This week I want to know what's the best thing you found at the junkyard?
What you see below isn't my best find (not sure what that is for me, as I get a lot of stuff there) but my most recent score is the super rare floor shifter and console for the Ford Crown Victoria (and its Panther Chassis counterparts). It's pretty filthy but it's all there and will come out pretty nice after I give it a serious cleaning. I may sell it or keep it, not sure yet...but apparently these are hot commodities in the Panther Chassis world.
That's one of the beautiful things about being in Georgia. It's Chevy country around here so Mopar parts, while much fewer than central Illinois, you can sometimes find a deal like that four speed. Not all of the time, but occasionally. One day I will put it in my stepdad's Duster for him. Even if I have to rebuild it, which I will anyway, the casing is worth more than I spent on the whole thing.
Probably nothing, I saw it and called a friend and he said "buy it, you can make money on it!" But you never know, the right Panther might come my way and I will regret selling it!
Whatever, I am just glad I am saving it from the scrapper!!!
Not so long ago, I've purchased a driver side door panel for my Cadillac coupe "97" Eldorado in prestige condition despite being in the junkyard. One mans garbage is another mans treasure!!
As a teen went to old man May's junkyard to get a rearend for my '41 Ford. We found that and were hauling it out when we passed by a totaled Buick and just happened to stop and raise the hood. There was a perfect nail head. We ask May and he said $50 for motor and the Ford rear. I tore off home and borrowed enough so that replaced my flathead!
My son and I ran across this 1986 BMW in a junk yard that was complete (minus the engine) and in pretty good shape. They had ran the fork lift forks into the passneger door and fender, but we were able to find replacements. Picked it up for $250. Then a friend of a friend gave us a recently rebuilt ford 5.0. So we dropped it in the little BMW. We just fired it for the first time last week, and it ran! Moving on to the body and paint now.
it actually went in very smooth. We put a mustang T5 tranny with it. The shifter landed in the exact spot. everything else fit just as well. Still need exhaust and to have a driveline made before it will move under its own power.
my best was while walking past a 46 to 48 plymouth sedan, i spotted the hood ornament plastic insert in pristine condition laying on the package shelf. after scoring the parts i came for, presented my stuff to the yard owner, who oohed and awed over the insert and then told me $10 for everything.....
not a salvage yard score, but at my local landfill on day and spotted a shiny glint in the mud. kicked the piece out and found a locking gas cap. after washing it off and researching it, discovered it was the correct Mopar marked cap for my 47 Plymouth. local locksmith keyed it for me.....
The junkyard was just getting ready to close, and as I was walking thru the yard on my way out, I spotted 4 tires with the nipples still on them. The size I needed, and boy did I ever need them! I was there getting something else for a different vehicle too! Called off work the next morning, and was waiting when they opened the gates ;)))
Bought a 74 VW beetle from a neighbor after the engine caught fire. Paid $50, which was her deductible. Went to a yard and found a complete engine with rod knock and complete wiring harness for $50 and $10. Didnt care about the knock, because I needed all the sheetmetal, and wiring to fix the lightly burned engine. After painting the 10 year old bug, looked and ran like new!
Should comment on my post above. I just noticed Hagerty has me listed as a new driver. I am 83 years old and the car I towed that Ford with was a new 56 Ford convertible. It was my fourth car. I was 18 years old.
I bought a '40 Olds coupe from a scrap yard for parts for my nice original '40 coupe. Funny though,how you buy a parts car and never need any parts off it. The frame and badly shot up and decomposing body shell are still back in the woods.
Also found a nice original green rubber floor mat to replace the tired black one in my '72 Chevy pickup.
Row52 sent me an email back in October, there was a mid-70's Trailduster in a lot a couple hours away and it still had the unobtainium PLYMOUTH front grill emblem attached. 45 bucks for the entire grill assembly.
On the same day I scored a complete dual quad 425 Nailhead and TH400, a 64 Buick 300 4bbl engine, and 3-12 bolt Chevrolet rear ends. 2 were 68-72, one was from a 65 Chevelle. That was a very good day.
engine and trans were $750, each axle was $150, the 300 Buick was $300.
the yard is now closed. I tried to buy a 64 Wildcat too, but someone else got it.
