Upstate New York Graveyard

Upstate New York Graveyard

After talking about so many cars that have shaped our lives, reader Phil T felt that he needed to share this car graveyard he found in New York State. He loves to go visit it, so that he can remember all the cars from his youth. It looks like a great place to spend a day wondering around and reminiscing! There looks to be a great mix of old American Iron, but we are going to guess that none are for sale. Since we can’t save them, let’s at least enjoy the sights! You can read Phil’s story in his own words right after the break. We want to thank him for sharing his story and photos with us!

New York car Graveyard

We have a place here in upstate New York that has about 300-400 classic vehicles. I drive up to this place maybe twice a year just to look and take pictures of the vehicles. It’s a wonderland. I am 76 years young and when I walk down through the fields and look at these vehicles, I am back in the 50’s. Each car means something. I look at a certain Ford or Chevy and I can remember who had one like it. I asked the gentleman one Sunday if my wife and I could take some pictures. “Go ahead”, he said, “but please don’t fall”. I told him I would like to buy the property with all the vehicles left on it. I told him that I would build a house right in the middle of these cars. Every morning I would get up and walk around outside and pretend I was back in the good old days. It was a great time to grow up in. Hope you enjoy the pictures! ~Phil T from Geneva, New York.

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Comments

  1. Charles

    A treasure trove of parts. Thanks for sharing Phil.

    Like 1
  2. Auld Bobby Friendship

    I’m just 65 years young, Phil, but I know exactly how it is when you visit this yard.
    I hope you get to make many more visits.
    Thanks for sharing your story. Oh, and you’re right about those times, too.
    All the Best,
    Bob Friendship, (UK)

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I might have mentioned this some time ago but I’ll repeat it just in case I haven’t. There was a guy about 3 miles east of my home town whose yard was jam-packed with cars. I used to walk through them at least once a week and reminisce about life when those cars were in their prime. I knew the histories on half of them but the owner knew everything (of course he might have been good at fabrications too). The guy passed away in ’03 and the new owner had 750 cars crushed and hauled away. Today all that remains of the place is a couple of buildings.

      • v8

        that is sad…

      • tony

        Would that possibly be the yard at Rhode Island?

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Tony. Actually this place is out west in the Chinook belt. More specifically, the north side of the border into Canada. The guy originally came from Washington but his farm was in Alberta.

  3. cliffyc

    Fantastic place,as always, when cars are this rusted ,it’s a little sad. Maybe if they ever get sold some parts still useable. I always contend myself thinking of the stories each of these old cars could tell…… Thanks for sharing this story.

    • Brian

      I agree, it is sad. But my thoughts are that most, if not all, of these cars are too far gone to restore, so is it better that they rust in peace, knowing that they will continue to deteriorate or is it better that they be parted out now while there are still some useable parts left?

      Either way, eventually there will be nothing left for people to walk around and enjoy looking at. Of course, my preference is that they be left were/as they are, and postpone the sadness of their complete loss as long as possible, and hopefully they will remain protected from looters and vandals.

  4. rich pethel

    so sad, to me, when I see these old cars sitting, in the weather, breaks my heart, like to take them all home..

  5. Don Andreina

    Interesting collection. Make sure you build floor to ceiling windows on your dream house, Phil. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Colnago

    More than a casual resemblance to the Forensic Anthropology (Cadaver) Farm at the Univ of Tennessee.

  7. Rich Member

    Two Dart GTs…one a convertible. ’63 or ’64, not sure exactly which year.

  8. Rich G

    I often wonder how “collections” like these evolved. Did it start as a series of projects with the best intentions? Maybe the “curator” became known as the local guy who would take your junked car. Perhaps he wanted to start his own salvage yeard.

  9. Alan

    Great, peaceful way to spend a day. Looks to me like the location was probably a relatively open field several decades ago, but Mother Nature never stops. So trees have grown up around, between, and probably through some of the cars. Lovely fall day to take a walk, times like those are worth the wait.

    • Alan

      Oh, I meant to add: I spy the sloped greenhouse of a ’60’s AMC Matador in the background of the photo with the yellow MoPar. Mustang row is cool.

  10. Dolphin Member

    I guess with all of the accepting comments written here, the recent debates over how and why these 300 to 400 vintage cars might have ended up in this ‘graveyard’ (as it was termed in the writeup) instead of in hundreds of car-hobbyists’ garages are now pretty much over. This final resting place is what it is, and it seems unlikely that anything about it is going to change anytime soon.

