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Junkyard Adventures: Impounded Classics

With the brutal heat we’ve been having here in Idaho, I haven’t made a trip to the local junkyard in a while, but we had a few days of reprieve so I decided to make a trip out to the yard to get a radiator for Jesse’s Volvo 740 Turbo and to see if anything interesting has shown up. I didn’t have any luck finding a radiator, they all had holes in the same spot as Jesse’s current one, but there were a few classics worth a closer look. It’s always a bit of a bummer to see complete and none wrecked classics in the junkyard, but hopefully, these ones will donate some good parts to keep others on the road. So, let’s take a closer look at what all I spotted!

The first one I spotted was this 1967 Ford Ranchero. Clearly, it’s been in the yard long enough for people to strip a number of components from it. While I didn’t see much left that’s worth saving, I did notice a parking ticket sticker in a pile of glass on the floor that was dated for March of this year and the street it was parked on. It was from Garden City, one of the suburbs of Boise and was just down the road from this particular junkyard. I didn’t think to much of it, other than it was sad that it ended up being scrapped over a parking violation, but it would soon become an interesting part of this story as I spotted other cars here and at a neighboring junkyard with similar stickers.

A few rows from the Ranchero, I spotted this 1977 Plymouth Volare. It’s not exactly a desirable car, but it looks like it was in good shape prior to being sent here. Their were license plates with it that still have time left on their registration tags. While that doesn’t necessarily mean it was still being driven prior to being impounded, the slant six that powered it is about as durable of an engine as you will ever find and probably still has a lot of life left in it! Someone has already pulled a few parts from it, but it’s still quite complete at this point.

After looking at the Volare, I checked for a radiator for the 740, but didn’t have much luck. Before leaving the yard and heading for the one down the street, I decided to make a quick pass through the rest of the yard. That’s when I spotted this 1982 Buick Regal. It didn’t have an parking ticket on it, but I spotted an old registration slip with an address on the same street that the others had been parked on illegally. Of the three, it’s definitely the most complete. It looks like scavengers have only picked a few pieces off of it at this point, but I doubt it will stay that way for long. When I check under the hood, I found a complete V8. I couldn’t find any indentification as to whether it’s the two or four barrel 305 V8, but it was definitely a well optioned car.

One I was finished looking the Buick over, I jumped in my car and drove to the other pick and pull in hopes of finding a good radiator for Jesse’s Volvo. I didn’t have any luck on that front, but I did find several more classics that appear to have come from the same property as the ones I had just looked at. I managed to snap photos of this 1973 Ford Maverick before my phone battery went dead. Looking it over, I was amazed by just how many styling cues were borrowed from the Mustang! It’s hard to see in photos, but it’s more noticeable in person. Obviously, it’s no 4-door Pony car, but I sure like the looks of it compared to Ford’s latest abomination to wear the iconic Mustang name (the Mustang Mach-E if you are wondering). It seems like to me, the Maverick name would have been more fitting for their new electric Tesla fighter, but that’s just me.

A few rows from the Maverick was an early VW Super Beetle and a turbocharged Chyrsler K-Car. I’m going to have to go back and get photos of those two, but the forecast is showing temperatures in excess of 100 degrees for the next few days. Hopefully, temperatures will drop down to more bearable levels soon so I can get back out there before they are sent off to the crusher. Admittedily, None of these cars are particularly special or valuable, but it seems like it would have made more sense to find buyers for them rather than send them to the junkyard. I drove down the street where the car’s were ticketed, but all that was left at their address were a few oil spots on the side of the road. I’m sure there an interesting, if not infurating, story behind what happened here but it’s one we are unlikely to ever know.

If you come across an interesting finds at your local junkyard, we’d love to hear about them! You can send us your photos and story via the new Barn Finds Submission Tool!


  1. Henry

    Weird, huh? it’s always more interesting to see an old abandoned car than it is to see a beautifully restored or well kept one. Thanks for the interesting article and enjoy the rest of you day.

    Like 7

    classics? LMAO

    Like 6
  3. MrBZ

    Great write-up Josh, and I couldn’t agree more on the “Mach-E”. I too am sweating it out here in the Treasure Valley, and I am ready for another reprieve!

    Like 2
  4. Grease

    Scrapped over a parking violation ?? 🇨🇦we

    Like 0
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Back when I was a kid, a friends Uncle owned a salvage yard and we had pretty much the run of the place. We got a whole lot of used parts there and kept many cars running due to it. Cost us a little time to help clean the place up on occasion but it was great for kids with little money available. I won’t go into some of the idiotic things we tried, but we all survived the insanity. Additionally I learned a lot about cars by fixing mine and helping others fix theirs.
    Too bad kids today have little opportunity to visit salvage yards and learn to fix their vehicles.