The door on the '34 Ford tudor body I got (out of a river in Montana) was really bad, I found one door for a '33 at Junktown USA (Annandale MN) those doors are same but are not the same, I cut the top part off, welded on the one from my '34 door, this made a complete working '34 door & window system. Ya' gotta' do what ya' gotta' do ....
The junkyard in Princeton MN was being phased out, not much left. I stopped in, asked the guy if he had any cowl lights anywhere, he opened an old wood cupboard and there was a perfect pair of '34 Ford COWL LIGHTS, ten bucks and I was out the door, had my cowl lamps at last.
When I was in high school, Mom clipped the door handle off my ‘65 Spitfire. Local junkyard actually had one on their lot. I removed its handle, and in the process noticed the horn button looked good, so I pried it off. Half hour later I had my arms full of trim pieces & light lenses that “looked better then mine”. I took it all to the counter, he charged me $5 for the handle and told me to just keep the rest. I thought I’d won the lottery. Didn’t realize at the time I probably had the only Spitfire in the county (other then the wrecked junk yard treasure)
When I was doing my "pick-up on a motorhome chassis" project in 2011, one of the more challenging items was mounting the steering gearbox. After a few days work building the bracket, cutting and reversing the pittman arm, and shortening the draglink, I thought the set-up looked pretty good. But, I didn't realize it now steered backwards (steer to the right, the wheels turned left) Doh!! After some research I learned that late '60s Dodge Powerwagons used the same Saginaw gearbox, but built to "reverse rotation". A local junkyard had one example that saved all my hard work.
Not a score - but years ago my local Pull-a-Part got in some random old cars. Some of them were pretty far gone, but others weren't. It was sad to see them in Pull-a-Part since they won't sell you a whole car. You can see a few others, such as the Corvair, in the background. The Travellall actually wasn't in bad shape except for when they set it up on the "jackstands."
In the years between when I started playing with cars and when I got a wife, I spent a significant number of hours scouring wrecking yards and cruising back lanes. This would be in the late 70s - early 80s, when muscle cars were commonly viewed as old junk with terrible mileage. I picked up a number of deals, but a few still stand out in my memory.
A friend and I walked into a junkyard and spotted a '67 Plymouth Barracuda fastback that hadn't yet been hauled back to the stacks. At a quick glance it was straight and rust-free, though the light blue metallic paint was dull, and seemed pretty complete. Even though at the time I was heavily into Pontiacs, it was one of those cars I had always wanted. I walked into the office and started dickering with owner while my buddy was fiddling under the hood. The junkyard guy told me that the owner, the proverbial little old lady, had had it towed in just a few hours before and he hadn't had a chance to look it over yet. He asked for $150, I countered with $125. He agreed and as he was filling out the bill of sale my buddy started it up and drove it up to the office. Apparently, the only thing wrong with it was a loose battery cable. I had to fix one of the rear window regulators and reinstall the original radio, which I found under the seat, but otherwise it gave me faithful service for several years until some dolt ran a stop sign and T-boned it, crushing the passenger side almost completely from the leading edge of the door to the back bumper.
Another junkyard find was a '65 Buick Skylark Gran Sport. The 401 nailhead was frozen and it had the usual GM A-body rust through at the bottom of both quarter panels, but it was a 4-speed car with power windows, driver's seat, and antenna, as well as air conditioning! The red exterior was heavily oxidized, but the white and black interior looked perfect. After some haggling, I paid $250 (cash only!) and towed it home. I pulled the motor and took it into my favorite speed & machine shop and the owner offered instead to sell me a freshly machined, but unassembled, '65 425 nailhead, along with new bearings, gasket kit, oil pump, timing set, and an Isky cam/lifters/springs set. Oh, and he'd throw in a rebuilt TH-400 transmission with a shift kit. Seems his son had been racing a '65 Riviera on the local dirt tracks and had planned a rebuild during the off season, but it took so long to get the cam kit from Iskenderian that he moved to a '66 Chevelle and left all the parts in the back of the shop. I got it all for another $250 - again, cash in hand. The capper in this project was when I was doing another junkyard dive and spotted a '66 Buick Electra 225 and popped the hood to find it had the 425 with the dress-up kit. Cast aluminum finned valve covers with the BUICK script on the sides, chromed dual-inlet air cleaner, and multiple chromed brackets and bolts. Being a '66, it had the spread bore manifold to fit Rochester's newly-introduced Quadrajet carburetor, which, unfortunately, had been removed. I got the intake and dress-up kit for $25. I thought about it afterwards and went back the next week to pull the motor and transmission, just for spare parts, but the car had gone to the crusher. Oh well.
