Roswell Salvage Yard Liquidation

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When we think of Roswell, New Mexico our first thought is of UFOs and aliens, but in reality this town is just like every other South Western town, albeit with more alien memorabilia. And just like any town, it has salvage yards, car collectors, and hoarders. Recently, reader Quinton B stumbled upon a Facebook post about a collection of cars in Roswell looking for a new home. While this collection might be better described as a salvage yard, there appear to be a number of cars worth saving!

Roswell-collection

Like us, Quinton hopes to see as many of these cars go to good homes as possible and it seems he is willing to help out where he can. The original listing was posted in a private group, but thankfully we were able to get the seller’s email address, so send an email to John Q if you are interested in buying anything.

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More and more of these old collections and salvage yards are coming up for sale, which in some ways makes us sad. We hate to see so many great cars left out in the elements to rust away, but at the same time there is something about walking through rows of rusty old cars in a field that brings a smile to our faces. Sadly, hard financial times and new government regulations are forcing many owners to liquidate. Thankfully some of these collectors would rather see their cars go to new homes than to the crusher.

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We aren’t sure how many of these cars are worth saving as restoration projects, but we see more than a few cars that would be worth buying for parts. While we hate to see places like this sold off piece by piece, we would much rather see these cars go to new homes where they can either be saved or used for parts to keep other cars on the road.

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Roswell is located in the high desert planes of New Mexico, which explains the combination of sun baked paint and surface rust. While it makes for some very interesting “patina”, it also makes it more difficult to justify restoring any of these cars.

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It appears that there is something for just about everyone here. There are cars from just about every era and we see nearly every major manufacture represented here. Whether you are looking for a project car, a shell for a rat rod, or even just a few parts, it might be worth checking this place out! If anyone is in the Roswell area and knows more about this collection, we would love to hear from you.

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WANTED 1972 Yamaha G7S (80cc) These are now referred to as “cafe racers”, although we never heard of such a term in 1972. Contact

WANTED 67-69 Chevrolet Camaro Looking for an affordable Camaro in need of resto. Something with a solid frame and cowl. Thanks. Contact

WANTED 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Have cash in hand. Call 573-541-1970 or email collectorcarsandparts@yahoo.com Contact

WANTED 60s – 70s TUK TUK Tuk Tuk Looking for a Thailand taxi (tuk tuk) Please give me a shout if you have one for me Contact

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Comments

  1. georgemia Member

    I’d be interested to know, specifically, what new government regulations are bringing these cars up for sale?

  2. TVC15

    This place should be called Area 52

  3. paul

    This is the kind of place that I could wonder for days.

    • Connor

      Yeah I could easily get lost in there. No one would see or hear from me for a couple of days if I went into there.

  4. Wichy

    Just looked at few parts I need for my car.

  5. JD

    This is a very cool find! If you had ever wondered what happened to the victims cars from the movie The Hills Have Eyes,well look no further…..lol! It was based on a true story

  6. Quinton B

    I am planning on buying 2 or 3 cars from here to help out.

    • Roger Helander

      Hi! You dont know if there are any 1955-56 mercury conv there? Thanks Roger

  7. RONALD MELANSON

    I HAVE A 1964 FORD GALAXY 500 CONV I might need some parts for ,I can see that you might have parts for it .

  8. Jim-Bob

    There’s definitely a nice selection of rat rod candidates. While many may be a bit too far gone for a traditional restorer, the structural soundness of most of them means it would be a shame to see them go to waste. After all, they’re not making them any more and once the cars that are left are gone, they’re gone for good.

    As for me, I like that white VW type three or one of the Falcons.

  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    There was a guy on a farm just outside of town. At his peak he had over 800 cars jammed in around his place. We used to stroll about the yard and he knew the history on the vast majority of them, even the ones that only the chassis was left. A lot of memories got baled up during a fateful week when he sold his place and the new owner wasn’t as enthusiastic about the relics as the original owner was.

    • Horse Radish

      Interesting, but
      who in the world would give that little anecdote a thumbs down ??…..
      …same people that walk into a fast food place and shoot it up ??
      I don’t get that….

  10. braktrcr

    I remember Junk Yard owners saying things like “Go down to the Oak tree where the 50 Ford is sitting, take a left and just past the 62 Caddy is where your 54 Chevy is. The Intake manifold is on, but the carb is gone” They knew where every car was located, and pretty much what parts were available. Yes they were “Junk Yards” in the old days, Now they are “recyclers” or “Salvage Yard” To me it looks like Heaven. Such a beautiful place. I remember my Dad saying, he didn’t think he could own a Junk Yard, as he probably wouldn’t sell anything.

