Jeff In The Junkyard: Amish Country!

Amish Country Junkyard

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Well, the wait is over: today’s installment of Jeff in the Junkyard kicks off a multi-part series of my visit to a junkyard in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country. My brother and I plan a few visits each year where we check out different yards in our respective zip codes, and this trip did not disappoint. As always, I’m leaving one of these unnamed so you, the reader, can let us know the year, make and model. Let us know your thoughts and memories in the comments below and tell us which ones are your favorites!


This Corvair wagon looks awfully similar to the Lakewood Jamie just wrote up – except for the fact this one hasn’t seen the road in quite some time! It had some excellent period business information on the front doors, so it was used for work rather than relaxation at some point. Regardless of its past life, it’s been relaxing for quite some time in the undergrowth.


Add this to the list of cars I never knew existed. A Datsun F10 was technically a second-generation Nissan Cherry and represents the brand’s first front-wheel drive car sold in North America. I quite liked this funky coupe, but not the massive spider webs inside. If you should know one thing about me, it’s that Jeff and woodland spiders do not mix.


Some of you will think I’m crazy with this next statement, but: this was my favorite car in the woods. It’s a Ford Taunus, and it was sold in Germany in the 1960s. I just loved the glassed-in headlights, the vintage roof rack and dog-dish style hubcaps. This would make a distinctive summer cruiser and look amazing with some surfboards on the roof. I want one in a bad way.


If you’re an Opel Manta fan, we should get in touch. There were no fewer than 10 of these Dino-like coupes, many of which were still in very restorable condition. Almost all of the cars here were Manta A’s, which were originally sold through Buick dealerships when new. Really, this is still a handsome design today and you’d likely be the only one at a cruise night.


I love old Toyota 4x4s, especially the bigger Landcruisers. I believe this is an FJ55, but I’ll let our Landcruiser experts confirm. These tended to rust, and this example is no different. Despite being stationary for quite some time, there were still plenty of good parts to pick from and even the interior had some passable components. Who knows – that old inline six may even still fire up!


So, Ford didn’t make it too tough to identify its cars back in the day. This Mustang II is actually high on the list of cars I’d like to own someday, but only in Cobra form. This fender-less pony wasn’t too rusty and hadn’t been heavily scavenged, and the flashy graphics could likely come back to life with some light cleaning.


And finally, here’s our mystery car – not too tough, but I can’t nail down the specifics of this Mopar on a perch. This design was considered polarizing back in the day, and it’s still a striking face to see peering out at you through the trees. At this point, though, it’s merely winking with one set of headlights gone astray. Give us your guesses below, and check in for next week’s continuation of my visit to this forgotten yard. And check out previous editions here and here!

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  1. Todd Z.

    Yes, that’s an FJ55

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    • Christer Heibert

      Ford taunus turnier 1965 or 1966 prowably 2,3l v6 engine, us versions had automatic transmission and that is rare if it got that, well the car is rare just by still existing!!

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      • Luca

        Looooove ford taunuses

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  2. Fred A Warnick

    62 or 63 Chrysler 300

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  3. memikeyounot

    The mystery car is a Chrysler Newport, Windsor or similar probably from 1962. I was around then, a budding car geek, and loved the slanted headlights.

    My dad had a 1960 Saratoga sedan.

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    • Ed P

      I like the big Chryslers from this time. From about ’61 to ’64 they just had a certain ‘something’.

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  4. Charlie G

    Memikeyounot is half right. 1961 Chrysler Newport. Standard engine was 361 V8 backed up by an ALL steel bodied (3 piece) pushbutton 3 spd Torqueflite ( my dad and I rebuilt many of these early trans) The connection between the trans and rear was made by a 8″ brake drum for parking hooked to a ‘roller and pinion’ bearing assembly on each end of the drive shaft. In the past 45 years, I’ve owned 2 of these. My fathers and one I picked up for rebuild. For factual recognition, find an older MOTORS manual for clarity. I was 9 when dad bought his.

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  5. JW

    Too late for the mystery car but I too am a big fan of the Toyota Landcruisers. Except for rust they were a exceptional off road vehicle of it’s time. I would rather have a nice survivor than restore one .

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  6. jim s

    i see a beetle and some interesting trucks. what i do not see but know is in that yard is snakes. maybe when you run into your first live snake of the season you can take a photo and share it with us! love the junkyard listings.

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    • JeffAuthor

      No snakes yet, Jim – but I’m sure I’m overdue for such a visit!

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      • Will

        Any idea where this yard is located in PA? I’m trying to track down a few parts for a Datsun F-10

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  7. Paul

    I had a 75 Manta. That was a fun car. Sold it to get my first MG. The only reall trouble I had with it was a hose to the radiator. It rotted and busted when I tried to pull it off, while flushig the radiator, one weekend home from college. The hose had the return from the heater core com into the middle, which wasn’t the problem. The problem, was that the engine side and radiator side diameters were different! Part only available from the Buick dealer. They did have them on hand but they were closed by the time we broke it on Saturday. I left it with a buddy for the week. He got the part, installed it, and delivered the car to me. Two years later he wrecked my MG, just one fender.

