In a post-modern world running with a global economy, it was only a matter of time before seeing a late-sixties compact Ford Falcon wearing eighties-era Toyota Supra wheels at the boneyard. This Falcon sedan was missing its drivetrain, but still wearing the alloy Supra wheels, which evidently share the same four-lug spacing with jet-age Fords. The Falcon also packed a few extra 1157 light bulbs, one broken square tail light assembly, and two features we would like to see return to the world of economy automobiles – bench front seating and column shift. Perhaps the former Ford Falcon owner saw a few images of an Australian Ford Falcon GT Super Roo sedan, and bolted up the Supra hoops in place of the stock pizza cutters on the way to constructing a 351-powered American road-going approximation of the Bathurst-winning Australian muscle car.
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This late eighties front-wheel drive Oldsmobile Cutlass Calias may or may not became a collectors item or the stand as the greatest car ever made. Under the hood is what counts. The General Motors Olds division special, shown here on its final road trip, packed the first production dual overhead cam four-cylinder engine GM ever produced in house. The year? 1987. The engine? The now-legendary GM Quad-4. The first generation Quad-4 engines kicked out about 150-HP – more than some GM small block V8 engines of the same era. A distinctive visual feature of the Quad-4 are the twin camshaft towers, which mirror the configuration of the most legendary of American four-cylinder engines – the Offenhauser. With exception of the Oldsmobile Aerotech, only in an alternate early 90′s universe did GM put a turbocharged Quad-4 into a rear-wheel drive car with fully independent suspension and fully-integrated quad laser. Over half of the boneyards in our world are overflowing with acres of GM front-wheel drive mediocrity as a testament of an era when Detroit well and truly forgot what they did best.
Because the mighty Starlet often gets mistaken for a Tercel, we bring you this first generation Toyota Corolla Tercel sedan. Not one but two generations of Tercel were sold alongside the Starlet’s four short years in the USA, with the second generation three-door hatchback version appearing to be the primary source of model confusion. The Starlet is not a Tercel for many reasons, the single most important of which is the Starlet employs rear-wheel drive for propulsion. This is important. As Hamilton said to Spicoli and pals in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Learn it. Know it. Live it. Starlet.
From a long time ago, in a junkyard not that far away, comes this Dodge Colt Station wagon. The Colt is from a time when forces of economy gripped the nation. Escalating gas prices caused Americans to abandon their full-size automobiles for smaller, more thrifty versions. With Mopar there was no compromise, along with a new hope. One could choose from a full-size Dodge Diplomat or this compact Dodge Colt station wagon on the same dealer lot thanks an alliance with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. These modern rear-wheel drive motoring forces continued to fight on against the growing front-wheel drive clone armies of the Galactic General Motors Empire.
This Colt Wagon evidently soldiered on from the late seventies into the next millennium on its way to the boneyard. The forces of runaway thermodynamics on dissimilar metals may have felled this wagon in the same way many an Astron engine cracked its cylinder head or spun a silent shaft bearing before this. The mighty Colt was fully loaded (Yes, Johnny!) with a rear window wiper, air conditioning, AM/FM radio, sporty steering wheel, dash clock, and the big Astron four-cylinder topped with three-valve MCA JET cylinder head. The 5-speed manual transmission can be seen unmasked on the ground next the the wagon. No, Plymouth Reliant K Wagon, I am your Father.
In celebration and hope that most of America made it through the Independence Day weekend without starting a conflagration or losing a finger, we bring you this last in long line of American longroof family chariots. This 1990 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park station wagon represents the beginning of the end for purebred full-size American wagons. As hard as it is to believe looking at the acres of genuine simulated woodgrain and plush burgundy leather luxury therein, this last of the Grand Marquis station wagons was lighter and smaller than its predecessor. It wasn’t enough. The Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park wagon was the first of the Iowa-class longroofs to cease rolling off the motor city assembly lines in 1991.
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The more or less recent edict handed down on high from the guys lighting Cuban cigars with $100 bills at General Motors was that they don’t want anyone saying Chevy anymore. Only Chevrolet. This being the case, they would certainly spit gag mouthfuls of their single malt Scotch and lapse into a fits of coughing if someone were to utter the word Chevette. So here goes. Chevy Chevette! There. We said it. This particular Chevette was seen on a trip out to a San Gabriel Valley junkyard where we have seen multiple Chevettes before. The General Motors Pinto and Import slayer was first sold in Brazil in competition with the Volkswagen Brasilia in 1974, and brought to North America soon after. Chevette sales continued until three years shy of the go-go ’90s. The Chevy hatchback holds the distinction of being the last subcompact rear-wheel drive car sold in the USA. The Chevette was produced in countless configurations, including Rally versions, Isusu diesel engine-equipped screamers, four-door hatchbacks, and as shown here, the deluxe CS package. With a reworked front and rear along with blacked out trim bits, the CS was the last refresh of the rear-driver before the mighty Chevette was scuttled in 1987.
In honor of the first day of summer and breaking news concerning formation of the junk centered megalith of online entertainment here at behemoth Clunkbucket, we take a journey back into 2009 on a walk through Vermont’s own famous Rathe’s Salvage junkyard. Most locals refer to this place as Rattys, as a term of endearment and a play on words. This rust packed winter Ünderland was not only filled with snow covered examples of some the world’s finest automobiles, but was also fraught with danger! Foot traction was compromised at least twice during the filming of this feature. The old ice cube down the back of the shirt gag comes to mind, but in a worse way. Fortunately no one was injured, and the camera survived unscathed. Standard California footwear is not recommended. Though we’re often spoiled by the almost park like settings and festival atmosphere Southern California boneyards, a pair of cleated boots or 1973 Arctic Cat El Tigre snow machine is advised for trips to ice sheeted junkyards in Vermont during the month of December.
Winter Walk Through Rathe’s Salvage in Vermont
Long-running negotiations have resulted in the first ever acquisition by media giant Clunkbucket – the premier destination for finding, fixing, restoring, and even racing your unloved or forgotten classic car. Clunkbucket set out to become the global destination for budget restoration and inexpensive motoring entertainment in 2009, and is excited about upping the frequency of junkyard journeys into the editorial calendar. All content on Junkyard Chronicle will eventually be republished on Clunkbucket, with bonus content added when applicable.
“If by documenting one automobile at the end of its road helps a few more of its kind avoid being crushed into oblivion, then our work preserving automotive and cultural history is done. Clunkbucket is here to keep the automotive restoration and preservation economy rolling one old car, truck, or minivan at a time”, said Clunkbucket Founder and Editor-in-Chief Mike Bumbeck.
Junkyard Chronicle was established in 2006 as a way to peer into automotive cultural history by way of the self-service automotive junkyards of Southern California. Junkyard Chronicle will remain active until financial negotiations are complete, at which point the site will be fully integrated into behemoth Clunkbucket. This virtually seamless media acquisition will result in a far more streamlined Clunkbucket content delivery experience moving forward into and beyond Q3 2010.