    • Horse Radish

      Turn over inventory, grow your numbers, more this, more that….

      the economics’ soap bubble that blew up in everybody’s face in 2008…..

      …and they’re still doing it.
      Produce more cars than last year and tell everybody it’s better for the environment , to build more cars and blow .02 % less co2 into the atmosphere…
      yeah, right…
      I stopped believing all that cr** in 2008.
      No inflation and 7% unemployment……all lies.
      Wow, you really got me started now.
      Anyway, they have to get rid of 500 cars in a month, because that is how many new cars are coming in !
      It doesn’t matter, if it’s one of 20 left or if it survived 50 years without major harm…..

      • Horse Radish

        I am talking about modern junk yards the pik and pulls, almost all of the cars are a dime a dozen, but old ones get mixed in and that is what kills me.
        I totally agree with these old junk yards, they save the cars, because they’re rare.
        But one day somebody will show up with a suit-case full of money and buy the land and get the cars thrown in in the deal only to send the cars crushed into cubes to China.
        Greed !
        Call it free market enterprise, it’s what made this country what it is and most likely destroy it. (at least the part of it that I like(d)

      • paul

        Yeah the salvage yards of today are designed to use up the fast moving items, but then again you can’t collect the cars today 50 years from now the software will be obsolete rendering the car useless.

  11. Rolly Doucet

    In the early ’70s, a friend of mine ran a small junkyard where he kept old cars for parts. As his business grew, he bagan recycling some of the less popular vehicles to the scrap metal industry. Remember that in those days, we expected Detroit was going to produce good cars forever, so we weren’t concerned about scrapping older ones. One day, a farm was being sold off, and part of it was a junkyard with just over 2500 cars on it. My friend paid $10. per car, sight unseen. A couple of phone calls later, he sold all the cars for $30. each, to a scrap metal company, who in turn, brought in a crane, and a mobile crusher. A month later there was nothing left on the ground except broken glass. I can only imagine what may have been in that yard.

    • Bill (Melbourne, Australia)

      I remember a similar situation back in the 70’s. A farmer had a paddock run as a car wrecking yard, I can still remember wandering around dreaming of resurrecting some of those cars back then and buying parts for cars I owned. Unfortunately other farmers objected to the paddock full of cars and they managed to get the local council to pass a ruling to shut the yard down (a nearby farmer just happened to also be a council member and also had a personal dislike of the farmer with the wrecking yard – as the old saying goes – ‘the fix was in’) .

      The council ordered a crusher to be sent in and everything went to scrap, even large amounts of NOS GM panels. I still regret not having the money or space to save those parts – again as the old saying goes – ‘such is life’..

      • MikeH

        That reminds me of a Hudson club member that died several years ago. His widow didn’t notify anybody in the club. She sold his running cars, 2 or 3, and junked the non running ones , 7 or 8, all of which were restorable. She PAID someone to haul off 5 pick up loads of NOS parts. It was all done within days of the husband’s death. She must have hated him.

      • paul

        you are making me cry.

      • Horse Radish

        “she must have hated him”, because of the cars (?).
        So, she REALLY hated the CARS..

  12. rancho bella

    I try a live my dream every chance I get……traveling by car in the Southwest. Lucky for me that dream starts in earnest while driving just a scant 3 hrs to the hard core stuff. And, because of this I see old car yards or old cars in yards. And, what looks like deep rust is desert rust….big difference. Desert rust many times is just non pitted brown metal. A real delight.

    And trip to New Mexico? count me in. Maybe a little blue stuff from Walter White…….

    During my travels I came to realize that there are so many old cars left in these areas……they aren’t rare……..they just aren’t where most of you are.

    • paul

      That top picture of what I think is a Hudson & 2 Studebakers is the stuff for me. & desert rust is very different.

    • Andacar

      I actually live in Albuquerque, though it’s still a bit of a drive to Roswell. Not sure about these particular cars, but I’ve hung out in a lot of southern New Mexico junkyards and I know that the rust you see is usually superficial and repairable if you’re willing to work at it. The car in the second from last picture is the one I’m interested in (trying to identify it. Early 40s GM I think). Might be worth a trip with a trailer to go take a look.

      • Kurt S

        The car you mentioned is older than early ’40s..Likely a 37-39 Olds or Pontiac..

  13. Al Rogers

    would be interested in any old Hudsons??

