Jeff in the Junkyard: Foreign Relations

Jeff In the Junkyard Foreign Cars

Even if I told you where this yard was located, you’d be hard-pressed to find it on a map. While somewhat known by junkyard raiders like myself, it’s not a place that advertises and the inventory rarely changes. So, not great for parts hunting but it almost always guarantees a good photo or two. Some of my favorite finds are below, which follow a common theme of American-Japanese badge engineering.

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First up is a very, very rusty 1978-1979 Datsun 200SX. I had literally never laid eyes on one of these cars in person before spotting this one. It’s a gray area, as far as a junkyard find is concerned: lots of cool parts but likely a very small market. The tail lights and rear glass are surely impossible to find, but so are any owners still keeping one of these hatchbacks on the road!

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Here’s another one that caused me to rush home and see if the badge was real: a Dodge Challenger from the early 80s! Another one of Mopar’s platform-sharing projects with Mitsubishi, these cars have effectively disappeared from American roads, leading Hemmings to call the joint-venture coupe one of its lost cars of the 80s.

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This Gold Duster struck a personal note with me, as it was a twin to my Mom’s first new car she ever owned. Back in the day, stepping up to the Gold Duster package was a big deal for a couple of newlyweds. She wanted the bigger engine but my Dad said it was too much money. Wish we had that car today!

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Anyone remember when these roamed the roads? Better known as a Mitsubishi Lancer overseas, this was yet another byproduct of Chrysler’s Japanese partnerships. According to old advertisements, the Arrow featured the “Silent Shaft” engine – likely to be the quietest-running 4 cylinder on the market! Well, it’s very quiet now; in fact, it’s practically silent, save for the wind blowing through rust holes.

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This car appears to be the remnants of a 1960s-era Toyota  Crown, and it was one of several in the yard. These vehicles were considered fairly luxurious cruisers when introduced, with features including electric windows, air conditioning and high-grade seating surfaces. While they pop up on eBay from time to time, Crowns never really achieved high levels of desirability, especially in sedan form.

Thanks for reading this week’s entries of Jeff in the Junkyard! Be sure to check out previous entries here.

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Comments

  1. JOHN KELM

    That isn’t a Toyota Crown, it appears to be a 1971 Toyota Corona a notch down from the Crown. I owned a ’69 Crown for nearly 10 years.

  2. The Walrus

    There are typically 1 or 2 seemingly much worse late ’70’s Dodge step sides listed on eBay most days.

  3. Rotarydave

    Please have Jeff email me about this one. Thanks DAVE

  4. Dave

    That Challenger is an ’81, I just got rid of my ’80. Loved it. It was my first new car.
    Even finding them in a junk yard was rare.

  5. Edward Reyes-Nunez

    Where is this place specifically? I would want to grab some nice muscle cars and Japanese cars.

  6. Doyler

    Some pretty awesome rides there sadly :(

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