    Another body had a Mustang II with a King Cobra graphics all over it and a hurst shifter. I forget what engine that was. That thing was pretty potent not even counting it was from teh Malaize era.

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  8. HoA Howard AMember

    The Toyota is a FJ55 Landcruiser,( also known as the “iron pig”), year unknown, as from 1967 to 1980, they changed little. I had a 1970 FJ55 with a front mounted Ramsey winch, and it was almost unstoppable. The hole in the front cross member is where the winch’s drive shaft went through from a PTO unit off the trans. The 6 cylinder engine was modeled after the Chevy 6, and never skipped a beat. Sadly, the body rusted clear of the frame, making it undriveable.
    I had several Opels, and a couple of Manta’s and they were great cars. I knew someone that had a Cobra ll like that. V-8, automatic, fun car. This one looks like the front suspension has been robbed, a popular accessory for street rods. I’d love to walk through this yard, as most yards in Wisconsin with cool cars are few and far between.

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    • Richard

      The FJ engine was more than modeled after the Chevy. Some gaskets actually interchanged. And, it is interesting that some of the same things that were common on the Chevy also occurred with the Toyota version. Like, burned exhaust valves and intake leaks due to bolts loosening up. I worked in a shop specializing in “tune-ups” and standard procedure on both the Chevy and Toyota was to retorque the manifold at every 12,000 mile service.

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  9. Horse Radish

    I have a (German) Ford Taunus Wagon that needs parts and work.
    They are very rare in the US.
    But to get something out of an Amish country backwoods Junkyard sounds like a logistical near impossibility except if it was only a matter of money…..

    @ Jeff: I agree , these look unusual and cool.

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    • Horse Radish

      This Ford Taunus “Turnier” was made from 1965 to 1967, came in a 17M or a 20M version (Engine size).
      Originally with a 4 Cylinder from the previous model they were later offered with a V4 1.7 liter or a V4 2.0 liter motors.
      BTW these were also the motors in the Saab sonnet III and the OSI posted here a month ago.
      Originally a 6 Volt car, later were 12 volts and most were converted later.

      So this particular car is most likely a
      1965,6 or 7 Ford Taunus 17 M Turnier (P5, Factory designation)

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      • MikeH

        I never knew the Taunus was imported to the US–never seen one here. Good looking car and, especially with the 2L, was a blast to drive.

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      • Slovakman

        There is also a Taunus Turnier wagon, white with red interior, and factory sunroof, located somewhere near Elkins WV. I tried to buy it from the original owner when it was in town about 15 years ago, but the lady wouldn’t sell. It later got sold to someone who lives a few miles out of town, but that is all I know.

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    • JeffAuthor

      Horse Radish – if I had more room and time to waste, I would make a serious offer to extract it and bring it home. I saw so much potential with that wagon.

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  10. pursang

    And yet not one rusty Amish buggy. Those must have been well made.

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    • Horse Radish

      Termites, nothing left.

      At least with some heavy gauge steel the tin worm can’t chew through

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    • Charlie G

      You won’t find them because Lebanon Levy’s crew either blows them up or rolls them into the creeks in Pennsylvania. :)

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  11. RobD

    Mystery car: clearly a 1962 Chrysler, not 61. 61 had “Chrysler” stamped in upper part of grill surround, which this one doesn’t. 61 had fins, but 62 did not. 61 door handles are on the fins tilting outward rather than slightly in or vertical shown. Both had slanted headlights. Getting a 62 New Yorker wagon with 413 later this year. “or similar” – could also be NYer or 300.

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  12. pontiactivist

    I remember a manta exactly like this one when I was a kid in my uncles junkuard. Used to play in it. (Was also am early 60″s triumph there. We plaued in it too.)

    Had a cobra like this. Was a 302 4speed. Uaed it for the drivetrain in my 85 ranger swb. Lol

    I know of a chrysler like this one also. Its almost completely covered by a wild rose bush. Can only see it in the early spring after the thaws.

    Bottom right corner of manta pic is the drivers rear of a 73 cutlass or 442.

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  13. Sherry

    The Taunus is a beauty, would love to dig that girl out of there! I have a 1960 17m Deluxe, very rare car! Nice to see another one around!

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  14. Damian

    I’ve only ever seen one of these Ford Taunus’ here in the UK and that was my parents car back in the mid Seventies. A blue 1967 with three speed column gearchange that had originally been bought by a German army officer who had moved here and therefore specified in right hand drive!
    Unfortunately my mother wrote it off many years ago after a blow out and then hit a tree!

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    • Horse Radish

      A RHD (German) Ford Taunus ?
      May have been one of only a handful ever made !!!

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      • JeffAuthor

        Guys, if you keep talking about the Taunus, I am definitely not going to go back there and attempt to drag it home.

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  15. Bobby

    As a Mustang owner and more appropriately a Cobra II owner I would love to have that cobbra II you found. If only I was closer and had the money for it.

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  16. George

    The one I would like to see more of…in the photo of the yellow Opel Manta I made out the tail light section, missing the lense, of a 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass.

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    hi,does anyone know from where im going to find a manual gearbox for a ford taunus 17M like the 1 in the picture pls?
    it must be complete with the steering column change linkages.
    thank you very much.

    Like 0

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