    It’s a remarkable resting place, with that carpet of leaves and the sparse growth of young trees, so I can understand the appeal of strolling through here and thinking about what all the cars mean to us as individuals. But that said, I can’t help thinking that although these vintage cars avoided the crusher they are fighting a losing battle against disintegration. Unfortunately that’s coming, and it’s not too far off now.

    • Brian

      These cars might not be protected by a junkyard dog, but by the looks of the surrounding, they could be protected by a few rattlesnakes! So when the metel man cometh, he best ride in on heavy equipment!

      About 20 years ago, I snuck up on a rattlesnake sunning himself on the hood of a ’57 Fairlane while hunting for a heater core for my ’59 Custom 300. Both of us made hasty retreats! I now prefer, when possible, to junkyard explore locations like this in the cold months!

  11. John

    Phil, I would think this owner hoards just from the looks of his yard; ever been inside his home? Anyway, if he is like so many others who suffer from an inability to keep or sell/give away. For hoarders, they’re unable to just sell, give or clean up their yard or home. Because they can not, hoarding becomes something they do unwittingly. It is for sure to bad that his collection is now more of parts then they were when parked.

    Here’s a good link if you all would like to know more about the reasons why hoarders, hoard.
    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/08/07/inside-hoarder-brain-why-cant-ditch-their-stuff/

    • Jim-Bob

      From what I have seen, there is more than one reason people hoard. Not all of the people on “Hoarders” have the same issues and there are some who don’t really care about the stuff but just can’t get motivated to clean it. These people let the show just get rid of the crap and move on with their lives with little drama. In the end, it’s always what is called an “Executive Functioning” issue. The reasons for this can range from the typical hoarding disorder to things like depression/anxiety and also autistic spectrum disorder. I would also throw ADHD into the mix of possibilities as well since people who legitimately have that disorder start a lot of projects, but lose focus and move on to other things rapidly. Eventually, they have so many things going on and unfinished that it gets overwhelming. Throw in ADHD’s normal comorbids of anxiety and depression it it’s not hard to see it getting out of control.

      • Don Andreina

        DSM-5 has redefined hoarding to have its own category IIRC. Having met many collectors and hoarders, I don’t think it’s an easy tell. Some people seriously just love having these great automotive shapes around them, such as Phil described. I’m hoping to have a bunch of beautiful shapes around me when I get older, including non-runners. For Phil, its about remembering, for me its about beauty. I think true hoarding has more to do with an irrational impulse. I can’t speak for the owner of these cars.

  12. Jim-Bob

    Reminds me of a trip I took to visit a friend of mine who lives near Binghampton, NY a few years ago. There were so many interesting, abandoned cars in the are it was hard to believe. I took pictures of a few of them, but there were whole lots full of cars, and they weren’t even junkyards! The coolest pic I got was of a 1958 Chevy wagon on the side of a barn. It had a tree growing through the empty engine bay that must have been at least 30 years old. My friend’s back yard also yielded interesting finds, with a 1953 Chevy, 1953 Packard and 1962 Dodge wagon way back in the woods that obviously hadn’t moved in at least 40 years. I remember that the Chevy seemed to have been an old winter beater as it had snow tires on it and the body had been poorly patched with roof flashing and pop rivets. Sadly though, the owner of that property scrapped the three cars a year later when the price of scrap metal soared due to Chinese demand. Today they are probably part of some factory in Guangzhou.

  13. Barry

    I can easily see how this situation arises. You start one project and before you are finished another deal turns up, so you buy it for later. And the process repeats till you have 400 cars. I think the only thing stopping many of us living in the burbs is lack of land. That being said some of us still manage to keep a mini car collection, much to the horror of our wife.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Barry. I’ve got a situation like that at my place. With 7 vehicles in my collection, and (3) on the go, I’m still looking at more possibilities. But my wife can’t get too upset, as she’s responsible for 3 of them showing up.

  14. paul

    Huh? This is in NY, land of EPA requirement the same state that broke my b*lls about anything & everything when I had my auto shops!!! All those fluids dripping down into the aquifer, you all just don’t know what we shop owners were put through.

    • Brian

      Just being an average smoe and dealing with taxes, insurance, banks, etc., etc., I can only imagine what the average small business owner goes through, plus add in customers who expect everything done yesterday and for free. It’s a wonder you guys don’t go “postal” more often. I’m amazed at “people” people anyway (I’m not one) and how they never seem to lose faither in their fellow man no matter how many slime buckets they meet every day.