    Like 11
  6. HoA Howard A Member

    As mentioned, we don’t have auto recycling facilities,,aka, junkyards here, peoples vast back yards double as that. Just the term these days conjures up images of hazardous liquids polluting the ground not unlike the Exxon-Valdez spill,,, and unsightly views,people screaming in the night,,well,,not in my( new) back yard, and they all vanished. I think there’s one in Pueblo yet, 95% Asian 4 doors.
    Thing is, if you are looking for a classic, you have to get them BEFORE they get here. Resurrecting a junkyard car is too much, as most the “good stuff” is already gone, and to replace that, will cost a fortune. Sadly, it’s “shredder time” for most of these.
    I have thought of just taking my camera on my bike rides around town. The classics sitting would be a feature in itself.

    Like 3
  7. Elwood

    The Buick Regal has 231V6 not a V8

    Like 0
  8. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    There are a couple “pick & pull” here in Vegas. Most of the junkyards won’t let you go back and look around. You tell them what you need and they tell you if they have one. Then they send an employee to get it. No fun in that at all.
    But, one “pick & pull” is great! Always lots of new stuff. Once most of the cars have been picked over, off to the crusher and a new batch is brought in.
    A couple if weeks ago when we were having our heatwave and the Temps were 121°, stupid me went looking for a part for my car. I had walk from the office down to where the cars are, then find the row they are supposed to be in. Walk down that three times and could not find them. By this point I was about to passout as I had no more water.
    Got back to the office and laid down on the cool tile floor for about 30 minutes before I could even get to my car.
    Couple weeks later, when it was only a bearable 105°, I went again. But still could not find the cars where they were supposed to be. Yes, it was cooler, but I’m pushing 70 and again, almost didn’t make it back to the office.
    Told the girls there I’ll be back in October where I might just live through the experience.

    Like 3
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Still have a lot of wrecking yards here in Texas. Some still have old cars. I found a 64 Buick Riviera in Tyler that was complete. The Guy wanted 2 grand for it.
    I’ve seen pickups and cars from the 50’s & 60’s in some of these places, most have been picked over pretty good though. I find it best to drive around country roads, there are still many old cars just waiting for a flipper to come along and buy them for cheap clean up and resell.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  10. Rich Carroll

    My ex-step son took a car that was the Edward Cole Winner from a few years ago to LasVegas. He initially refused to give me the car back, but pushed the car outside of of the storage garage. It was ticketed as an abandoned vehicle, despite current plates. It was reported to the Illinois Secretary of State as an abandoned vehicle, therefore changed to a “junked” title. It took months of legal work to get the car back with a good title.

    Like 2
  11. Karl

    You can tell a lot about the car when a parking ticket totals to car out!!

    Like 0
  12. Steve Clinton

    Rule #1 when working on your car; do NOT use wheels as jacks!

    Like 1
    • Jetfire88

      The wheels used in yards are two rims welded together, one flat to the ground and the other at 90deg. Quite solid and stable.

      Like 1
  13. FrankY

    Just a suggestion for the staff. The new tip/ submission tool only allows links. If I see a car for sale or sitting I take phone pictures and there is no way to upload them. There was a 67 cougar I took pictures of last week at a local garage I do parts delivery to That a customer was trying to sell. Was no way to upload the pic so I deleted them off my phone. It’s still there as of Monday. Maybe a submission form that allows pictures. Not just a link

    Like 0
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Have you tried “mail@barnfinds.com” ? Seems the staff jumps right on that stuff in mail link.

      Like 1
      • FrankY

        I did not as I was under the impression that the only way to submit a tip was the one you link to. But I can certainly try. Thanks

        Like 0
  14. Derek

    Regarding the Ford pickup; it’d be worth hoickin’ the the doors off it because, as someone pointed out recently, the doors and glass have curved corners – unlike the 2-door cars.

    …sez he, from miles an’ miles away…!

    Like 0
  15. Craig Battuello

    Almost No more junkyards in the Napa Valley, one left in neighboring Pope Valley. , Jeff Parady’s Pope Valley Garage, relic vehicles of all types. There was two within the city of Napa, as the town grew around them the families that owned them sold out as the property had increased many times in value. The closest, 40 miles away, in a rural area, and largest one,probably ten acres just disappeared one day.As did another one located near it. Same as some one mentioned, driving around the rural areas, and scoping out their back 40 is the only opportunity now. Or if you know a Mobil farm equipment salesman that gets around the area counties has the best opportunities to see vehicles that may be destine for another buyer or see an unfinished project as he has visuals of what are stored inside many barns.

    Like 0

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