  14. Dolphin Member

    Not too many yards left where you can routinely expect to find good sheet metal and parts for ’40s & ’50s iron. This yard takes me back…..waaaaay back.

    Reminds me of my first job, at 15 years old, where you had to be able to identify a car from only what was left of it, so you could get the customer the right part and not one for a year earlier or a year later. Most times you had only a part of the car left to go on. You quickly learned how to tell a ’52 Ford parking light from a ’53. I can still best tell the years of the cars of the ’50s. Most ’70s & ’80s cars are a big uncertain bunch unless they are special. All for $1 an hour.

    My first assignment was to “go get generators”. So I hustled and got a pile of heavy, grease coated generators that was almost waist high. The boss had to send a man out with a truck to haul them back to the shed. Arms were covered with grease up to my armpits. No stinkin’ sissy mechanic’s gloves back then. Got a big bump up in wages, all the way to $1.25 an hour. Yep, this yard takes me back.

  15. Mitch Lehrman

    I am the man to dispose of these cars. If anybody on the planet can do these types of wrecking yard salvage operations It’s me! Everybody is happy.

  16. rancho bella

    First picture, left side, fastback………….Pontiac, Olds….a little help? Any of those fastbacks art deco cars need saving.
    They are just so neat………..

  17. Mark E

    Just two words: Studebaker Hawk!! ^_^

  18. Jeff G

    I’ve seen this junkyard. If it’s the one I’m thinking about. It is very nice. There are some even nicer cars in the front of it. My sister and brother in law live a couple miles from it.

  19. fatty

    We lost the only classic car junkyard here in South Carolina a few years ago.It had been there since the 40`s.Was sold and is a scrapyard car crushing operation now.I am finishing up my last project car now because there are no parts cars left here. I hope at least some of these roswell cars can be saved.

  20. EDDY

    I see 5 JUST in the FIRST picture I would LOVE to OWN.

  21. Kabinenroller

    Interesting collection of vintage vehicles. I cannot remember the last time I saw a Mercury Meteor let alone a two door model. ( fitting model for the Alien location!) and it is resting on a ’66 Ranchero witch is a desirable piece it self. I wonder how many viewers know that this model of Mercury had a one off front suspension? It consisted of the basic coil spring over A frame like a normal Comet, Falcon, or Mustang but also had an extra smaller coil spring mounted to the stamped steel strut rod. Very strange set up for sure. I would invest in a good pair of snake boots before wondering to far in this yard! Great post, keep them comming!

  22. geomechs geomechs Member

    My daughter and her husband live in Aztec, pretty much at the opposite end of the state. When they moved into their new place I saw a beautiful panoramic view of the auto wreckers to the east. While my wife and daughter wrinkled their noses at it, my son-in-law and I thought it was the greatest view on their place.

  23. Kurt S

    Looks like a place I’d feel at home with! Many yards like this have disappeared here in eastern Missouri. As mentioned in an earlier comment, many Rat Rod candidates were in the background of these shots.. I’m hoping to find a first or second year Plymouth Valiant or Dodge Lancer Wagon.. Even one that has had roof damage from having another car stacked on top as seen in these photos.. I have no use for the roof nor front clip. Because of this fact, I hope to be able to use someones parts car stash as a starting point for a Rat Rod Roadster.. This type of yard would likely turn up a salvageable upper cowl section from the ’20s or early ’30s with useable windshield posts as well!

  24. David Reeves

    That white Falcon/Fairlane(I can’t see the fender script) in the first photograph looks to be in pretty good shape for being in a junkyard

    • Kurt S

      The white car in the first photo is either a ’65 or ’66 Galaxie..( hard to ID the taillight from the angle) The fourth shot shows I believe a ’63 Mercury Comet on top of a ’65 Ranchero..

  25. Charles

    Looks like some great finds in there! I wish that I was closer.

    In Valdosta GA, there is a yard that functions like the modern yards in every way. They buy late model total loss vehicles at insurance auctions, recycle them and crush them in about 90 days. It is a large yard, and if you see something for a car made in the last 15 years, you had better get it quick, because a week later it will be history.

