Jeff in the Junkyard: Granite State Finds

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After taking much of the summer off from junkyarding, I spent some time researching and calling over 25 different salvage yards throughout Maine and New Hampshire over the last few weeks. I haven’t spent much time in those areas, but given our central location in Rhode Island, it’s a pretty easy (and beautiful!) drive up the Granite State. After a stressful week where my wife and I had to walk away from a home we expected to buy and some career-related disappointments, plenty of time with the M3 on back-roads was needed.

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I’ll be honest: I’m leaving it up to our Barn Finds readers to identify most of these cars, as they pre-date me and I was trying to visit 4 different yards before they closed early on Saturdays. I actually went on the hunt for parts for my project BMWs and did very well, finding components I needed at every yard I had staked out. The vehicles featured here mostly come from Blanchard Auto Salvage in Wilton, New Hampshire. I drove past it on my way to another yard and pulled an immediate U-turn!

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This Buick Special was one of many, many classics sitting idle in the field on a sprawling property. There were classics as far as I could see, and I didn’t even have time to get to the back of the yard. Supposedly, there’s an old BMW 2002 tucked away that I need to go back and find. The owners are extremely friendly and welcome collectors and project-car owners with some vintage American iron in their garage.

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This Firebird and Mercedes sedan made odd yard companions, but the old Benz was in much better shape than the Pontiac. You can in the background there are  just cars everywhere. They are scrapping some portions of the yard, but it’s not a massive clean-out – just some organizing before winter. Fortunately, the owners know that there are people like our Barn Finds readers looking for older classics like these, and they plan to keep then in stock for as long as possible.

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There were classics to my left, right and straight ahead, parked in fields and in woods. This is the perfect time of year to go yarding – the temperatures are cool, the ground is clear and you can see straight through wooded areas. If I didn’t have to race off to get to a yard before they closed, I would have roamed here for hours. I am certainly going back after Thanksgiving!

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Now, I’ll turn it over to you to identify the cars in each photo – I’m not being lazy, it just seems like everyone enjoys a guessing game now and again. As mentioned, give them a call if you’re on the hunt for parts. (603) 654-9445 and some of the nicest people you will ever speak with in the salvage yard business. Plus, they’re actually preserving these cars and not just scrapping them. You never know what may happen, though, when the price of steel goes back up, so get there soon if you can.

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Comments

  1. Rick C

    More Jeff, and more junkyard. I love Jeff in the junkyard.

  2. jim s

    the IH in the first photo looks like it might have some life left in it. the falcon on the back of it could be a parts car. glad your back out there. keep the stories coming.

    • Jeff Staff

      Glad to be back out there!

  3. jimbosidecar

    Classics to the right of me, classics to the left, here I am stuck in the middle with you

  4. randy

    pic 2 ’59 chevy?
    last pic caddy wagon?
    car above the wagon I’d say mercury 62-65?

    • Horse Radish

      Looks like a ’63 Funeral/ “flower wagon”
      First one I would pick to save out of the bunch.

  5. David R.

    The second to last one is a 1962 Ford Fairlane (the first year of the first ever “midsize” and an outrageous success). The Buick Special is a 1958. Those are pretty rare, as every car company (save AMC/Rambler) struggled to sell anything during the 1958 recession. Buick faired extremely poor, and the fact that the 1958 has been voted “Ugliest GM of all time” doesn’t help. The first pic is a 1960 Chevy hardtop.

    • randy

      I was close on the fairlane, the first pic is an IH and a comet har d har.
      I was close on the 60 chevy too.

  6. Gary

    I see a ’60 Chevy 4dr Impala hrdtop in top picture, a ’58 Buick Special 4dr hrdtop also in pic 2, a vintage Mercedes and Pontiac Firebird not sure the years in pic 3.
    Pic 4 shows what I think is a mid 60’s Ford or Mercury 4 dr sedan, guessing a 63 or 64, bottom pic of Cadillac hearse looks to be a about ’64 or ’65 model. Check out the big swing out rear door, appears to still have some original interior inside.
    Would be fun to browse that yard for a day or two.

  7. Gary

    Missed the very top pic of the flat bed truck (Mack?) and has a Ford Falcon on board looks to be a ’64 or ’65 vintage, someone marked the passenger door save, maybe had plans to use as a donor car or? Interesting yard of old iron for sure.

