don’t want those T tops. They are the ones with the molding on the glass. That’s the first design. The better ones are the second design (no molding around the glass). If you find one that had the recall performed, grab all the parts. They are the best you can get.

    • Dawn Kapalla

      No, it’s an Olds Cutlass Supreme.

      Like 1
    • Will Fox

      If you are talking about the (once) silver coupe in the foreground with T-tops, it’s a `76 Olds Cutlass Supreme; possibly a Brougham. How rare is it today. “Somewhat” but remember thousands had this option back then. The fact that the panels haven’t rotted out of the sheet metal of the roof yet tells me it may be savable. However, if they leaked in the interim years, your seats and floor panels are now SOL.

  6. Brent

    With low taxes and land value in rural areas, salvage yards could afford to let cars sit indefinitely. I know of 4 yards this size and bigger in my area (Kansas) that shut down for one reason or other and owners had cars crushed that had sat there for 30+ years. That was before this interweb thing, now they can put them online and people have a parts source. For example: I see Edsel parts here for that Edsel convertible that was featured here while back.

    Like 3
  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    There was an old bachelor on a farm not very far from town. At its peak I’m sure that he had over 300 cars in his boneyard. If you ever visited the old guy he was only too glad to drag out a six-pack, fire up one of his Model As and take you for a tour of his treasure trove. He knew the history of most of the relics on his spread. I told my wife that if I won the lottery or was a successful writer we’d have our own boneyard. She protested at first but eventually said that would be OK as long as we put up a large fence between the yard and my version of paradise.

    Like 14
  8. Frank Sumatra

    The Woodstock of Iron Oxide. Let nature have its way with this disaster

    Like 2
    • Robert White

      It takes the Tin Worms a long time to eat 20 gage steel with a reasonable carbon content as they truly had back in the 40s. Nature will have a tough time eating these artifacts over time. Don’t forget that these treasures of time past have sat there for about half a century already, eh.

      In 200 years they world still be there ready to restore IMHO. And I’m a Mechanical Engineering Technician that knows steel well, and iron oxide too.

      Gotta love the old 40s gage steel though.

      Bob

      Like 2
  9. IkeyHeyman

    A great parts source and the owner seems to be responsive and very willing to help buyers locate what they need – a gearhead’s dream.

    Like 4
  10. Joe Machado

    If I drove by, with an empty trailer, a car and parts would be loaded.
    Hate an empty trailer.
    Last 2 times I had empty trailers, I picked up a 72 Charger in Wendell, Idaho. Then a 61 Plymouth wagon in Bloomfield, New Mexico.
    Heavenly bodies all around.

    Like 2
  11. Joe Machado

    69 Butterscotch Road Runner post.
    Several Edsels, Rivis, Pink DeSoto.
    Someone should go thru and buy all the pickup cabs and fenders.

    Like 1
  12. William Penland

    How about an address, town, or name and phone number for those of us that want parts or a tour of the place ?

    Like 4
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      You didn’t click on the link to the Craigslist ad?

      Great Bend, KS

      620-793-3557

      Like 1
  13. FastEddie/OldEddie: pick one

    Any idea why CL would remove their “forward” & “back” arrows for all the pics? It seems silly to me, as it just makes life more difficult.

    Like 1
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Works on that listing for me, can even use the arrow keys to scroll as well as the mouse. Problem with your own computer?

  14. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    The Craigslist ad is actually a pretty interesting read. He has a particular way of doing business which works for him and wants you to know what to do, and not do. When he specifically notes he needs to talk to you because “the rat rod guy wants a different type (of) part or project than the restoration guy” tells me he wants to be helpful and to actually sell parts. I don’t claim to have done lots of junkyard-ing, but ‘helpful’ isn’t how I would have described many of my experiences.

    Like 6
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      yep…..have gotten REAL tired of his adds over the years…..

      Like 1
  15. jerry z

    I’ve seen this ad in the Raleigh, NC C/L. He is advertising this everywhere!

    Like 1
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Correct…everywhere……Like most of you – I’m on other sites as well – most of those sites – old cars – don’t list him as a GO TO guy – so you have to wounder why.

      Like 1
  16. Snotty

    A few yrs. back I went to a yard similar to this, the caretaker was a vet already well into his 80’s. He had cars from the 1920’s to the 80’s the cars were complete and much better condition.The very minimum for a whole car was a 1000 bucks, without the title. The yard is in Dodge City, and it was called Stapleton’s. You would have to do your homework to see if it is still there.

    Like 1
  17. H5mind

    Sounds like this is one of those “I know what I have” fellows. In my experience, no prices listed means “asking way too much”. Why else would all this still be there after so many years? In regular boneyards, fenders cost X and doors cost Y. There’s a men. The more you buy the cheaper it gets. I’ve known a number of such characters, and they sadly pass on without ever realizing the financial windfall they expected to reap “someday”.

    Like 1
  18. Frank Sumatra

    He should move to Idaho and become World-famous.

    Like 2
  19. Dave S.

    I love these places , I think it’s a shame that they are becoming a thing of the past. We used to have quite a few of them here on P.E.I. but they’ve been pushed into extinction for the most part by environmental regulations. It is quite annoying really we allow companies ( China ) to mass produce washers , dryers, dishwashers, televisions ,computers etc. that last an average of 5 years and are dumped into the environment causing a much greater problem then these yards do. As a matter of fact these yards help keep many automobiles on the road and not in a scrap heap. Sorry folks that’s my rant for the day …. this self isolation must be getting to me !!!

    Like 2

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