I fixed the rust and repainted the Gran Sport and put it all back together with the dressed up 425 with an 850 cfm Carter Thermo-Quad, and it was one of the torquiest muscle cars I ever owned. In first gear (BW cast iron T-10 with 2:54 low and 3:42 gears in the rear) at idle(!) you could let out the clutch gently from a dead stop and it would just trundle on down the road. With a little bit of practice with the throttle and clutch, you could also start off in 4th. I taught my future wife to drive a stick shift in that car and she loved it. I eventually sold it to some kid who had more of his daddy's money than he did good sense, and he promptly wrapped in around a telephone pole.
Lastly: while cruising through farm country, I spotted a '64 Pontiac Le Mans Sport Coupe (post) with 4 flat tires sitting at the back of a long driveway. It was brown with thoroughly dead paint but no rust through, and the brown interior was in excellent condition with bucket seats, automatic shifter in the console, uncracked "wood grain" rallye steering wheel, 90-degree tach in the dash, and vacuum gauge in a pod on the console - all pretty rare options. The current owner, son of the original, was more than happy to let me haul it off for $50, but he wanted to pull the radio (original AM) to put on his tractor(!). I offered $25 cash and a brand new, in the box, AM/FM cassette stereo with a couple of marine speakers. He and I shook hands, each thinking he'd gotten a killer deal, which is the platonic ideal of a good transaction. After I got it home and got it running, I noticed the block code (XB) was for a '65 regular fuel 2-bbl 389. It hadn't even dawned on me that the intake was the 65-&-later bolt pattern, rather than the '61-'64 style. I went back to visit with the former owner and he told me the original 326 had thrown a rod out the side of the block in the first year of ownership and his father persuaded the dealership to upgrade the warranty replacement with a 389, since he was using the Le Mans to tow their camp trailer and(!) a small boat. Crazy people. I swapped on an old aluminum Edelbrock P4B manifold with a '65 Carter AFB and a pair of long tube headers capped off by by a pair of straight-thru glass packs, and changed the 2-speed TH300 for a TH350 with a 6-cylinder torque converter - all spare parts I had lying around. It ran like a scalded cat. If I recall correctly, it went away in a massive 3-way swap (that included a '65 GTO with a '63 Tempest four cylinder mated to its original Muncie 4-speed, a warehouse full of odd parts, a pair of '68 GTO projects, and a couple of promised body & paint jobs) when I married and went back to college to finish up my degree. Priorities, man.
Mine was a score, just not a parts score... Back in the early 80’s, I was at a junk yard called “Banks” in Woodbridge, VA looking for parts for the ‘71 Ford LTD I had at the time. I came across a 1/4” ratchet and extender in some old Ford and threw it in with my tools. I cannot remember what parts I found that day, but I still have, and use, that 1/4” ratchet and extension!
Bought this 69 Dodge Dart gt convertible from a local junkyard in 1982 or so for $100.00. 225 slant six and the lifters were ticking away.. Adjusted them up and drove it for five years... Eventually sold it for $600.00.. One of the best cars I've ever owned... Wish I still had that little beauty...
In the Army stationed in Atlanta Ga, about 1960, I found a 1936 Buick Century, black 4 door in a local junk yard. Junk yard guy said it just came in. Body was perfect, no rust, engine was so clean you could eat off of it. Engine started and ran perfectly, interior was kind of rodent chewed as I recall. I gave the 75 bucks for it and then the following day went back and told him to keep my money. I realized that even if I found a way to get it home there was no place to store it at my parents house, and I had another year to go on my enlistment and had plans for college after that. Sure wish I could have kept it.