  8. 64 bonneville

    Pic #1 left to right: bluebird School Bus, 65 Fairlane 2 dr. hardtop, 64 Falcon 2 dr. post on 63(?) International flatbed.

    Pic #2 59 Impala Sorts Sedan (4 door no post hardtop)

    Pic #3 58 Buick special 4 door hard top (Buick did not call them Sport Sedan, like Chevy, and Pontiac. Oldsmobile called it a Holiday Sedan)

    Pic #4 68/69 Firebird, late 50s’ or early 60s’ Mercedes , probably a 220. 71 Dodge Pick up. couldn’t make out cars in background.

    Pic #5 62Ford Fairlane 4 door sedan, WW II Military truck, probably a 2 1/2 ton.

    Pic #6 63 Cadillac Miller Meteor Hearse.

    Fast approaching 7 decades on this earth, my eyes ain’t what they use to be.

  9. Howard A Member

    You forgot the best part about chilly fall junkyard visits,,,, no #@*-&#*@ wasps and hornets ( my arch nemesis). The truck is an IH Loadstar 1600, and it’s in a good place. Lousy trucks. Rest of the stuff is good to have around. Most salvage yards in Wis. got rid of all the older stuff. New laws regarding the storage of junk cars, put the kabosh on that. Besides, not many people are buying dented grills for ’62 Fairlanes. Still, one of my favorite past times, tromping through a junkyard.

    • Jeff Staff

      That is true. Also cuts down on spiders, critters and other fun things. I have gone to some places in Florida where it’s best to just not look up to see what’s staring down at you.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. You never had good luck with Binders did you? My Dad had a ’59 B-150 grain truck that he loathed but then, he found out that it was too light; lighter than the A-160 or L-160, both of which you couldn’t work to death; you had to kill them. Dad got rid of the ’59 Binder and bought the ’61 GMC which was great as long as you didn’t break a torsion bar in the front end…

      Bugs. My left arm is still swollen from the wasps that stung me over 2 years ago. They’re nasty. If I’m probing around old cars in the summertime, I’ve always got a squirt bottle of bleach.

  10. MrEman

    I once told my girlfriend i could pack a lunch and spend a day in a good junkyard. She looked at me like I had two heads.

    Being in Mass I may have to take a drive and check this yard out.

  11. Blindmarc

    Firebirds a 70 or 71. They looked the same.

  12. Puhnto

    Wilton? Holy guacamole, I’m only 20 minutes from there! I guess my son and I won’t be putting new clapboards on this Saturday after all.

  13. Keith

    Jeff, If you didn’t get to look around fully you really missed out. Im 20 minutes from there. So I get there atleast once a year. Theres alot of old stuff. When was the last time you saw nash metropolitan in a junkyard

    You can miss alot especially if its summer. You have to look in all the wooded areas to see everything. Out back is where alot of the old stuff is. Also along the river side of the property.

    • Jeff Staff

      Already have plans to head back up in December…hopefully the snow won’t have begun falling by then.

  14. scottymac

    Howard A,
    You need to beat feet up to Camp Douglas and check out C.L. Chase Auto Parts.
    Keith,
    When was the last time you saw a ’38 Lincoln Zephyr in a junkyard? I must have spent 6 or 7 hours last December stomping through Chase’s yard, know I didn’t see it all. Bought a four speed shifter for my Galaxie, and a hood scoop from a ’65 Ford F850 Super Duty dump truck. (Pontiac used them on their ’61 lightweight drag cars.)
    Jeff,
    While you’re out looking for BMW parts, keep me in mind for a 1960-65 700 Sport Coupe transaxle. Needs to come from the dual carb model, may say SPORT on the back panel.
    Thanks, Scott.

    • Jeff Staff

      Never seen one of those in a yard but will do!

  15. james

    In the last pic (Upper Left Corner) cant decide if its a 57 chevy or a Mercury, 2 either Hudson’s or 48-50 ford or merc,and a Nova,Apollo,Omega or Ventura.

  16. tasker

    just up the road from me as well….have always wanted to get in there and “roam” around….thanks for sharing

  17. PRA4SNW

    Jeff, glad you made it up to our neck of the woods, literally!

    I enjoy your articles, please keep them coming.

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