      These cars must be well hidden as they appear to have been untouched for many, many years. Better visability would have resulted in more stripped down, graffitied car-carcasses laying around.

  15. Dolphin Member

    OK, I’ll go on record as not being able to see it. You accumulate a large bunch of old cars onto your property, and then?

    I understand wanting to own some old cars, but it took lots of motivation in terms of time, money, and effort to accumulate 300 to 400 of them, for….what?

    “Just to own them” is about the only thing I can come up with, which I guess gets into the state of being a hoarder.

    But, too lazy? Nope. It takes about 299-399 fewer phone calls to get a solution from any number of sources than it took to accumulate them.

    • v8

      some people just like to have them, like to fix them , some like to drive them, all car lovers

    • Brian

      But remember, just 20 years ago, a scrape car was only worth about $50.00 and if you got a reputation as the junk car man, lots of people would give you their old cars for free just to have it towed away! A retired guy with an old tow truck could keep himself busy for the cost of cheap gas money back then. May have been, say, a retired guy who had no family around, wife recently passed, and some unused farmland, doing something like that might have been what got him up every morning, kept his mind occupied, maybe, gave life meaning? Not saying it right, or that I’d wanna do it, but it might have made someone’s golden years golden! Stranger things have made people happy and if it isn’t disturbing his neighbors as a eyesoar or a rat hole, then I guess it’s ok, but it woulda been nice if he woulda drained all the fluids first.

  16. Moby935

    Made me smile Phil T when I read your story. I wish I could do the same here (Melbourne, Australia), but the yards with old cars are all but gone now (let alone one that would let me walk around dreaming).

    It certainly would be nice to see some of them saved.

    Hope you have many more walks around there Phil T.

    Bill (Melbourne, Australia)

  17. JT

    Don’t be too hard on the horders. If there were no horders most of the cars on this site would no longer exisit. It is sad that most of the time you only get access to them as part of an estate, but that they still exist is something of a miracle.

    • Dolphin Member

      JT, Agreed about horders saving old cars from the crusher, allowing them to be on BF, but in this case what difference does it really make in the end? These 300-400 cars were “saved”, but now they are just about disintegrated from years of being out in the rain and snow. Nothing is being done with them, so it looks like they are going to end up in this forest as little piles of unrestorable rust flakes.

      • TuckerTorpedo

        ^^^Dolphin has nailed it. They ultimately have NOT been saved, only rusted along and leaked fluids into the earth. It begs the question: what was the point of letting this happen?

  18. Andrew

    Wow. I could walk around there for a few days. It appears that some of the cars were scavanged for parts (doors/trim/etc). And to think, they were all new at one point.
    BTW..what happened to the “Z” article from a few days ago?

  19. jim s

    i would the like to see this cleaned up and parted out. still some good parts. but the person who owns it has other plans. nice to look at but would not want to live next door.

  20. Charles

    For car people, the scene is interesting and invites exploration. I love to wander around places like this, as just like the OP, Phil it is a walk down memory lane.

    For the average person, it is an isore.

    It seems a shame that these cars are rotting away without anyone getting any further use from them. For what ever purpose they have served, they are not doing much right now, other than being a waste of resources. I would like to see the cars that are worth rebuilding get placed in new homes where they might be restored, the rest parted out to keep other classics on the road, the land cleaned up, and the left over metal recycled.

  21. JT

    The thing with horders is even if these cars are rotting away, you know he has some “specials” somewhere (barn, garage, shed, etc). They don’t put the good stuff in the woods. They put the just in case I need blah, blah blah in the woods. The specials are the ones the kids want keep. The same auction company that did the shelby gt has a horder’s stash being auctioned off this weekend and most of the parts are inside. http://www.rgilliganauctions.com/5-17%20francisko.html

  22. Mike Mccann

    Hey everybody, to the people here that know the location of this amazing place, can you please share the location? I am visiting upstate New York right now for a few days and would love to take some photos. Thank you in advance, I will share the photos with whoever wants them if I make it there…

  23. Neal

    I’m also interested in the location of this yard as a place for teaching photography. Anyone care to share this info?

  24. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Remember guys, it is never a good idea to trespass. We are sure this is private property and we would not recommend entering the area without permission. Thanks.

  25. Jimmy Augustine

    Hi Sir

    In what area is this place New York? Can youGive me the address please ?

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