    The unique thing about this yard is that they also keep lots of old iron in a separate corner, away from the crusher. They have vehicles that date from the 40’s and up, that are available to purchase parts off of, but will not be crushed. If an old car or interesting car comes into the yard, that car is not salvaged. It is separated out and sold intact. Since I collect Pontiac TA’s, I stop when ever I am in the area. The Camaro/Firebird section covers a acre or so, with about 60 cars. This yard is not a pick and pull, and they are pretty strict about allowing the public access to the cars without supervision. They have had a lot of problems with people destroying valuable parts to remove a 5 dollar part. Since I have been trading with these folks for some 30 years, and they know that I remove items like a surgeon leaving everything else unharmed, I am allowed to go unattended into the yard, and collect my own stuff. I usually plan a day a couple of times each year just to gather pieces. Often the bed of my F-350 is full of stuff when I leave. Those days are about the only days that I get really dirty, but also have a great time there!

    I am not affiliated with this yard in any way, and no one that works there has asked me to mention them on any websites. So, NO, this is not spam. However if anyone is in the area and is looking for old hard to find South Georgia rust free parts, this is a good place to go. The yard is Salvage GM Parts, and is located in the Industrial Park in Valdosta GA. 31603

    • Don Andreina

      The old world is disappearing, but it’s great to hear a story like this. If I could turn a spanner, this is how I would spend my spare time. Instead, I use it to find lp records.

  26. Michael Phipps

    Yep, some salvageable iron there for sure. Especially the ones sitting on top of something. Too far for me to travel to go there, but there is a early ’50’s(’52-’55) Packard that I finally identified what it was through HMN and now query the owner of the auto repair shop where the car currently sits with a price tag on it. Maybe bring my camera along and snap some pics and submit them for all to see if there is an interest. I lost out on an early ’60’s Corvair last summer, with sadly, a settlement close to arriving in my possession from VA disablity retirement. Oh well, that’s life.

    • Michael Phipps

      Gave the owner that copy of HMN after getting the zoned out expression when I mentioned barnfinds.com. BTW it’s ’51 Packard that yes, is a barn find with a ’70 Ohio plate on her. Let’s just say, I’ll give him 2 weeks for the car to move, if not, I’ll go back and shoot the pics and submit them here for all to see.

  27. mark

    how can you get a list, need 55-56 chevy parts, phone number or email address

  28. Charles

    I’d have to go with 30-something/40-something what ever it is, Buick.

  29. Tara P

    Looks like the ones that have been stacked up have been carefully placed on top of the others, notice no crane claw marks around the roof or tops on the doors, lets hope our friends get to them first before the crushers.

  30. Quinton B

    Also, Josh nothing is to far from saving. If you have the time and money you can restore anything.

    • Josh Staff

      Good point Quinton! I didn’t mean it as these cars can’t or shouldn’t be saved, more just a statement of whether the benefit outweighs the cost of restoring one. Restoring a car isn’t cheap. At the end of the day it’s about saving as many of these cars as possible, whether that’s restoring them, turning them into rat rods, making them into rolling projects, or even parting them out to keep other cars on the road. Obviously if you have the time and money to do a complete restoration, I say go for it, just be sure to send me the before and after shots so I can see the fruits of you labor and possibly feel a little jealous!

      • Quinton B

        Will do, need to finish my 1979 F100 Custom PU first tho!

  31. Glenn Looney

    down town Roswell in the old Pontiac dealership garage it is full of old cars.if you’re in the area check it out the bails bond man owns the garage he is on the corner of 2nd and main

  32. Bill (Melbourne, Australia)

    I’m enjoying this article and I bet every single one of us here that is reading about the Roswell yard is imagining themselves walking around that yard and discovering treasures. Ha – I’ll keep dreaming, its just a bit too far from me for a visit.

  33. Bud Kennedy

    Ladies and gentlemen,,,,,,,I was staioned in the Air Force down in Texas back in ’71 and ”72 ,(40 years ago)and had a ’65 Chevy, (2 door hardtop; tourquoise top and inside, and an all white exterior). While I I was looking at the pictures, and what great pictures they are, I saw what appeared to be a ’65 Chevy back behind another Chevy,,,,I think a ’67 fastback. I don’t know,,,but I have a feeling my car ended up there, being so close to Texas and all…. I just might have to venture down and see if maybe it is there…

    • Bill (Melbourne, Australia)

      Unless the car had some bad memories attached to it for you, that would certainly make an interesting restoration project if it really was your car after all those years have passed. Please let us know the outcome of your trip Bud.

  34. Jesse Scott

    I spoke with the owner this morning. He said he is going out of business but it isn’t a fire sale. He prices everything and that prices are reasonable but he’s not giving stuff away. He said a corporation owns all of the inventory. I will be going there this weekend to look around. If anyone wants me to look for any specific cars or car parts let me know. If there is strong interest I can thoroughly photograph vehicles and get prices. You can email me directly at jesselscott at gmail dot com.

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